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Advanced Search Capabilities & Benefits

Intelligently Display the Products your Users are Looking for and Empower them to Fine Tune Their Searches
Detailed Categories, Tags, Filters, & More

Advanced Search Marketplace Module

For a group buying organization, search is one of the key factors in making their site easy for members to use and navigate. You might have hundreds, thousands or even millions of products, and if they are not easy to navigate it’s not going to be possible for people to find the desired product and to make a purchase.

There is a lot of detail involved in making a robust, yet easy to use, search capability. The foundational component is having good data in the system in the first place, but good data alone isn’t enough. It is critical that the underlying platform you are using is able to take that data and present it in an intuitive way such as an autocomplete function.

Efficient, Automated, Accurate

Intelligent Autocomplete

It’s possible to have different autocomplete capabilities. Perhaps it just shows the products, or maybe they show the SKUs and the name. It is also quite common to look at synonyms, misspellings, fuzzy search, as well as showing the categories or thematic concepts.

For example, someone might type “blue jeans” into the search bar, but you may want to show pant jeans, relaxed casual jeans, etc. It can be helpful to do this and show different concepts within the search bar itself. Folks may not know exactly what they are looking for and this can help them narrow in on a product.

In addition, more advanced users may wish to leverage the use of fuzzy search or use expressions like wildcards in the search. Consider if your search bar can take advantage of these capabilities, allowing users to properly narrow their search.

Improve Your User Satisfaction with Better UI/UX

Catalog and User Interface

Whether it's from a search bar or from navigating a mega menu that shows the categories, at some point the end user is going to end up at the catalog. They will see a list of products that match their particular set of filters and search criteria. As such, you want to consider how the user interface will appear across different devices.

A lot of users use desktops and laptops, but in some industries the users are actually using tablets and mobile devices. You want to ensure the experience is pleasant, both visually and functionally, for each technological medium.

Think about the location of the search bar itself, alongside the location for terminology and filter selection. Is it easily seen by the user? You want them to easily be able to modify these things, so try to keep the process intuitive. Have the search feature in a similar location across all devices in order to keep the buying process simple for all users.

Diving Into the Granular Details of Search Filters

Advanced Search Filters

As someone is searching, the filters will show what they’ve already selected, providing a basis for proper similarities. It can cascade their options based on what they’ve selected in particular, providing a category or thematic area to search through.

The filters need to dynamically change to actually represent the curated filters, that they are part of a particular category, that they have specific attributes and characteristics, etc. If the filters are unable to do so, it can be incredibly challenging for someone to navigate through and to filter for an item. It’s key that the most important and most used filters are presented at the top of the list of filters and that they can dynamically move their way up to the top of the list, preventing the user from having to scroll. Proving a dynamic and easy-to-use system in your search capability is important, as you want your consumers to easily find their desired product, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Within a set of filters, you may be presented with hundreds of attributes, which can be very overwhelming. As such, you typically only want to show users a few of the most popular attributes within a filter type. For example, maybe one of the filter types is based on color. Instead of showing 100 different color choices, maybe show the most popular 12 and then have an option to load more by clicking a “load more” button.

It is also important to allow a user to select multiple filters. Going along with the idea of color filters, a user may want to select both gray and charcoal as colors. They’re similar and the user may not be sure exactly which will suit the item better. This can be helpful when they still have some unanswered questions and decisions to make.

It’s also helpful to see how many items are a part of a filter attribute. Perhaps gray only had 22, but charcoal had 500. This can change which direction the buyer takes their search. Providing the user with the choices to either narrow or broaden their search is really helpful, and something like this is a simple way to do so.

Whenever you’re actually filtering products, you won’t want to have to refresh the page. You may also want to have it all in the browser’s history, so you can link someone the search with all the different filters that have been applied. Or maybe you’ll want to remove a filter by hitting the back button. Having these sorts of characteristics can really increase the ease in using a search filter.

Additionally, whenever you're searching you want to see accurate information. When logged in as a customer this is even more relevant, as there may be customer specific pricing and different inventory at different locations. If you’re doing a multi-location search, you want your actual location set as default, but then, if needed, the ability to switch locations if there isn’t the desired item in inventory. Things like this can impact the timeline of a purchase, making it an important feature for the buyer.

In addition, whenever I'm conducting my searching, if I'm logged in as a customer, I want to be able to see my customer specific pricing and I want to be able to see my locations, inventory information. So if I'm doing a multi-location search or the system represents multiple locations, I want to show my actual location that I've selected as a default and then, if needed, I would want the ability to change locations if the desired item isn’t in stock at the default warehouse or store.

How Can Clarity Help

Clarity Marketplace Experts

Those are some of the criteria for advanced search and filtering that we encourage you to think about as you're evaluating your end users and what they might be looking for. They're probably used to business to consumer experience that's has a robust search capability. They’re likely going to be, either subconsciously or consciously, looking for your buying group site to operate in a similar fashion as they’re used to.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We’ve also provided a list of resources below to help you find the information you need as you plan your next group purchasing marketplace and buying group eCommerce platform.

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