Author: Natalia Bazanova
Whether you have physical shops or not, your website is considered another shopfront, and customers will treat it that way. If you can't find something in a shop, you ask a sales assistant. But what about if you can’t find something on a businesses website? There's often no online shop assistant to ask for help. That's where your customers will turn to a powerful search function to find out what they need from you.
But what if your search function doesn’t return relevant results? Well, in short, your customers will go elsewhere. Most likely, straight to your competition.
Oracle’s WebCenter Sites gives the simplicity and flexibility to manage complex, yet visually attractive, responsive websites. By combining WebCenter Sites with the power of Solr open-source search engine, we are able to deliver fast and information rich websites for our customers.
The additional functionality that Solr brings to Sites is the ability to offer the ‘Google’ style search that customers of today have become so accustomed to.
Using the Solr integration, we are able to enhance our customer’s web search results with various filters and facets, enabling web users to more easily drill down to the most relevant areas to them. It allows multi-lingual support; a bonus for a global website like BAE Systems which is hosted in many languages worldwide.
Solr’s geo-spatial search qualities also allow search results to incorporate location data. For The Prince’s Trust, this means their website is able to display relevant courses to website users depending on where in the UK they are based.
Surprisingly, many modern websites still cannot accommodate spelling mistakes, a basic expectation of many website users. Solr search engine makes spelling suggestions, as well as fuzzy matches, whereby the search function will offer suggestions such as ‘did you mean this…?’ to find the most relevant content quickly, even if there is no exact match for the keywords used.
Any changes to page content are immediately reflected in search results and the relevancy
of the result documents. This enables marketing teams to make updates without website users seeing any disconnect in the search results. They are able to dynamically build filters and facets.
The importance of search can often be overlooked when creating a website. Remember – if your website is your storefront, then search can be your sales assistant. Both The Prince’s Trust and BAE Systems are benefiting from this enriched search functionality; and so are their customers.