Findologic joins forces with Nosto

Findologic joins forces with Nosto

It’s finally official! We’ve joined forces with Nosto, the world’s leading Commerce Experience Platform (CXP).

When we first started talking about the idea of uniting with Nosto, I was surprised to discover how closely our visions for the future aligned. In fact, our internal strategy slides were almost identical, while the features were complimentary.

This presented a once in a lifetime opportunity for us because the unique strengths of each company complement each other extremely well. 

Findologic always pioneered when it came to onsite search, recently shown with our achievements around our AI Linguistic Shopping Assistant, not just focusing on the most relevant results, but also understanding the user’s intent and providing new ways of interaction with webshops.

Our product discovery story continues

This merger is the perfect fit. Why? Because we share the same mission as Nosto and want to ensure every online shopping experience is relevant, personalized, and dynamic. I’m thrilled we’re joining forces with Nosto and, together, shaping the future of online commerce experiences.  

What does this mean for you, our customers?

Firstly, nothing will change in the immediate. It’s business as usual.

You can continue to use the Findologic platform as you have done so and will continue to have a relationship with your current contact at Findologic. Your agreement will remain as is and you’ll continue to get the same commitment and value from Findologic post-acquisition. Over time, we will offer you the capability of using Nosto’s full CXP and its comprehensive personalization capabilities.

We are excited about the new opportunities this deal brings for Findologic customers. Being offered access to Nosto’s CXP will open up exciting avenues for you to benefit from a wide range of solutions that can help you achieve full-funnel personalization and deliver 1:1 commerce experiences for every shopper across every device. 

What does this mean for us, Findologic?

It means our entire staff is now part of the Nosto family and can even develop more and better solutions for you. Our HQ in Salzburg, Austria, will remain and serve as an R&D hub with product engineers and commercial teams, together serving the DACH market moving forward. Nosto supports its global customers from New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Sydney, Kaunas, and Helsinki. We’re thrilled to be adding Salzburg and Munich to that list. 

Thank you!

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for trusting Findologic over the last 14 years. The entire team–from customer service managers, engineers, marketing, sales, product owners, and leadership–are all committed to making online commerce experiences ever more intuitive for the individual shopper. This commitment is only strengthened as we continue our journey with Nosto.

Marcel Krabath

Matthias Heimbeck has been developing modern software solutions for online shops since 2008 and is Founder and CEO of Findologic, one of the world’s leading providers today. Just as a helpful sales assistant completes the shopping experience for the in-store customer – so the digital shopping assistant supports and serves the online shopper. This is exactly where our unique approach helps ecommerce businesses. We keep our finger on the pulse with our technology partners, agencies, shop systems and customers - with unparalleled results. 

Manual merchandising – why it’s costing you and what to do about it

Manual merchandising – why it’s costing you and what to do about it

Will Jacobs

Manual merchandising – why it’s costing you and what to do about it

Manual merchandising – why it’s costing you and what to do about it.

For many online retailers, manual merchandising is holding them back. Businesses struggle to sell particular products at a given point in time, web systems are inflexible, or their merchandising strategies are misinformed, all of which lead to missed opportunities. 

However, by automating key merchandising tasks, your team can improve product visibility and support the overall business strategy. 

In this blog we talk all about manual merchandising – why it’s creating problems for your business, and how you can support kickass automated merchandising.

What is manual merchandising?

Before we talk about the problems of manual merchandising and how to fix them, let’s first discuss what we mean by manual merchandising.

When we refer to manual merchandising, we mean the carrying out of merchandising tasks without automation. 

To give some examples, this might include:

  • Implementing campaigns on your site manually
  • Manually pushing new stock when it becomes available
  • Manually ordering your products
  • Gathering analytics on your own which are often an incomplete picture

This can be frustrating for ecommerce and development teams for a variety of reasons. It’s slow, poorly optimised, and comes at a cost – to both your time and money. It also gives you a poor picture of performance and impacts conversion rate. 


