Dynamic Search Refinements Improve Usability

Posted by Kish Maharaj, April 6th, 2012 at 9:45 am PST
Categories: Site Search, Site Search Tips | 1 Comment »
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Basic search refinements make it easy for customers to find what they are looking, but dynamic search refinements can supercharge your site search experience and provide a host of other usability benefits. They can help customers find exactly what they are looking for more quickly, make it easier to compare products, and reduce the risk of purchasing the wrong product.

Dynamic search refinements go beyond basic filter criteria such as price or brand. They are comprised of specific product features and specifications. And, they only appear in the product categories where they are relevant. In this example from Wholesale Tool, when a customer begins his search for a drill, he is presented with a relatively small list of refinements including category, origin and price range. Then, as he narrows the selection down to the “Air Tools” category, he is presented with many more refinements that are specific to the available air tools. This includes product specifications like the type of air inlet, average air consumption, RPM, and net weight.

Refinements for “Drill” Refinements After Selecting “Air Tools”
search-refinement-drill-1 search-refinement-drill-2

These search refinements change dynamically based on the product category that is selected. If the customer decides he wants to look at bits for his new drill, the refinements change to include things like size, type, flute length, diameter, and more. And, with over 200 types of drill bits to choose from, you can see how helpful this would be for a customer who was only interested in drill bits that had a flute length of 1-3/4 inches. Selecting that would quickly narrow the list of choices down to just five.

search-refinement-drill-bit

Another helpful feature is that the refinement groups are sticky. Thus, the customer can select one brand of drill bits and then narrow the selection further to a specific size of drill bit from that brand. Using dynamic search refinements also helps you improve usability by minimizing the filter options early in the search and ensuring that they only expand with options that are relevant to the product category of interest.

When your product catalog includes items that have features and specifications that are important buying criteria for your customers, consider implementing dynamic search refinements to improve their site search experience.

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One Response to “Dynamic Search Refinements Improve Usability”

  1. Product Tagging – The Hidden Workhorse of Top Retail Search Experiences - SLI Systems Blog Says:

    […] with search keywords as well as power advanced refinement options.  This includes options like the dynamic search refinements discussed in an earlier blog […]

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