Using Personalized Search & Navigation

Every site visitor is different, and looking for different things on your website. Moreover, user behavior changes from one day to the next.

Personalized Search & Navigation customizes a site visitor's search results and landing pages by considering the visitor's activity and your business rules. When you use Personalized Search & Navigation with Optimizely Commerce, relevancy is unique to each visitor so should increase conversions on your website. For example, a teenage soccer fan looking for team apparel gets different results from a new mother looking for baby items, even though both search for "shoes".

Benefits of Personalized Search & Navigation

  • Increased sales. Optimizing the search experience has been shown to increase revenue.
  • Better engagement. Improved experience encourages customers to keep shopping.
  • Better conversion rates. Easier for customers to find products they are looking for.
  • Better retention. Positive experiences encourage customers to return to your site.

Personalized Search & Navigation: Part of a personalization strategy

Many Optimizely products enable you to personalize the site visitor experience. For example, you can personalize related merchandise, and offer discounts based on a site visitor's history. This topic only covers Personalized Search & Navigation. To learn about other personalization features, see Optimizely Personalization.

How Personalized Search & Navigation works

Personalized Search & Navigation tracks the following visitor information for the current session.

  • traffic source
  • search query
  • categories visited
  • selected facets: color, size, brand
  • use of ratings and reviews

Personalized Search & Navigation analyzes that information along with knowledge from previous interactions (preferences, purchases) in order to boost search results and landing pages so that the most relevant items for that individual appear at the top.

Personalized Search & Navigation cannot affect external search results.

Other factors affecting search results

Ranking and weighting of search results can also consider a merchandiser's business rules or strategies. So, best-selling items, high conversion rates, most revenue, or most units sold can also be used to affect search results. The result is an optimal ordering of search results for every user.

Example of search results before and after personalization is applied

Default content displayed to "unknown" visitor

Image: Headboard 1

Content displayed after visitor clicked "bed headboards"

Image: Headboard 2

Another Personalized Search & Navigation Example

Notice how the boosting attributes moved the Faded Glory shoes to the top of the search results.

Image: Boosting attributes

Enabling Personalized Search & Navigation

To add Personalized Search & Navigation, a developer needs to install and configure the personalization service on your website. The developer must also customize search queries so that the factors described above can boost results. For more information, see Personalized Search & Navigation.