April 19, 2021

Have an Automotive Website? Here’s How HawkSearch Can Help You

Search is important for any website, but it is especially critical for automotive sites. Automotive commerce catalogs are not only large, but also complex - making it difficult for users to confidently find exactly what they are looking for. As an example, let's break down the values of a typical wheel rim. There is the wheel diameter, the wheel width, the bolt pattern, the brand/manufacturer, price, finish, color, and so on. Add to this the complexity of also associating Year, Make, and Model fitment data and you could possibly turn that one generic wheel rim into hundreds of unique products. How a user searches to find this data could differ dramatically from one user to the next.

One user could expect to be able to use the search box and enter “2014 Ford F150 wheel rim” and find the rims that will fit that specific vehicle. However, another user would expect to be able to search on the terms “20x10 6x5.5 chrome” and have the most relevant results returned. The problem is most site search solutions fall apart when tasked with understanding all the various data points users may search on, and the relationship between the individual product, and the hundreds of vehicles that they can be applied to. To further complicate things, you still have standard search issues like misspellings as well as special characters to account for. In the “2014 Ford F150 wheel rim” search, the fact that the search term is F150, where the catalog lists the product as F-150 (with a dash) could lead to either too many results that do not fit their specific vehicle, or no results at all with many site search solutions.

With HawkSearch, we are not only aware of the unique challenges that the automotive commerce client faces, but we have built solutions for those challenges.

At the core of HawkSearch is our powerful relevancy tools which were built to handle the complex relationships between large catalogs with numerous attributes. We have designed normalizers that work at the data field level to better parse the values contained within each field, and to treat those values as unique. This allows us to treat a data point like ‘Wheel Width’ differently than how we look at a data point like the product’s name or the category the product lives in. This allows us to confidently handle long tail keyword searches using product attributes.

HawkSearch was also built to work with multiple data sources, allowing us to easily integrate with automotive data sources that are commonly used to streamline the “Year Make Model” relationship/fitment data (or to even pull in 3rd party data sources like user reviews!). This federated approach to data sources means HawkSearch can leverage any data an automotive client might have that is needed to drive accurate results for their site search.  Automotive clients can then leverage all of the data HawkSearch has indexed for search to drive additional functionality like navigation/category pages, and product recommendations – including accessories. The merchandising functionality of HawkSearch also means that our automotive clients are not only showing the most relevant results to their users, but also the results that they want their users to see.

Finally, HawkSearch is an extensible and configurable tool for the automotive commerce site. With our ability to index and understand the complexities of the automotive catalog, HawkSearch has been used to power advanced functionality like Year/Make/Model fitment selectors and displays that show both exact fit products and possible fit products.

Curious how HawkSearch can help your automotive site search experience?

Contact us today to schedule a demonstration!


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