Ecommerce Site Search is Broken: How to Fix it with Open Source Software

Businesses that fail to provide effective ecommerce tools – including site search – risk a loss of sales to competitors. There is often a disconnect between those who maintain site search and those who understand customer needs and behaviour. This article describes a ‘measurement, experiment, repeat’ approach and introduces a suite of open source tools (‘Chorus’) that supports rapid experimentation and implementation and which gives control of site search back to search teams.

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The Data-Driven Search Team

Search data is key to understanding customers. This article explores the competencies and roles required to gain actionable insights from customer search data. Four broad competencies are required: data, engineering, product and business. The roles required for each competency are described. Data from successful search teams is used to show levels of involvement from each competency.

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The Enterprise Search User Experience

While research shows that different types of searchers interact differently with search applications, vendors are unlikely to offer an interface that is optimised for specific tasks or customisable by the user. Examples of how the user experience can be improved include ensuring results are presented for ease of scanning and reviewing and providing a well structured and presented snippet. Vendors that focus on customisable interfaces will find it easier to differentiate their products in the marketplace.

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