Searchspring's Autocomplete is the helpful list of suggestions that appears instantly while typing in the search box. With unparalleled speed, it surfaces the most relevant search term predictions to your shoppers. Suggestions are dynamically refined as customers type additional words and phrases, delivering the fast and relevant results that your customers expect. Spelling Correction is also baked into our latest releases.
AutoComplete adds many benefits for your store. It increases conversions by creating a seamless flow to guide your shoppers, reduces friction and clicks, increases shopper engagement, and pulls in existing merchandising rules and content to give you more control over its behavior.
Out of the box, AutoComplete is also fully mobile responsive, can be customized to add things like "Add to Cart" buttons directly within the popup, and provides instant filtering options.
Interested in showing Popular Searches to your shoppers when they engage with your search box? Read More »
How It Works
We have put a lot of love into how AutoComplete can create the best experience for your shoppers.
In the blink of an eye, we perform several intelligent calculations every single time a shopper enters a new character into their search: We check for similar terms in your product data and we run a spell correction if needed to generate the most relevant search suggestions possible.
All of this happens in the instant before we even show the AutoComplete pop up. In most cases, we'll also do a micro search for the top suggested search to show a preview of its results when the shopper hovers their cursor over a suggested term. Then, once the shopper clicks on a suggested term, AutoComplete reroutes the shopper to the results page for the suggested search term.
Okay, give me the details
Here's a more in-depth view of how the whole process works:
When a shopper enters text into a search field, they may click Enter to search for their original query or they may select a query suggestion from the Autocomplete container. If the shopper decides to search with their original query, the search passes through the Searchspring Search API before generating a result. The Search API uses Expanded Search to look for a similar match in the product catalog (as opposed to a Strict Search which attempts to find an exact match to the entered term). If this generates a result, the search results are presented to the user.
If this does not generate a result, the system looks for a suggested query. If a suggested query exists, then the search will instead be conducted with the top suggested search term. If no suggested queries exist, then the shopper sees a zero results page.
A search with a suggested term may or may not generate a result. The latter, for instance, may occur if an item is out of stock, and the user would therefore rerouted to a zero results page. However, more often than not, the shopper is rerouted to a results page for the suggested term, which is accompanied by a note that the search was conducted with a suggested term.
Displaying to the User
The pop-up modal that the user sees will usually look something like this:
As the user types out their search query, the Spelling Correction Algorithm returns search suggestions in real-time, and presents these suggestions in the AutoComplete container.
The suggestions themselves are listed on the left side. If the shopper hovers their cursor over a suggestion, the Autocomplete container displays a preview of the product results for that query.
If the user hovers their cursor over a suggested search query, the Autocomplete container displays the results that the user would see if they complete the search with the suggested term.
In the example above, the shopper typed "dresz". The top suggestion is "dress", for which product results are previewed to the right - including filtering options.
When hitting “Enter”
When hitting Enter, the shopper is taken to a product result page that corresponds to the original search query entered by the shopper . If the search query has a matching result in the product catalog, then the shopper will see search results for that query. If the search query does not have a matching result in the product catalog, then the shopper will see search results for the top suggested search query. The latter includes a notice that there were no results for the intended search query and so we instead searched for a suggested term.
If the original search query does not generate a result, we instead conduct a search for the top suggested search query and inform the customer that "Hmm, we couldn't find anything for "what you searched for", so we searched for "a suggested query".
Want Something Different?
Older versions of Spell Correction may function differently. V3 of Spell Correction forces shoppers to use suggested queries each time they hit enter. This also included a “Search instead for” prompt to allow shoppers to return to their original query. If you’d like to upgrade to the new version of Spell Correction, please reach out to your Customer Success Representative to request an upgrade to your site's behavior.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What about terms that are set up as synonyms?
Synonyms created in Searchspring will be reflected in Autocomplete suggestions.
Is it possible to apply background filters to the autocomplete results?
Yes. Background filters can be added to the Autocomplete results, though you may need to ask us for the specific code needed depending on your e-commerce platform.
Can IntelliSuggest be removed from Autocomplete?
Yes, though you will need to reach out to Searchspring support for additional assistance.
Why does Autocomplete not close when I select a filter?
Autocomplete allows for filtering down the results within the Autocomplete window so that the results can be narrowed, therefore it remains open until a user clicks on a product or outside the Autocomplete window. Behind the Autocomplete window, the search results page automatically updates according to the selected filters.
How do I update from V2 to V3 Autocomplete?
An upgrade to V3 Autocomplete requires a mockup and an update to your contract with Searchspring. Please reach out to your Customer Success Representative to discuss this upgrade to your account.
When to contact Searchspring support:
- Product links go to the wrong product pages
- Prices aren't accurate
- Image urls aren't populating
Why does Autocomplete flash and then go away?
If your site integration is new, Autocomplete has not had time to learn user interaction. As a result, it is defaulting to Google Analytics data, which contains search terms users have entered. These terms may or may not be products in your store. When Autocomplete determines there is not a match in the database for the search term, it automatically closes, giving this flash. This resolves itself with time and user interaction.
Why are the Autocomplete suggestions and the search results sometimes different?
The Autocomplete API will only search for the core Name and SKU fields, while the regular Search API will search every field that is marked as "searchable" in the Searchspring dashboard, thus returning a larger and more varied selection of products.