Natural Language vs. Textual Site Search

February 27, 2019

Natural Language vs. Textual Site Search

Typewriters gave way to computers. Floppy disks were replaced by flash drives. Polaroids were driven to extinction by the digital camera. As history has shown us, newer, better technologies are likely to always win out. What’s next in this progression of antiquated innovations? The answer is text-based site search.

Site search that’s still powered by keyword matching or plain text interpretation is soon to go the way of the dinosaur, in favor of semantic search and natural language processing (NLP). Why? Well, like all things now obsolete, it’s falling out of favor and unable to keep up with new demands from other technologies surrounding it.

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons to consider switching to Celebros and semantic search if you’re still relying on a soon-to-be antiquated text-based search function:

1. It’s more efficient: If no keywords or text string match up in a general search, you’re not going to be putting applicable products in front of customers—it’s as simple as that. With semantic search, language processing is robust, meaning products, variables and attributes are recognized and properly comprehended by your site search. This efficiency prevents null, convoluted or inapplicable results. It can even help substitute alternative results if no applicable products exist.

2. Spoken-word searching: More and more indirect searches are being made on your ecommerce website each day. When people ask Siri or Alexa to look up a product, you’re dealing with a digital personal assistant. Because a middleman is now involved, your search processing must be on-point: it has to translate your needs, which have already been translated by a digital personal assistant! In this situation keyword searching simply won’t cut it.

3. Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping the way ecommerce is evolving. With more and more devices being enabled for online action, ecommerce websites need a way to help process search queries that may be imperfect or incomplete. Thanks to NLP, more succinct searches still yield comprehensive results, which means better feasibility for ecommerce sites working in tandem with developing technologies in the IoT.

4. Data cultivation: Data is the single most important tool in growing your ecommerce. Celebros understands this and provides you with data that reaches deep down into the minutia, to provide you with actionable information that can be used to improve your ecommerce beyond just the site search. Find out what your customers are looking for, what terms and language they’re using, what volumes are being searched, how hard it is for customers to find something, etc. Then, put this data to work in improving your ecommerce. By comparison, text-based search data only tells you what you already know: the keywords you’re optimizing for.

5. Search functions are becoming answer functions: For years Google has been transitioning from a “search engine” into an “answer engine.” This encourages searchers to have a conversation with the search box, rather than pump in a string of keywords. As a result, customers are developing habits that they take with them to local site search. This means your site search needs to function as Google does to be effective: as an answer machine. Text-based search simply can’t handle more sophisticated queries; semantic search can.ext-based searching is about to join cassette tapes, rotary phones and the Dodo, and we’re helping to usher in its replacement: semantic site search. Get it today and see for yourself why it’s an essential tool for eCommerce success.