What are the challenges of manual merchandising?

There are three key challenges when it comes to manual merchandising.

The first challenge is that many companies struggle to sell certain products and reach their targets. This creates a problem for retailers for instance, because you might have issues managing stock left over from excess promotions. When manually merchandising, you might also find it difficult to push new stock on your website when it becomes available. All of this leads to a loss of revenue.

The second challenge is that your technology platform is set up in a way that is disadvantageous to your merchandising opportunities. Conversion of key products is missed out on as a result. Additionally, you’re spending a lot of time executing tasks that would be better executed with an automation platform anyway.

The third challenge is understanding how to create amazing merchandising strategies for your products that will increase sales. Without the right tool, you won’t be able to drill down and understand how to interpret your ecommerce data. This data might include your best sellers, your new stock, or inventory management.


What can merchants do to solve the issue?

There are multiple ways merchants can overcome the issues of manual merchandising. 

Invest in a merchandising platform

Leveraging automation is the first port of call. 

Today’s technology platforms such as Findologic are equipped with merchandising tools that automate manual tasks and allow you to easily identify products that will increase sales on site. 

Web audit

Merchants can also find support across their whole Product Discovery experience, through a full inspection of the website from an outside perspective.

Outside help

You could also work with an external team, allowing you to better understand how best to utilise products in your portfolio that’ll allow you to increase sales and margins on your site. 

Findologic can support retailers in the merchandising of their products on their website, through Findologic’s backend merchandising features and our Business Reviews. 

Our experts can identify gaps in merchant’s strategies for merchandising their products, and suggest simple fixes that will improve conversion rates. 

Why is it important to automate merchandising?

Automating merchandising gives you the opportunity to merchandise your product discovery engine in any way that you please. A flexible backend allows you to create merchandising that best suits your business. 

Working with Findologic can allow you to understand if you’re losing valuable time and money, and having this outside perspective to leverage is important in the optimisation of the whole on site UX.

What features should you look for?

The best merchandising solutions give you full control over your merchandising, and a comprehensive set of features that drive insights, link trends, and deliver results inline with your unique business requirements – all controlled from your backend. 



Promotions allow you to implement temporary campaigns across your website, on desktop and mobile to support promotions. Offers and promotions give increased exposure to products that are relevant to your customer. 

You can also place banners for relevant search terms in the autocomplete or other pages throughout navigation and benefit from full exposure throughout the customer journey. Promotions benefit retailers by making your shoppers aware of the right promotions at the right time in order to support business goals.


Search concepts

Predefined rules and search logics allow you to produce optimal results that convert, regardless of how broad the query was or how comprehensive of a product range you have. 

With merchandising tools, you’re able to make sense of your search queries and product feeds so you can get your shopper from A to B effectively.

You’re also able to enhance the search experience by giving your shoppers real-time, relevant results.

Product Placements

Automated merchandising allows you to benefit from product placements allow you to link specific products to key search queries. You’re able to guarantee prime position to key products if a shopper submits a related query. 

This helps you to get your shoppers to the products they want without frustration, with effective product discoverability. 

Product Bury-and-Boost

With searchandising, you can take control of your results listings and augment product hierarchies to present shoppers with valuable recommendations, or prioritise product groups in line with your business goals.

This allows you to easily fine-tune and visualize results pages to support strategic goals.

Your shopper also gets greater visibility of groups that appeal to the retailer. More info on this in our other blog post on searchandising!

Landing Pages

Search is at the epicenter for discovery. Incorporate a variety of content into your search function. Our algorithm doesn’t just search product listings, also content that isn’t included in your product feed, for example return policies.

This boosts visibility across all your content, and also makes it easier for your shoppers to discover it, reducing touchpoints thanks to direct navigation.



Automated merchandising also supports campaigns by giving you a holistic view of all their activities, allowing for simple and effective planning, implementation, and monitoring throughout the campaign’s lifecycle.

