What is faceted search?

When it comes to creating a modern, easy-to-use eCommerce site that can help improve your online presence and encourage sales, there are many things that need to be thought about in order to provide a quality experience.
You need to consider site design, how to optimise your site for search engines and ensure it’s fast and reliable. But one area of particular focus should be your internal search. After all, if customers can’t find the products they’re looking for, you won’t be making any sales.
Taking advantage of NetSuite‘s package of eCommerce tools can play a key role in this. The software includes all the solutions you need to build a high-quality site, including faceted search functionality to make navigation and product discovery as easy as possible.
But what is faceted search? Even if you haven’t heard the term before, you’re bound to be familiar with what it looks like in practice, as it’s used by many of the web’s biggest eCommerce firms to enhance their user experience.
Essentially, it is the dynamic grouping of items into categories that let users filter their search in order to narrow down the results they receive. Have you noticed the lists on the left-hand side of Amazon’s interface that allow you to filter books and films by genre, or select specific specifications when searching for a laptop? That’s faceted search and it’s one of the best ways to make sure consumers can find what they’re looking for.
You can define facets in a number of ways, such as manufacturer, price range or features – with each entry under this shown as a list of constraints that consumers can turn on or off with a mouse click.
It is similar to the less sophisticated filtered search, but with filtering solutions, users have to select their search parameters beforehand. With faceted search, results are updated dynamically based on the facets selected. Users can also see a summary of what criteria are currently in use and remove them as required without having to start a search afresh.
There are many great benefits to using faceted search capabilities on your eCommerce site. By improving the quality and relevance of the results you offer to customers, users can see immediately a summary of their search results and how many items match each criteria.
As the facet count displayed next to each constraint shows how many products match each criteria, there’s no risk of users getting to the end of their search and finding no products available. There’s also no hierarchy, so users are free to add constraints in whatever order they like.
NetSuite uses the high-performance Solr faceted search system as part of its range of comprehensive eCommerce tools included in the “SuiteCommerce Advanced” module. This is easy to use and lets retailers simply set up facets and constraint categories to automatically filter results.
If you don’t have this feature, the chances are you’re going to lose out on revenue. It’s often the case that users will have a general idea of what they’re looking for in terms of price, features or brand, but won’t be looking for a specific product. Therefore, with the use of faceted search, you can help guide them to the items they want quickly and simply.
If you would like to find out more, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.
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