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Jan 15 2020

How Important Is Relevant Search Results To ECommerce?

Navin Mathew

Senior Technical Writer

If you want to know how important is relevant search results to eCommerce, then I would say that it is their life and blood.

As a merchandiser, relevancy is a term that you'll hear often. 
Depending on who you ask, relevancy has many meanings. But everyone will agree that relevancy is centered around tracking and analyzing shoppers' preferences to show them the products they are looking for.
Relevancy and Ranking have helped eCommerce stores to anticipate and prioritize a shopper's needs to provide a seamless retail experience.

What should a perfect site search solution deliver?

When delivering personalized eCommerce, your store should be equipped to gauge the interest and patterns of a returning shopper. 
As an online shopper, the sheer volume of products deters me from navigating via the product category pages when I'm shopping. Instead, I prefer searching for the product by what I intend to buy, the brand's name, or the product type. 
But site search isn't always as effective as I would like it to be. A perfect site search solution should be able to:

  1. Autocomplete my search query as I'm typing. Maybe even autocorrecting the search query in real-time.
  2. Suggest products even as I'm typing in my keyword. Maybe even search by synonyms to provide me with products that match my intent.
  3. Display a search page that isn't cluttered and allows me to sort by price, popularity, or newness. 
  4. Provide filters and facets to help me zero in on the product I need.
  5. Display high-quality images that correctly represent the product
  6. Select and compare products and features side-by-side.
  7. Let me preview and add a product to the cart without taking me to the Product Display Page.
  8. Display search results within 2 seconds and have a responsive design.

In other words, your site search solution should score high on relevancy. As a result, I should be able to find the product I'm looking for with ease and simplicity. 

How Unbxd delivers relevant search results to eCommerce?

Unbxd understands this need of shoppers to be able to find what they are looking for. That's why we construct and deploy AI and ML models that can fine-tune this relevance to three nines. This blog presents some of the top use cases we have solved for our eCommerce customers across the verticals. Here they are:

  1. Fields
  2. Tokenization
  3. Stemming
  4. Synonyms
  5. Exclude Terms
  6. Mandatory Terms
  7. Products by Popularity
  8. Ranking Fields
  9. User Behavior
    Unbxd recommends a list of fields in the catalog that should be marked as 'searchable.' This helps businesses get a running start on getting the search results right, no matter what vertical they are in. For instance, correctly identifying the 'Part number' for an auto parts store would be as crucial as getting the 'color' correct for a beauty store.
    Unbxd splits multi-worded search queries into related product categories and product-related attributes. For instance, 'Outdoor Tent' will be tokenized into 'Outdoor' (Category) and 'Tent' (Product). Similarly, 'Silk Shower Curtains' are tokenized into 'Silk' (Fabric) and 'Shower Curtains' (Product).


Unbxd recommends you stem common search keywords and phrases to their root or base unit. For instance, queries like ‘Running shoes’ and ‘Runners shoes’ will provide the same search results if ‘Running’ and ‘Runners’ are stemmed to ‘Run.’


With a growing list of synonyms for different verticals, Unbxd allows your store to hit the road running. Our comprehensive list of synonyms helps your shopper find the product they need no matter how they search for it.

Exclude Terms

As a merchandiser, you’d like to exclude products that may have the same keywords searched for but aren’t what the shopper intended to see. Unbxd allows you to create a library of keywords or phrases you don’t want to be displayed interchangeably. For instance, queries like ‘Dress Shirt’ may also display ‘Shirtdress,’ which is not the same product category and does not meet the shopper’s intent. Unbxd allows you to insert ‘Shirt Dress’ as an ‘Exclude Term’ so that results for ‘Dress Shirt’ won’t display ‘Shirt Dress.’

Mandatory Terms

Mandatory terms work on a similar Tokenization and Named Entity Recognition principle, where your search engine recognizes the most important keyword or phrase in a query and displays results from the relevant category. For instance, queries like ‘Jumpsuit Dresses’ will give results with the keyword ‘Jumpsuit’ within the product title or description.

Products by Popularity

Unbxd allows you to promote popular products in the category your shoppers are browsing. Clickstream insights reveal the number of times a product has been clicked on, added to the cart, and purchased in the last 30 days. These statistics allow merchandisers to create campaigns that boost your product’s findability and enhance search relevance, which we will discuss in a future blog post.

Ranking Fields

Once fields are assigned as ‘searchable,’ Unbxd recommends indexing fields by their ‘weight’ or ‘relevancy.’ For instance, the ‘Title’ field is ranked ‘HIGH’ since shoppers often search for a keyword or phrase within the title. Similarly, ‘productType’ or ‘level’ will be ranked ‘NORMAL,’ while ‘color’ will be ranked ‘LOW.’

User Behavior

The inbuilt User behavior engine allows Unbxd to track, collect, and analyze how shoppers interact within your store. Data from Clickstream and ranking Insights help you plan careful campaigns that boost your product’s findability and revenue. 
Apart from this, Unbxd allows you to rank relevant products higher using the Boost/Bury feature within the Unbxd Console.


The above use cases are just instances most commonly used by the customers who come to us to fix their relevancy. These show how vital is relevant search results to eCommerce.

We do much more than just this to ensure that no shopper returns from your website with zero or irrelevant products found. If your shopper leaves your store because of a poor experience, they never return. We understand how you want to create a seamless shopping experience for all your shoppers, where searching for the right product doesn't take moving heaven and earth.

Discover Unbxd's Site Search Solution. Book a demo!

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