This allows you to easily fine-tune and visualies results pages to support strategy-wide goals. Your shoppers get greater visibility of specific product groups that are both relevant and that benefit your strategy. 


KPI tracking made simple

Measure success and derive insights via 360 degree analytics. With our Google Analytics integration, you can keep track of performance and make informed decisions based on a comprehensive set of data


Final thoughts

Merchandising doesn’t have to be a long and arduous process. Thanks to today’s ecommerce technology, retailers can leverage the power of automation to get all the benefits of advanced merchandising.

To learn more about merchandising with Findologic, get in touch today!

Harness the power of merchandising to increase product visibility and support business strategy.

Optimise your results pages. Control the hierarchy of particular products via our user-friendly backend in line with your business goals.

On site checklist for holiday season 2022

On site checklist for holiday season 2022

Marcel Krabath

On site checklist for holiday season 2022

On-site Checklist for Peak Season 2022: Everything you need to know

If you’re in ecommerce, you know that the holiday season is the biggest time of year for most retailers. But, don’t take it for granted. This year will not be like others.

Peak is a time of year where consumers are looking to buy, ready to be guided by brands that are vying for their attention and their wallets. Last year’s challenges were driven by supply chains. But 2022 is bringing a hodgepodge of complexities that brands must carefully navigate.

In 2022, there will be uncertainties caused by inflation, fuel costs, and average selling prices of goods and services, as well as supply chains challenges, that will all impact consumer buying. Online retailers are evolving to answer these challenges and are already working towards optimising their technology stacks, curating their offers, and planning their marketing strategies.

Ultimately, the shopper lies at the core of their focus, and the on site experience is critical to delivering an excellent customer journey that turns browsers into buyers. With that said, here is my 10-step checklist to help you assess your preparedness for the holiday madness.


1 – Prepare early

In our last guide, our friends at Blend Commerce and I wrote all about how Christmas is coming earlier than ever before for online retailers, with some preparing as early as late August! No, it’s not just that customers want presents wrapped earlier. There are a range of reasons a little too complex for the scope of this checklist, but to give a quick rundown:

  • Inflation has caused a panic and consumers want to get ahead of expected price hikes – deal or no deal.

  • There is incentive for advertisers to start their campaigns earlier: it allows them to bid at a lower cost-per-click due to less competition.

  • Retailers can begin to populate their email lists so that come November, they’ll have nurtured a two month long relationship with their prospective customers.

  • Supply chain: Consumers want to get their products while stocks last, whereas brands want to avoid stockouts and overages.

With many online retailers already launching their ecommerce strategies in full force, don’t give your competitors a two-month head start.

You are likely to lose your prospective customers for the remainder of the holiday season if you let them slip. Make sure that you’re capitalising on this early activity and that your site is optimised. If you haven’t get on it right away.

If you want to understand more about why the holiday season is starting early and what to do about it, be sure to check out the guide here!


2 – Make sure your tech stack is up to date and fit for purpose

For peak season, retailers often rely on the fact that their current on-site setup will allow them to achieve a significant uplift in KPIs compared to quieter seasons.

Reliance on peak season to generate sales without having a sound on-site experience diminishes the potential to meet and exceed organisational goals.

Non-existent, outdated or underperforming tech stacks or solutions directly affect sales and loyalty throughout the year, but this is only exacerbated in periods where demand spikes and the relative abandonment or conversion rates represent a huge chunk of your revenue.

To caveat this, while we frequently reference investment in your tech stack as a requisite for uplift, some third-party providers may pose a threat to operations if they are not resilient to increased requests, so consider this before peak season mania to avoid any downfalls.


3 – Make sure your site runs smoothly and quickly

32% of customers leave their favourite brands after a single bad customer experience.

Never take your customers’ loyalty for granted. Shoppers are only loyal to brands that make shopping an easy and seamless experience. All it takes is for one misstep to lose a customer.

