Not all of us are gifted spellers. Or typists. Add to that the fact that more and more of us are multi-tasking, searching for products and information on the go, using mobile devices with tiny, tiny keypads, and it’s easy to see why it’s important for eCommerce retailers to have search capabilities that understand and correct misspellings. The online shopper sitting leisurely at a desktop computer using a full size qwerty keyboard is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
You may think your website search already offers spelling correction. And it probably does have some basic functionality in that area. But is the spelling correction good enough to deliver the correct results even when the error may not be an obvious misspelling?
Many eCommerce search engines use the equivalent of a pocket dictionary to catch misspellings. This may catch common misspellings of common words, but falls far short when it comes to brand names, industry terms or incorrect part numbers.
EasyAsk uses all the words in your product database as a reference for valid spelling. When it’s unable to get an exact match, a powerful algorithm identifies the closest logical alternative. For example, if a buyer mistypes the word “jeans” as “jeens,” EasyAsk will automatically return results for “jeans.”
But EasyAsk doesn’t stop there. EasyAsk can generate the most likely correction for the misspelling, but also display other possible options as well. To continue the example, perhaps the shopper really meant to type in “teens.” EasyAsk will also deliver that possible alternative – if the client user has chosen to expand the options on their display. EasyAsk’s spell correction gives the eCommerce site complete control over how expanded the search result is that is presented to the online shopper.
Perhaps the biggest benefit good spell correction makes is to eliminate the No Results page. If your search capability can understand what the likely intent of the user is, it can deliver results even if the term or phrase is entered incorrectly. Since the number one job of your eCommerce search engine is to make sure results are returned whenever possible, this becomes an extremely important feature.
EasyAsk’s natural language search capabilities can linguistically process an entire search phrase to understand the complete context of the query. Misspellings or not, accurate results are delivered.
Maybe it’s a good thing our fourth grade teachers didn’t know that technology would bring us to the point where we are today – we might all be worse spellers than we already are.