Search term associations

Search term associations suggest additional, different, or replacement products in search results. They can also link search terms to a selected landing page in the store. Search term associations are used as a product recommendation strategy to increase store sales when customers search for products, as the search submission is modified to increase or target search results.

There are three types of search term associations: synonym, replacement, or landing page.
Synonyms
Synonyms increase the scope of search results by adding more search terms to search submissions. The search results include the submitted search term, plus the search results for the additional defined synonyms. One or more synonyms can be defined for a search term.
Synonyms are bidirectional: searching for any of the search terms expands to also search for the other synonym search terms.

For example, if a shopper searches the store for a laptop, you can define synonyms to include similar products in the search, such as notebook, netbook, or computer, to potentially increase the number of search results that are returned. In this example, the search results include those for laptop, plus the search results for the notebook, netbook, or computer synonyms. This is helpful, for example, if your store sells many types of laptop computers.

Replacement Terms
Replacement terms modify potential search results by changing search terms from search submissions. The search submission can include the defined changed search terms, while optionally discarding the submitted search term. The search results include only the search results for the replacement terms, helping target certain product types over others.
Replacement terms are unidirectional: the rule applies only when searching for the search term, but not when searching for any of the replacement terms.
There are two types of replacement terms:
  1. Selecting Also Search For searches for both the customer's search terms and the replacement search terms.
  2. Selecting Instead Search For ignores the customer's search terms and instead searches for the replacement search terms.

For example, if a shopper searches the store for a laptop, you can define a replacement term such as desktop to modify the potential search results. In this example, selecting Also Search For includes both laptop and desktop search terms for the search results. However, selecting Instead Search For includes only desktop search terms for the search results. This is helpful, for example, if your store does not sell laptop computers, but does sell desktop computers.

Landing Page
Landing pages promote certain products or activities in the store by directing shoppers to specific store pages based on search submissions. The landing page can promote certain products, brands, or store pages, depending on the nature of the search submission. If a shopper searches for a keyword, you can define the resulting landing page as a page of your choice, such as the related category in the store, as opposed to the search term's search results page.

For example, if a shopper searches for a laptop, you can define the resulting landing page as a custom store page, showcasing a particular brand's laptop computers or other related products. Landing pages can also be used to promote certain activities in the store. For example, if a shopper searches the store for wish list, you can define the resulting landing page as the My Account: Personal Wish List page.

Behavior of search terms matches

The search run time parses keyword inputs and converts them into a Solr expression. The behavior typically differs depending on the combining of search terms, search term associations, and match types.

The following match types exist in HCL Commerce search:
ANY
Includes synonyms and replacement terms.
ALL
Includes search terms that are grouped with AND, plus synonyms and replacement terms as optional terms.
EXACT
Includes only the search terms, with no synonym expansion.
EXCLUDE
Excludes the search term, with no synonym expansion.
For example, the following search terms, search term associations (synonym), and match types exist:
Search terms and search term associations (synonym)
Search term Synonym
coffee coffee maker
table (No search term associations)
Where the search terms combine with the match types to result in the search term output:
Table 1. Sample search terms, match types, and outputs.

The following table shows sample search terms, match types, and outputs.

Search term input Match type Search term output
coffee table ANY Any of coffee, table, coffee maker
ALL All of coffee table, coffee maker
EXACT Exactly coffee table
EXCLUDE No search term output
Notes:
  • Wildcard searches that match search terms to synonyms also result in synonym expansion.
  • A search term association is resolved only once for a specific search term. For example, assume a search term associations exists for associating the term "Slacks" as a synonym for "Pants" and that a replacement term exists for replacing "pantss" with "Pants". When a shopper searches for"pantss", a search for only the term "Pants" is completed, not for both "Pants" and "Slacks". If you want a search for both terms to be completed, you must create separate replacement term associations for "pantss" to map to both "Pants" and "Slacks".

Phrases

The following scenarios are supported by default for phrases as search terms:
  • Synonyms and replacement terms are supported, with the following default behavior:
    Entered keyword: a
    Entered keyword: a (Synonym)
    Synonym ANY ALL Exact
    a, c a or c a or c "a" or "c"
    e, f a a "a"
    Entered keyword: a (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a > c c c c
    d > b a a a
    Entered keyword: a b
    Entered keyword: a b (Synonym)
    Synonym ANY ALL Exact
    a, c a or b or c (a and b) or (c and b) "a b" or "c b"
    d, b a or b or d (a and b) or (a and d) "a b" or "a d"
    e, f a or b (a and b) "a b"
    Entered keyword: a b (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a -> c c or b (c and b) "c b"
    d -> b a or b (a and b) "a b"
    Entered keyword: "a b"
    Entered keyword: "a b" (Synonym)
    Synonym ANY ALL Exact
    a, c "a b" or "c b" "a b" or "c b" "a b" or "c b"
    d, b "a b" or "a d" "a b" or "a d" "a b" or "a d"
    Entered keyword: "a b" (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a -> c "c b" "c b" "c b"
    d -> b "a b" "a b" "a b"
    Entered keyword: x a b
    Entered keyword: x a b (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a -> c d (x or "c d" or b) (x and "c d" and b) "x c d b"
  • Landing pages are supported by default for phrases as search terms.
HCL Commerce Enterprise

Extended sites

Synonyms and Replacement Terms are supported for an Extended Site store. All Synonym and Replacement Terms respect the store path and can be overridden by keyword at the Extended Site store.