If new customers face issues when on your online store, if it’s slow, if it’s hard to navigate, if there’s downtime – they will bounce and try their luck elsewhere.

A smooth website is critical for any shopping experience. But, during the peak season, your site needs to be able to handle surges in traffic, and a spike in end to end activity, from the first click to the payment process.

To borrow from Eric Peterson, Always Be Testing your site’s response to spikes in visits and traffic patterns, as well as page loading times and site speed (If it’s longer than 3 seconds, you’re looking at high bounce rates.) To improve and optimise your site speed quickly, revise image sizes and reduce redirects.

It’s also important to look at your third-party integrations. Be sure to test and make sure they can handle the load.


4 – Enhance your payments process

74% of customers would change brands if they find the purchasing process too challenging or confusing.

Don’t trip on the last hurdle! Cart abandonment is far more likely to occur if your checkout system is not simple or streamlined. Optimise your end to end shopping experience by ensuring your checkout page and payment processes load quickly and are efficient. Also be sure to include a range of payment options and a guest checkout option to drive customer satisfaction.


5 – Support your seasonal marketing campaigns with onsite optimisation

As touched upon, there’s a lot of competition this year and perhaps a more reclusive consumer thanks to the current economic climate.

This is why it’s so important to plan down to the finest details and to be strategic about what your customers see on your site, well ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Week. It’d be beyond the scope of this checklist to talk in depth about all the ways the onsite experience can support your marketing, so here are some important points.

Advanced merchandising lets you optimise product hierarchy or create campaigns lets you increase the visibility of a product or deal throughout the customer journey and control sales on a more granular level.

For example if you want to push a particular item with high profit margins, or surplus inventory, to an audience you know will be more likely to convert, you can do that through display adverts at multiple touchpoints and moving up the product listings.

If you took part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year, analyse your sales data to see what went well. Use the information to make alterations to existing product layouts and product descriptions.

Plan ahead by creating a product schedule that allows you to plan when a product goes on sale and for what price. Doing so early gets you ahead of the game and lets you make slight tweaks rather than making it up off the cuff.  Be sure to instil urgency and seasonal relevance to your ad copy.

Also be sure to leverage the strength of the on site experience to populate your mailing lists and drive your email campaigns. It will allow you to engage with their audience with exclusive promotions in the weeks leading to black friday and cyber week.

Beyond email marketing, be sure to make use of SMS, and other channels while showcasing the holiday deals and bundles you know your audience will want to get their hands on. Give your audience a sneak peak to your customers and followers about what is coming in order to keep them excited and make them shop as soon as your offer is live.

On social media, be sure to jump on the hype train by piggybacking on Black Friday and Cyber Monday hashtags. On an omnichannel level, integrate your store with the social media platforms if you haven’t, and follow best practices when it comes to your ads, while circulating them in advance to collect subscribers, and to build excitement for your brand.

For a deep dive into on-site merchandising and marketing strategies, be sure to check out our guide here.


6 – Keep UX at the top of your mind, and don’t forget about search

Brick-and-mortar businesses might have more opportunities to be more human, or set ambience, but that doesn’t mean retailers can’t deliver a memorable experience online. It just takes some work. But if you can exceed customer expectations, and deliver a personalised journey, you will succeed.

Above all, make sure your shoppers are able to find the products they’re looking for. Remember that it all begins with search. If your search UX is unable to support their requirements, then you’ve failed at the first hurdle. We talk a lot about this in our latest guide to holiday season marketing, so be sure to check it out!

