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9TH MARCH 2022

Salesforce Commerce Cloud: How to Optimize the Internal Site Search

Do users that use a website internal search always manage to find what they are looking for?

Based on our experience in the e-commerce field, providing users an answer consistent with their searches is a very easy,yet crucial concept.
Usually, a user landing on a website is interested in the items sold on it, and therefore prone to conversion: facilitating their internal search is essential, in order to streamline their purchasing process.

But how can we do that?

The purchasing process can be streamlined by optimizing internal searches concerning the brand and the related industry sector.

We have gathered some tips and best practices, to optimize the internal search on Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC). Differently from other resources, SFCC is equipped with native tools that can help you analyze and optimize internal searches, without the need for a system integrator.


Benefits of optimizing the internal site search with SFCC


  • Finding the items they need and are looking for in the shortest time possible, thus ending the navigation process positively and satisfactorily
  • Exploring the catalogue thoroughly, with targeted searches, sometimes capable of grasping specific details that would otherwise not be taken into consideration
  • Preventing the discontent and frustration generated by an inconsistent or inconclusive search


  • Increasing conversions, thanks to the internal search engine
  • Improving user experience on the website, by providing an accurate and prompt answer to user needs, and encouraging them to come back and search for other items

When optimizing the internal search, keep in mind the following goals, to guide this intervention and make it effective and correct:

  • Analyzing and improving the website internal search engine‘s operation
  • Intercepting new interesting trends for users, in order to create new product categories to add to the navigation menu
  • Helping users as much as possible, by providing accurate and relevant results
  • Increasing the internal search and e-commerce conversion rate


Best Practice to optimize the Internal Search with SFCC

For those brands using Salesforce Commerce Cloud and all the native tools that this platforms provides, the internal search optimization process can be set on 4 different steps:


Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides tools and dashboards to analyze the internal searches, and the option to establish the analysis time and obtain the related data in a clear and functional format.

Data provided by the platform will help you identify:

  • What keywords return a result, and what keywords instead do not generate any result
  • How many times a single keyword is used in a given period, and its conversion rate.

An accurate data analysis on the internal searches made by users (with and without results), helps to identify possible opportunities for optimization and intervention:


  • Searches that give results, but do not lead to conversion.
    Are they consistent with the user’s needs?
  • Searches that are not consistent with what the user is looking for, and may annoy them.
    Is the user only viewing the items they need?
    Example: If the user is looking for hats, and they land on a page that includes hats, and also gloves, scarves and neckwarmers, they may get annoyed by the results obtained. After all, it will require additional effort, like visually searching for the items inside the page, with the risk of leaving out what they actually need, and not seeing all the items available.


  • Searches concerning sold items that the system cannot link to an existing goods category.
    Example:The brand features the “women’s boots” category, while the user is searching for “low boots”; or the brand features the “evening apparel” category, and the user searches for “evening dresses”.
  • Searches concerning a specific product detail.
    Example: The user searches for details such as “Tears” or “Velcro” on a footwear website, or is interested in the texture, and searches for “Leopard Print”, or in the colour, and searches for “Snow”. In those cases, the system won’t be able to provide any results, if this function is not implemented via SFCC.
  • Misspelling and Other cases


The analysis output consists in defining the searches you can optimize and in identifying the most suitable tools, among those made available by Salesforce Commerce Cloud.


Following the definition of the issues that weaken the search and the opportunities for optimization, you need to work in a timely manner, using the tools made available by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Here is a list of tools that can be used to optimize the internal search, available on the platform. Each tool is designed to solve one or more specific issues:

  • Synonym Dictionary: To be used for different search queries with the same meaning (“ankle boots” and “low boots”)
  • Hypernyms and Hyponyms Dictionary: Useful if you want to see also other products belonging to a certain macro-category, but not the other way around. An hypernym shows the results of all its Hyponyms, while Hyponyms show only their own results.
    “Trousers” is an Hypernym, while “jeans” is an Hyponym. Those searching ‘trousers’ are interested in seeing also ‘jeans’, while those looking for ‘jeans’ are not interested in seeing all the other trousers types
  • Stop Word Dictionary: To be used if you want to exclude or include certain prepositions
  • Compound Word Dictionary: Use it to manage compound words, typically separated by a dash
  • Stemming Exceptions: Useful to control the variants of a query; this way, suffix variations give the same results (e.g. “shoe”, “little shoe”, “small shoe”)
  • Searchable Attributes: Use it to connect specific product attributes to a search
  • Category Name Exclusions: Useful to isolate product categories that are usually combined (e.g., to search only for “scarves”, although the general category is “scarves and hats”)
  • Search Driven Redirects: Use it to target specific searches toward an existing page or category, and preventing them from landing on an internal search page.


After analyzing and defining the interventions to be made, and optimizing the search dictionary, the final step is defining how effective the improvements you made are.

In order to measure the effectiveness, Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides tools that can compare the conversion rate generated by internal searches in different periods.

This helps you compare the pre-optimization status with the post-intervention, in a quick and effective manner! 😊


Results of the website internal search optimization

By analyzing data collected on field, in a real case of internal search optimization for a brand in the Fashion industry, we were able to observe tangibly how this kind of intervention can generate a significant Conversion Rate growth.


The estimated value of the optimization carried out on the internal search is equal to 21% revenue.

The calculation method to estimate this data is the following:

1. We compared the Conversion Rate variation for those users who resorted to the internal search, compared to the same period of the previous year
2. In order to exclude any external influences that might alter the data, we calculated the revenues actually generated by the Internal Search (using their CR)
Lastly, we compared this data with the revenues that would have been generated if the CR of the entire site would have naturally increased.

The estimated +21% growth is the difference between the revenue actually generated by the internal search, and the revenue that would have been generated if the conversion rate followed the natural website’s variations.


Want to know how to exploit Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s native functions in the best way possible?

Download our reports, containing these and other tips!


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