Making Fuzzy Searching Even Better


Here’s a little ecommerce trick that everyone seems to forget about.

Make sure that your customers can find the product they want, when they do a search using your store’s built-in search function!

At Spiffy Stores we try to strive for excellence in the way we design and build our software. This sometimes means going back to look at existing functions to see if we can improve them in some way.

This is part of our philosophy and it’s a way of setting us apart from the general way of the Internet where lots of colour and movement appear to be more important than providing something with real substance.

So, some months ago, when we had a few queries from customers wondering if there was a way to provide a better fuzzy search capability, we decided to have another look at how we provide our search function. It’s import that, no matter what the customer types in as a search query, we need to try to match the results as accurately as possible.

This makes a lot of sense. If a customer is searching for a product, and doesn’t find it easily, then they’ll move along to the next retailer. As a store owner, it’s in your best interests to try to find what the customer wants as accurately as possible.

It turns out that most of the off-the-shelf search software doesn’t really do a very good job when it comes to fuzzy searching. Writing code to produce a really good fuzzy search is actually quite difficult, so we ended up writing our own custom code to support fuzzy searching, and it looks like the results are pretty encouraging. We’re going to continue to monitor the performance of our search data, and hopefully this means that store owners will start seeing improved sales as customers start to get better search matches.

For everyone out there who’s not a Spiffy Store owner, why not spend a few moments trying out your current store’s search function and see how good it is at finding what you want. The chances are that it’s been developed using a stock-standard search package, and you may be losing sales because your customers aren’t easily finding exactly what they want.