Based on the fact that so many users can’t even find their desired products, it is a retailer’s responsibility to make their journey fail-proof. Search is at the epicentre of a shopper’s path to purchase, so it is essential that it is made as seamless as possible. There is a plethora of features and predefined logic that you can implement that optimise search and navigation, but some callouts include:

  • Comprehensive Assisted Suggest: as soon as a user interacts with your search bar, you should begin to guide shoppers. Recommendations, previewed products and query suggestions all contribute towards a streamlined path to purchase.
  • Synonyms: synonyms allow for wider search coverage. For example, if a user searches for ‘blow dryer’ rather than ‘hair dryer’, they will always be presented with the full range of results. The same goes for typos – you should automatically handle typos and show relevant results and eliminate dead ends.
  • Filter Navigation: Universal, one-size-fits-all filters are frustrating, for example, if you sell trousers you can’t just apply the same filters as you would for a pair of earrings. Configure relevant filters for products so that shoppers can refine their search more intentionally.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and it is important to analyse your pain points to determine where your resource will be best spent.

Investing in your site’s design and user experience brings your brand to life, and engages your customer at each stage in the buyer journey, and improves their likelihood of being returning customers.

Picture this: you’ve launched a holiday sale on a variety of products; be sure to cross and up sell other items that your shoppers might like in addition to the product they are looking for. Product recommendations that align with your customer tastes and preferences provide powerful boosts to conversion rates and sales.


7 – Run unmissable promotions

Running holiday sales are a great way to generate buzz around your brand. You know it, and everybody else knows it. That’s why it can be hard to compete and attract new customers.

You need to run holiday-specific promotions that are creative and attractive to browsers. Be sure to leverage the right discounts for the right products.

Plenty of retailers will be offering 20% off, but how many will be offering ‘50% off for first-time buyers’, or ‘30% off if you buy more than 5 dresses?’ Use doorbuster discounts (up to 80%) to get your foot in the door with customers and use it as an opportunity to cross sell. Get creative with your offerings. But don’t forget to keep your bottom line at the top of your mind and don’t just go wild on discounts without a strategy.

Do also make sure your strategies include upsells and additional perks which could include:

  • Free holiday gift with purchase
  • Free gift wrapping with $50 order
  • Free shipping on Cyber Monday
  • Subscriber or insider-only items
  • Limited-time offerings
  • Buy two products, get one free

To take your community engagement to the next level, why not explore giveaways or contests? These could be run through social media, email, or on your site, and are a great way to amplify your brand.

Ultimately, black friday and cyber week are renowned for promotions, and customers know they’re going to get a discount. Just be sure that your offer is worth their time and money.


8 – Celebrate your customers to boost retention and loyalty

Customer loyalty is something that all brands should strive for. Black Friday and Cyber week provide a good opportunity for you to nurture your relationship with your existing customers and entice them to return.

Consider personalised incentives and exclusive offers such as early access to sales or deals for mailing list subscribers.

Loyalty programs tailored to your offerings can create a significant boost in sales. They’re easy to build, have member only perks, and increase engagement and interaction. It’s a great way to turn one-time shoppers into longhaul customers that are invested in your brand.

Earlier, I stressed the importance of engaging with your community. Make them feel valued and elevate their voice: highlight their glittering reviews in your newsletter, turn their posts into an Instagram story, share videos of them using your products. Call attention to their real stories and be approachable, showing you truly care about your customers.


9 – Unforgettable customer service

Great value lies not only in your products, but also in your customer service which your on site experience needs to reflect.. You need to be transparent, and ensure your contact information is easily accessible, and if possible, provide 24/7 support so your shoppers aren’t waiting hours to have their queries resolved.

This holiday season, you’re going to get more returns than the rest of the year, on average. So, it’s important to have a returns policy in place for what to do should an order become lost, stolen, or damaged. Importantly, make it hassle free. A negative returns experience can be the difference between a customer simply returning a product, and one simply deciding never to buy from you again.


10 – Optimise for mobile!

M-commerce doesn’t always feature high on the retailer’s corporate agenda despite the fact Google favours mobile-friendly websites and mobile shoppers are spending 20 times more than website shoppers.

