April 25, 2019

Applying the Benefits of Headless Technology to Search

There has been a lot of talk in the last few years about headless CMS (content management systems) and headless commerce. Any headless technology allows developers and designers to have complete creative control in how content is being presented to website users on the front end without dealing with the complexities of the backend code. When you actually peak behind the curtain on headless technology, what is fueling the excitement are the freedom and flexibility it gives website designers and developers to accomplish their project goals.

The concept of adaptability, flexibility and control also applies a great deal to the successful and effective integration of on-site search and recommendation engines with the websites that depend on them. HawkSearch stands out in the marketplace as a leader for its ability to be customizable and adapt to the exact business needs of every customer. Here are some of the reasons why HawkSearch is able to be utilized by so many online businesses, regardless of type, size or industry.

Platform Agnostic

No matter what platform a website or app is operating on, HawkSearch can be seamlessly integrated quickly and easily. The powerful search technology and features found in HawkSearch are not tied or dependent upon any specific platform or system in order to deliver personalized, relevant search results for online visitors. HawkSearch can be implemented on all major CMS and commerce platforms, as well as any custom or home grown versions. Regardless of the platform being utilized, HawkSearch can function flawlessly in any digital environment.

Industry Agnostic

HawkSearch has been successfully implemented on websites and apps of nearly every type of industry. Whether it be ecommerce, healthcare, education, manufacturing, association or non-for-profit, HawkSearch’ s unique ability to provide both meaningful search results and AI driven recommendations for users and powerful marketing/merchandising tools for companies has been successfully utilized across all areas of the internet. The search and recommendation capabilities are extremely adaptable and flexible to be tailor fit to any application.

Federated Search

Today’s websites and apps contain an enormous amount of information, which can often live on many platforms. Another good example of the adaptability within HawkSearch is the federated search strategy. When a site visitor or app user does a search inquiry, they want to retrieve all the relevant information that a website has to offer. The federated search approach looks for information in the aggregate, regardless of what platform the data is housed. This kind of search flexibility produces a much higher quality of personalized, relevant search results for front end users.

Customized, Flexible Integration Options

HawkSearch has many options with regard to integration methods. Full API Developers who utilize the full API have complete flexibility over how their search and recommendations functionality appears and works with regard to their site visitors. With this method, HawkSearch takes care of providing the logic and processing for calculating the search results. Developers can acquire all related information via an API call and use this information for building the presentation layer. The presentation layer is completely subject to the website’s or app’s design and development characteristics. Full API provides total control over how visitors will experience the search journey. This integration method is ideal for website designers and developers who want the search experience to reflect their specific feel and branding.


This integration approach is designed for online organizations who prefer a more automated method as it relates to the presentation of search results and related content. With this option, HawkSearch fully populates the search results, navigation and facet selection directly onto the customer’s landing page.

HawkSearch generated HTML snippets are injected into the specific div elements on the page that are designed as containers for search specific functionality-like facets, pagination and results. The JavaScript option is ideal for websites that may not have adequate design and development resources available to them, but still desire to provide their customers with personalized, relevant and meaningful search or recommendation experiences.


This third option is an effective blending of both the Full API and JavaScript integration methods. Here, developers still benefit from the HawkSearch fed HTML information to populate facets and pagination. However, they can choose to get the results object back as JSON that they can use to parse and build their presentation layer for the results area. An added feature to this integration approach is that marketers and merchandisers can still influence the logic for the search results and developers can control the overall look and feel of the search experience. Utilizing the dashboard tools available within HawkSearch, marketers, merchandisers or developers can create boost and bury rules, utilize pinning, banners, link synonyms and much more. The Hybrid/Proxy method is ideal for websites that need to utilize their business and presentation logic for the search results themselves but want to save development time by using the pre-built robust facet designs provided by Hawksearch. Merchandisers and marketers can control faceting and pagination behavior from the dashboard and use tools to accomplish their specific marketing goals.

While the freedom and flexibility of headless CMS and commerce is being celebrated, it’s also critical to remember the many significant benefits these attributes have in today’s successful on-site search and recommendation tools. Regardless of the industry, platform or integration method, HawkSearch can be completely customizable and adaptable to meet the unique digital experiences being delivered to your customers.


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