July 21, 2020

The Hidden Secrets of Site Search: All You Need to Know About HawkSearch

At HawkSearch Forum 2020, Brendan Cameron, the Strategic Account Director, and Stephanie Brudvik, the Senior Business Analyst presented a look into underutilized tools offered by the Hawksearch platform. In this session, we described how the HawkSearch platform delivers more than search table stakes, but also takes enterprise on-site search to the next level. We recognize search is more than a nice feature, but a requirement when it comes to ecommerce and complex buying cycles as noted in a recent blog, If They Can’t Find It, They Can’t Buy It: Why You Need Facets and Filters in Site Search.

Several topics covered during this session were the concepts of facets, product comparisons, the HawkSearch workbench, analytics & interpretations, A/B testing, merchandising widgets, and content landing pages. This functionality enhances the traditional search functionality and takes the customer journey to a more satisfying and successful next level.

Filters and Facets

Filters and facets enhance search by providing control on how the navigation panel of your site will appear to visitors. Facets that will be presented help to guide them in the search experience. This narrows down results within established fields based on visitors’ selections. HawkSearch allows for the configuration of the facets in the workbench (management user interface). The recent searches facets show up to the last five searches and provide shortcuts to the search results for the keywords.

Recent Search in Facets

Related search results are also important for merchandising. The HawkSearch workbench provides suggestions for related search terms as well as results based on common results. This configuration is managed with a few simple clicks as seen here:

Search can also be performed within facets. This allows users to search within search results or records on a landing page.

Product Comparison

According to a recent survey, 42% of customers are expecting comparison tools to be used when searching for products and offerings. Another key point recognized by Digital Commerce 360 states, 94% of visitors coming to a B2B site  are doing initial research on products for purchase. HawkSearch delivers enhance product comparison capabilities in the platform. This functionality enhances the ecommerce solutions in the market by providing the relevant results and recommendations along with the side-by-side comparison the customer is looking to see.

Product Comparison View from HawkSearch

Omni-channel delivery is equally important for ecommerce. 59% of all ecommerce sales are completed on a smartphone. HawkSearch optimizes search results across any platform and provides metrics to measure user interactions regardless of the device they are searching on.

HawkSearch Workbench Preview

So, we have been mentioning the HawkSearch workbench and now we would like to describe what you can achieve in this tool. First, let’s discuss the basics. The front-end landing page on an ecommerce site would have some of the elements we just reviewed. Within the workbench, you have an easy way to select the date/time for the preview you would like to view. Here, you can understand the relevancy score, net boost amount to apply, the unique ID, the pinning flag, and open advanced explanation to amplify the product you would want to promote or boost/bury. The advanced explanation shows the relevancy factors for each keyword-field match and provides options to view the full text. This shows the full calculation of the relevancy score. Note, you will want to make sure to turn on advance explanation in the preview settings.

Relevancy factors are also a key feature in the workbench. You have the ability to fine-tune and adjust parameters to achieve the exact results you are looking for with the site. These factors are:

•Field Weight – measures how much matched text is about the search term

•Term Frequency – measures how often the term appears in the document

•Doc Frequency – measures how often the term appears across the index

•Query Weight – provides the product of the document frequency and query norms

•Query Norms – normalization factor so queries can be compared

•Field Norm – measures the importance of a term according to the total number of terms in the field  

Rules reporting is another focus in the workbench. This is a new section that displays the merchandising rules that can impact a record. Available within preview, you can “view rules” to see how the rules impact the results.

Analytics & Interpretation

HawkSearch offers a robust set of analytics and interpretations natively on the platform. This allows the user to create innovative strategies while optimizing costs and enhancing productivity. By leveraging this functionality, the user can identify any problems, get metrics, leverage expert results, and execute while delivering the proper response. This functionality encourages agility and promotes product development.

HawkSearch Search Reports

HawkSearch offers report scenarios that outline poor results, top results, and ways to improve the promotion of content to increase impressions.

A/B Testing

According to Wikipedia, A/B testing is a user experience research methodology. A/B tests consist of a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. It includes the application of statistical hypothesis testing or "two-sample hypothesis testing" as used in the field of statistics. HawkSearch delivers ways to increase exposure of your products by providing these multiple views while top-ranking the results for the higher-performing content.  HawkSearch can connect to any A/B testing platform such as Optimizely, Evergage, AB Tasty, and Unbounce, to name a few. By using the visitor targets, the A/B testing traffic will trigger each target. This allows the admin to create a different experience for each target.

So, how do you perform A/B testing?

It's simple. First, you pick one variable to test. Identify the goal then determine how long you want to test that variable. Once this is completed, then you can define significant results associated with the viable. It is best practice to perform one test at a time. “A mistake that some companies make is to start moving a bunch of levers around without clear planning upfront for what they're trying to optimize—and what will be impacted by those changes.”   ― Dan Siroker, "A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers"

Merchandising Widgets

What are widgets? In HawkSearch, we define widgets as custom, created, and architected ways to provide a powerful display and functionality for merchandising.  Widgets can be used in a number of different use cases. This could be popular searches, custom catalogs, custom brands, custom Year/Make/Model, to name a few.

Content Landing Pages

Landing pages are ways you can provide specific web pages to drive and generate leads, collect prospect demographics, track data, remove distractions, force decisions as well as test and optimize your expected results.

Custom Landing Page Configuration within HawkSearch Workbench

In summary, HawkSearch provides a robust way to enhance your ecommerce on-site search by going above and beyond the basic table stakes of traditional search engines. This look into the underutilized tools provided by HawkSearch hopefully provided you with a summary of the power of the HawkSearch platform but also exposed why traditional search does not meet the need for today’s ecommerce websites. Learn more about HawkSearch by clicking here or contact us at sales@hawksearch.com.


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