Replicating the desktop experience on mobile is bad practice, yet again and again, retailers cram all of the same elements into a screen that is a fraction of the size. The result? A cumbersome, difficult to navigate shopping experience. By deploying mobile-specific features, retailers are able to dramatically increase mobile sales – with UK mobile sales expected to generate £79.81B in 2022, it’s all to fight for. Recommended mobile features include:

  • Everpresent filters, that are conveniently accessible as the user scrolls
  • Collapsible overlays, which maximise the screen space and remain hidden when not in use
  • Simplified assisted suggests, reducing the tension between elements such as images and text and background layers
  • Voice search for intuitive, easy use

Another mobile strategy well worth consideration is replicating the familiar interface used by Google, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to create a more subconscious experience. By deploying this, retailers are able to:

Minimise discrepancies between the channels users interact with every day

  • Provide a more instinctive and unconscious path to purchase
  • Deploy instant touchpoints
  • Engage dynamic and conversational navigation based on unique user requirements


Final thoughts 

In 2022, the holiday season will be different: It will begin earlier than ever before; it will end later than ever before, and this period of activity is going to be very competitive.

This presents a problem, because the consumer is going to be squeezed by inflation, fuel prices, and more, which means persuading them to become a customer is going to be a lot harder.

On top of that, you, yourself also have to deal with the impact of fuel and energy on fulfilment, inflation on average selling prices, as well as the supply chain on inventory. There could be a lot of headaches. However, take this checklist, post it somewhere, and remind yourself of the essentials for this coming holiday. If there are five key lessons, remember them well:

  • Prepare early. Now is better.
  • Optimise your tech stack.
  • Prioritise customer experience – especially search and merchandising.
  • Prepare and schedule your promotions and campaigns.
  • Make use of automation

To learn more about the issues highlighted in this checklist, check out our full length guide on the subject here, or contact us now!




New feature: Search Insights

New feature: Search Insights

Marcel Krabath

New feature: Search Insights

When you click on the service, scripts are loaded on your device, personal data is recorded and cookies are stored. The transmission takes place: as joint controllers for Google Ireland Limited. Purpose of processing: Delivery of content provided by third parties, Selection of online advertising on other platforms, which are automatically selected using real-time bidding based on user behavior and transmission and display of video content. Privacy Policy

Learn more about our latest feature „Search Insights“: 

Search Insights helps our customers to debug search results and product listings on category pages on thier own. This helps them to understand the technology better and saves them a lot of time. Now Findologic customers are able to see in detail why certain products are found and shown based on specific search terms or categories. (so it works for product listings in search and navigation). They can add different parameters like user groups or sort parameters to the search request to see specific search results based on those parameters. All available data that is being exported for a certain product is shown in the Search Insghts interface – this helps our customers/agencies to optimize the whole user experience by optimizing their data based on this data analysis.

Hint from our Findologic experts: Shop Owners should – as always – focus on the Top Search Queries when doing their analysis proactively

Marcel Krabath

Marcel Krabath

Marcel is Operations Manager at FINDOLOGIC. He ensures that international processes run smoothly and are continuously developed. Sitting at the centre of the company, he coordinates daily processes between the Marketing, Sales & Office Management and guarantees the success of partnerships with technology partners and ecommerce agencies. Working towards the continuous improvement of business operations, Marcel also ensures the efficient and smooth running of the business in line with business goals.

HOW TO: Onsite Search – Autocomplete (2/4)

HOW TO: Onsite Search – Autocomplete (2/4)

HOW TO: Onsite Search – Autocomplete (2/4)

Die Onsite Suchfunktion zählt zu den zentralen Funktionen einer E-Commerce Plattform und entspricht dem wichtigsten Sprachkanal zu Ihren Kunden. Hinter der, auf dem ersten Blick manchmal unscheinbaren, Suchfunktion steht nicht nur intelligente Technologie sondern auch eine Vielfalt an Logik- und Design-Entscheidungen, die über Erfolg, bzw. Misserfolg einer Suchfunktion entscheiden. Im Rahmen dieser vierteiligen Artikelreihe möchten wir Ihnen Guidelines und Konzepte an die Hand geben, um auch Ihre Nutzer mit einem genialen Sucherlebnis zu begeistern.

