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Sweetwater Sound

Bringing Music To Life Through Successful Search

Since 1979, Sweetwater has been committed to giving music makers the ultimate shopping experience. As a pioneer of ecommerce in the early 1990’s, Sweetwater has methodically leveraged the internet to expand their business. As a result, Sweetwater.com now serves as the #1 online retail destination for music gear in the United States. Whether it's Sweetwater's human approach to building personal relationships with their customers, the numerous free value-adds or their unparalleled "too-good-to-betrue" customer service, Sweetwater.com continues to be the preferred shopping destination for music makers — whether beginners or rock stars.




  • Search Fields/Analyzers/Weighting
  • Search Facets
  • One-Way and Multi-Way
  • Synonyms
  • "Copy to" Multiple Analyzer
  • Functionality
  • Boost/Bury Rules


  • Search Accuracy

    With over 30,000 products and more than 125,000 pages on their website, the Sweetwater team needed a site search product that would deliver pinpoint accuracy and relevant results. Previous search engines failed to surface all relevant content, which led to site visitors viewing unwanted information.

  • Enhanced Side Navigation

    The music industry — home to some of the most advanced and nuanced technology on the planet — thrives on product specifications. Sweetwater previously lacked the ability to ensure only relevant facets were returned in side navigation.

  • Synonym Integration

    Site visitors often use different search terms to refer to the same product. Search synonyms play an important role in ensuring accurate, relevant search results. Adding synonyms used to be a manual process for Sweetwater, which limited the scale at which they could be applied to site search.



Sweetwater conducted a comprehensive survey of the site search marketplace and chose Hawksearch due to its ability to provide extremely relevant search results and integrate with pre-existing business logic. In addition, Hawksearch provided an advanced marketing workbench that enabled Sweetwater to creatively control boost rules, enhance side navigation and fully maximize the use of facets.


As a result of implementing Hawksearch, the Sweetwater website has enjoyed profound improvements in several key areas.

  • Improved Search Result Quality

    When a visitor searches for a specific product, Hawksearch matches their query to site data that Sweetwater's marketing team has weighted for relevance. Built-in Hawksearch analyzers allow visitors to enter a variety of search descriptions and still be recognized by the search engine. Should more than one analyzer be needed for a given field, Hawksearch's “copy to” feature allows Sweetwater to duplicate the setting found on a field's primary analyzer. Boost and bury rules further tailor which products will be featured and weighted in specific situations.

    Prior to Hawksearch, a query for “red guitar” not only returned guitars of that color but also red guitar straps, picks, and pedals. After a bit of tweaking within the Hawksearch platform, "red guitar" searches now prominently feature the most relevant products for that search query — guitars.

  • Side Navigation Efficiency

    Side navigation filters are an important part of any search experience and Hawksearch has enabled Sweetwater to make full use of product facets as on-page filters. A previous search tool required all facets to be returned at all times, hiding unused facets on-page and limiting overall facet count. Hawksearch selectively displays relevant facets, leading to faster, more efficient search returns.

  • Maximizing The Use of Synonyms

    Hawksearch seamlessly integrates with Sweetwater’s existing alias tables, and they now enjoy automated synonym updates for both "one-way" and "multi-way" synonyms.

site searches per day
year over year web visits with site search
year over year transactions with site search
year over year conversion rate with site search

"Hawksearch allows us to customize our on-site search experience. Now search relevance is only ever a few clicks away!"

   Sam Dickinson
   Data Strategy and Analytics Manager