Search Suggestions

When a customer starts to enter a search term on the storefront, the storefront application shows terms that can help complete the search. Depending on configuration, these terms can vary from a simple list of related terms to being more complex and providing extra details.

The ‘Search-As-You-Type’ feature is not controlled by a preference. If your site uses the simple search suggestions feature, you must enable this functionality via the Search Suggestion preference.

Enable Search Suggestions via the following preferences:

See Setting Search Preferences.

Search Suggestion Types

If the customer selects a category or subcategory in the top or left pane, the returned suggestions, spelling corrections, and completed terms are all specific to selected category or subcategory. Search filtering by category is available for product, brand, and category suggestions. Content and suggest phrases are not category-specific.

Your storefront application can suggest the following types of content:

You can list suggestion types by group and link to specific landing pages. For example, when the customer clicks a suggested category, the respective category landing page opens. When the customer clicks a suggested phrase, a text search is performed using that phrase. When the customer clicks a brand name, the brand landing page opens.

You can show category, product, and content suggestions with additional information, such as an images, a product category, or a price.

The customer search phrase is matched anywhere in the searchable content. For example, when a customer enters shoe into the search box, a product red sport shoes is suggested.

Linguistic search rules such as synonyms and stopwords are also considered when searching for relevant suggestions. Search phrases are automatically corrected and completed, resulting in suggestions that are more relevant.

Commerce Cloud Einstein Search Recommendations

Utilizing Einstein, search suggestions can now be further enhanced.

Your storefront application can suggest:

  • Personalized term completion and correction
  • Shopper recent search phrases
  • Popular or trending search phrases that can inspire shopper
  • Auto-suggestion of search terms

To enable Einstein Search Recommendations:

In Business Manager, select site > Merchant Tools > Search > Search Preferences and select Einstein Search Recommendations.

Note: The Einstein Search Recommendation preference is hidden by default with a feature switch. To enable, select Administration > Global Preferences > Feature Switches and select Einstein Search Recommendations.

Enabling this preference forces Einstein generated auto-correction and term-completion.

None of the Einstein search recommendations are affected by the suggestion term blacklist, and they are not guaranteed to yield results.

Simple Search Suggestion

For simple search term suggestions, the search field provides a list of up to 10 terms that help complete the query. The list of terms shown is updated with each letter the customer enters into the search field. If the customer selects a suggestion, it's used in the search query.

Search Suggestions Terms

Search suggestions always appear in lower case to avoid duplicates based on capitalization. The case in which the search term is entered doesn't affect the suggestions that appear.

If both single and plural values are added when creating suggestions, the single value is treated as a duplicate and only the plural form of the suggestion appears in the storefront. For example, even if you create blouses and blouse as search suggestions, only blouses appears as a search suggestion. The exception is if the plural form of the word has a different stem. For example, scarf and scarves both appear. However, if only the singular form is added as a suggestion, it appears in the singular.

All characters are retained from category names for search suggestions, including hyphens and ampersands. The full name of categories and brands always appears in the search suggestion.

Salesforce B2C Commerce automatically includes the following in the Suggest index:

In addition, you can also add terms or prevent terms from being suggested through the Search Suggestion feature in Business Manager. For example, if you wanted to add fringe as a suggestion for a new line of clothing. Alternatively, if you don't want the term Adult Videos suggested to the customer, adding it to the blacklist prevents it from appearing as a suggestion. However, remember that the suggestion term blacklist only affects suggested terms.

German umlaut and eszett characters (ü, ß) and standard replacement characters (ue, ss) are supported. Search suggestions appear as they are stored in the product catalog. For example, whether you enter träger or traeger, you see trägertops and träger-tops as suggestions for both.

Hit Count

Beside each search term, the customer sees the hit count for the search term on your site. Suggestions are sorted by hit count. The hit count indicates the number of products or articles that search has found in the storefront.
Note: The hit count doesn't consider the availability of the product, so it's possible for customers to click suggestions for products that are currently out of stock.
If you take products that are unavailable offline and rebuild the Suggest Index, these hits disappear. You can also customize the no results page to indicate that the selected product is out of stock and suggest alternatives. If you don't want to show the hit count, a developer can alter the ISML template to remove the hit count.

Search Suggestion Limitations

For optimal performance, B2C Commerce has placed some limitations on the terms included in the suggestion index:
  • Suggestions that don't lead to results are not included in the suggest index.
  • Query terms with more than 50 characters are not included in the suggest index.
  • When adding custom search suggestions, the term must appear in indexed catalog data. Search suggestions for indexed content data are currently not supported.

Simple and Enhanced Search Differences

The difference between the simple and enhanced search suggestions are as follows:

Simple Search Term Completion Enhanced Search Term Completion
Supports categories, brands, and extra phrases. Supports categories, brands, extra phrases, and product and content pages.

  Supports search as you type for products, content, categories, and brands.
Supports whole phrase matches. For example, the category "Digital Camera," is suggested when the customer starts entering digit, but not when they start entering the second word of the phrase, "camera." Supports suggestions with matches that are independent of word position, for example, it suggests "Digital Camera" when the customer enters camera.
Hit counts are pre-calculated and can be outdated. Hit counts are not provided.
  Supports auto correction and auto completion of terms, for example, both terms of the input text, “digit cam” auto-completes to “digital camera.”
  All standard features used for storefront search are used for enhanced search suggest, such as compound words, stop words, and sorting rules.