HOW TO: Onsite Search
Autocomplete (Part 2/4)

Im zweiten Teil der “HOW TO: Onsite Search“ Reihe beschäftigen wir uns mit dem Thema Autocomplete und Vorschlagsfunktion. Die Autocomplete ist ein essentieller Bestandteil einer guten Suchfunktion und entscheidender Faktor für eine bestmögliche Customer Experience. Dabei ist das Ziel in erster Linie nicht zwingend eine Beschleunigung des Suchprozesses, sondern die Nutzer in Ihrer Suche zu unterstützen und an die Hand zu nehmen. Eine gute Umsetzung unterstützt Nutzer bei der Auswahl der möglichen Suchbegriffe, hilft bei der Vermeidung von Rechtschreibfehler und bietet Inspiration im Rahmen der Customer Journey.

Die Autocomplete ist in den letzten Jahren ein fixer Bestandteil in der Optimierung geworden Aufgrund der massiven Einflüsse Google und Amazon haben Nutzer eine konkrete Vorstellung, wie diese funktionieren und gestaltet sein soll, deren Fähigkeiten zur effektiven Suche ist jedoch sehr schwach ausgeprägt. Laut einer Studie der Nielsen Norman Group ist nur etwa 1% der Nutzer in der Lage, ihre Suchstrategie anzupassen, um effektive Suchergebnisse zu erhalten. Eine gut durchdachte Autocomplete kann die Nutzer dabei effektiv unterstützen.

Da die Autocomplete einen direkten Einfluss auf die Art und Weise des Umgangs mit der Suchfunktion hat, richtet eine schlecht geplante Implementierung meist mehr Schaden als Nutzen an. Die Qualität und Relevanz der Vorschläge sollte daher ebenso ernst genommen werden wie die Qualität und Relevanz der Suchergebnisse selbst. Aus diesem Grund stellen wir Ihnen im Folgenden klare Guidelines zur Umsetzung einer Best-Practise Autocomplete vor.

Hinweis: Das Thema Autocomplete kann im Internet auch unter verschiedenen Synonymen wie Smart Suggest, Suggest-Funktion, Autosuggest, Query Suggestions, Flyout, Flapout usw. gefunden werden. Um den Leser nicht zu verwirren, verwenden wir im Folgenden einheitlich den Begriff Autocomplete.

1. Unterstützen Sie Ihre Nutzer mit keyword-basierten Suchvorschlägen

Die Möglichkeit innerhalb der Autocomplete aus einer Liste von potenziellen Suchbegriffen zu wählen zählt mittlerweile zu den “Golden Standards” und sollte in allen Online-Shops gegeben sein. Dabei ist es jedoch wichtig zwischen vorgeschlagenen Suchbegriffen → führen zu einem Produktlisting und vorgeschlagenen Produkten → führen direkt auf eine Produktdetailseite, zu unterscheiden. Sind diese Suchvorschläge nicht verfügbar fehlt den Nutzern Unterstützung bei der Formulierung Ihrer Suchanfrage. Manchen Nutzer fühlen sich unsicher, wenn Sie bei Eingabe Ihrer Suchanfrage nicht sofort durch bekannte Suchvorschläge unterstützt werden. In der Folge kann dies zu einem Abbruch der Suche und alternativ zur Verwendung der Navigation führen.

Der Fokus der Autocomplete sollte daher auch auf der prominenten Platzierung der Suchvorschläge liegen. Manche Online-Shops priorisieren die Darstellung von Produkt-, Kategorien- oder Marken-Vorschlägen, wodurch Suchvorschlägen der Fokus genommen wird.

