The main types of search queries used by users of online stores, is your site ready for them? (Part 3)

    If the correct processing of the requests described in the previous two parts can be considered a prerequisite for the site search to be considered “good”, then having coped with the requests listed in this part, it will rightfully deserve the title of “excellent”.

    In order to provide the user with correct information in response to requests from the first and second part of the article, it is necessary to rely, first of all, on information about a particular product. In such a situation, the main role is played by the name, characteristics, purpose and other information. At the same time, a situation often arises when, in order to provide relevant information, it is necessary to analyze the context of the request, user experience, language and other features.

    Part 1
    Part 2

    Using Slang, Abbreviations, and Symbols

    Speaking of slang, we do not propose sharpening the search under the vocabulary of the driveway culture. We are talking about words that have long and reliably entrenched in certain groups and relate to a specific type of product. The closest example is the front gearshift switch of a bicycle, which is usually called simply “front flip”, respectively, there is also a “rear flip”. If bicycles and spare parts for them are just a small part of the products you offer, then the need for processing such a request is small, but if your site is a specialized store, you are guaranteed to receive a large volume of such requests.

    In order to be able to efficiently handle such requests, you will have to spend a lot of time collecting information about the slang that exists among users of your products. Specialized forums, communities and other thematic resources will be an excellent source.

    Abbreviations perform a role similar to slang. They often change value depending on the context and require special care in processing. Naturally, we are talking about common abbreviations that are understandable to most people interested in this area. A striking example is the abbreviated name of the English club Manchester United, which is often written as "MU", in addition, such an abbreviation is often found in colloquial speech. At the same time, specialized football paraphernalia stores can give an adequate answer to such a request only if the abbreviation is found in the name, that is, almost never.

    By the way, returning to slang, queries like "gunners" or "red devils" also do not give any results.
    Often, a contextual problem arises with characters. An elementary dash may indicate a range of values ​​(15-17``), a negative value (-10 degrees) or an attempt to exclude a word from the search results, by analogy with most search engines.


    Even if a person “communicates” with the machine, he still remains a person who is prone to errors and omissions. We are not talking about typos, the incorrect processing of which is genuinely surprising, but that the user does not indicate part of the information, taking it for granted. It is possible to efficiently process such requests taking into account information about a specific user that you have. Starting from the source of the transition, ending with the history of visits on your site
    For example, if a user navigates to a website advertising that reports that products of a particular brand are sold on your website, it is logical to assume that by typing the word “jacket” in the search bar, he is looking for a jacket of the manufacturer specified in the advertisement. In this case, do not overdo it, limiting the search results will nullify the possibility of spontaneous purchase of a jacket from another manufacturer. Therefore, you must either display all the results, place the jackets of the brand indicated in the advertisement first, or use a filter by brand, disabling which will allow you to view the entire range.


    Problems with this type of request are also due to the difference between how the program perceives the request and how the person formulates it. The use of colloquial speech in queries is a rather rare phenomenon, but it is starting to gain momentum. Their processing requires the synthesis of several search technologies in order not only to determine the keywords, despite the word form in which they were used, but also the general context, as well as the priority of each of the words.

    The query "red shoes 38-39", in principle, contains all the necessary information in order to correctly display the results that will be useful to the user. But at the same time, the search algorithm should include, at a minimum, the connection between the word "shoes" and, suppose two-digit numbers (if you use the European system of sizes). That is, contextual restrictions must be established that exclude an incorrect interpretation of the information specified in the request.

    Naturally, today there is no objective need for extremely correct processing of this type of request. Most users have sufficient experience using various search engines, which allows them to quite effectively adjust their queries to achieve optimal results. But, at the same time, the development of personalization, an individual approach and the desire for an intuitive interface of online stores to a large extent “relax” the visitor, who not only can and will use the types of requests described above, but may also consider their incorrect processing as the reason for search for another store.

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