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How website faceted search improves
the buying experience

How website faceted search improves the buying experience

User experience is as crucial as Search Engine Optimisation on a website. If users can easily navigate your site, they will come back to it. There's no point having a fully optimised site that just isn't converting into sales because of blockers on the user's journey. One way to make the path a little easier is to use faceted search. Read more to discover how it can help to improve user's experience on your website.

What is faceted search?
Whilst your copious product range might be the main reason users visit your website, they don't want to have to trawl through this range to find the specific item they are looking for. This is where a faceted search comes in handy. It looks to analyse the data and exclude any that doesn't match its specific results by providing numerous filters which enable you to narrow down your search.

What is the difference between filter categories and faceted search?
Although they may often be confused, filters and facets are actually different. A filter is just narrowing down the search by one particular feature such as size, whereas faceted search lets you narrow down your results by selecting multiple category options such as size, colour and price.

What are the benefits of faceted search?
Along with improving the user journey by simplifying the process, it also helps users to understand the amount of content and/or products they can search for by offering numerous choices and selections. This can help to showcase your range as users will be unlikely to search pages and pages of products or results but this means they might not be fully aware of the variety or depth of your product range.

What are the difficulties of faceted search?
Although great for user experience, faceted search has a higher tech development cost in its initial set-up due to the requirements of different functionalities. The system would have to be designed and products tagged so that it actually works, and separate meta content would also be required for each facet option.

Some search engine crawlers can have difficulties with faceted navigation so its worth spending your time setting it up properly so it doesn't affect your site's SEO value. One easy tip is to not create facets for options that don't exist, and instead grey or block out options that don't match your product criteria.

How should best use my faceted search?
Remember that this feature's main benefit is to improve the user experience of your website. With that in mind, you might want to consider fixing your faceted search to the sidebar of your category listing page which would allow you to alter your search regardless of where you are in the product listings. Another thing to consider is whether you would require a submit function or if the facets would react automatically, though this would be an extra time and cost to consider.

Considered faceted search for your eBay shop too?
You are probably wondering if it’s supported within eBay shops. The truth is, it’s not – or at least not part of the standard platform eBay provide. However, over the last 4 years we’ve been developing a technology which does just that and we call it Helium3. It’s been so successful we now have it deployed on over 200 high street retail stores.

A simple module with a huge amount of flexibility tailored to individual needs covering multiple languages, supporting all eBay sites – hay we even worked with eBay America to deliver it in Russian!

Feel free to check the feature list out here:

Need some assistance?
If you are unsure about the implementation of faceted search or require some consultation advice, why not make the whole process that extra bit easier and let us help your business? We’ve had over 10 years’ experience working with various implemented web technologies.

We have worked with over 600 businesses on over 1,000 web projects. If you are interested in finding out more or seeing some of the work for yourself – don’t hesitate to contact us by email: [email protected]

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