Search functionality is the most important part of any eCommerce website. That’s why it should be done perfectly with high attention to details.
This is where we begin. This box must utilize clear visibility, fast recognition and pleasure of usage. Basic search functionality can be presented with a simple text box and one button. You have to utilize a reliable width and a more standard look for the text box and button controls. It is just easier to ‘scan’ the page looking for familiar patterns rather than read it all row by row. So keeping these patterns standard is the key to visibility.
- Just use the text box and submit button. Simplicity does a better job here.
- Do not hide the search box in navigation or somewhere outside of a visible browser area.
- Make sure no other elements on the page looks like a search box.
- The search box should be wide enough. Users will tend to put shorter keywords into a smaller search box, which will cause unsatisfactory results.
There are few approaches of implementing advanced search functionality, namely, using filters/parametric search, wizards and faceted search.
Faceted search is one of the most popular options for an eCommerce website. The workflow is simple: a user starts with a simple search and continues with refining and narrowing down his/her search results using facets.
- Keyword field should still be included.
- Order facets by importance.
- Do not use more than 8 facets.
- Hide extra facets under “More Filters” link.
- Use track bar controls for range facets, color select control with colored boxes instead of dropdown with color names.
Ordering Search Results
It’s not enough to order results just by date, price or title. We consider adding best matches first and most popular searches as the best shot here.
Other useful features
- Synonyms database & Spell-check – many products have names that are hard to remember or spell correctly.
- Auto-suggestions – progressive typing will immediately suggest a set of possible results.
- Product tags – tagging gives a website an overlapping taxonomy so that users have different ways to reach products they’re looking for.
- Saved & Recent Searches – respect the users’ efforts by making it easy to select from previous searches, instead of retyping the same keywords or search criteria.