Transfer aus der Praxis: Stellen Sie sich vor Sie gehen in eine Filiale und fragen Ihre Verkäuferin des Vertrauens nach einer “Winterjacke”. Dann möchten Sie auch zur richtigen Abteilung geführt werden und nicht direkt den “schwarzen Parka mit Fellkapuze in Größe M” oder nur Winterjacken der Marke XY präsentiert bekommen.

2. Design der Autocomplete

Grundsätzlich lässt sich sagen, dass es kein ultimatives Template zur Gestaltung einer Autocomplete gibt. In zahlreichen User-Tests haben sich jedoch eine Reihe von Best-Practices ergeben, die bei der Gestaltung berücksichtigt werden sollten, um Ihre User bestmöglich abzuholen.

  • Halten Sie die Menge an Suchvorschlägen überschaubar 

Die Anzahl der dargestellten Suchvorschläge für Desktop sollte bewusst limitiert werden. Eine zu große Auswahl an möglichen Suchvorschlägen wirkt für den Nutzer eher abschreckend. Die Anzahl sollte daher auf maximal 10 Vorschläge begrenzt werden. 

Dasselbe gilt, aufgrund des begrenzten Platzangebotes, auch für mobile Endgeräte. Tipp: Mobile wählen Nutzer meist aus den ersten drei Suchvorschlägen!

  • Gestalten Sie Ihre Autocomplete aus Nutzersicht

Ihre Nutzer sollten klar zwischen den Suchvorschlägen und zusätzlichen Datenpunkten unterscheiden können. Jeder alternative Datenpunkt, wie etwa die Kategoriesuche (“Suche X in Kategorie Y”) oder die Anzahl der Ergebnisse, sollte sich im Design (Schriftart, -farbe, etc.) von den Suchvorschlägen abheben.

  • Nutzen Sie Labels zur besseren Abgrenzung und Lesbarkeit 

Fügen Sie Ihrer Autocomplete klärende Bezeichnungen hinzu, um zwischen den verschiedenen Möglichkeiten, wie Suchvorschläge, Produktvorschläge, Kategorie oder Trending Results unterscheiden zu können.

Labels trennen klar zwischen Suchvorschlägen. passenden Produkten und Kategorien

  • Heben Sie die aktuell gewählte Auswahl hervor

Geben Sie Ihren Nutzern ein klares visuelles Feedback, welcher Vorschlag aktuell aktiv ist, egal ob der Nutzer mit der Maus über diesen hovert, oder er mit der Tastatur durch die Ergebnisse navigiert.

Der aktuell ausgewählte Suchvorschlag wird durch dunklen Hintergrund klar hervorgehoben.

  • Die geöffnete Autocomplete sollte sich vom Rest der Website abheben 

Verdunkeln Sie den restlichen Teil der Website, wenn Suchfunktion und Autocomplete aktiv sind, um die Aufmerksamkeit der Nutzer bewusst auf die Suchfunktion zu legen.

3. Ergänzen Sie die Möglichkeit der Suche in Kategorien

Im Vergleich zur Suche eines Begriffes im gesamten Produktkatalog, kann die Vorauswahl auf eine gewisse Kategorie zu besseren und relevanten Ergebnissen führen. Als Frau möchten sie in den meisten Fällen bei einer Suche nach “Schuhen” auch nur Damenschuhe als Ergebnisse erhalten und demnach Herren- und Kinderschuhe im Vorhinein ausschließen. Um an dieser Stelle noch einmal auf Punkt 2 zurückzugreifen: Dem Nutzer soll zu jeder Zeit erkenntlich sein, dass es sich um eine Bereichssuche handelt. Daher sollte sich diese auch visuell von einer Suche des gesamten Produktkataloges abheben.

Die Möglichkeit der Bereichssuche wird vor allem gerne im Bereich Fashion genutzt (z.B.: Herren, Damen, Kinder) oder wenn dem Suchbegriff ein konkreter Nutzungskontext zugeordnet werden kann (z.B.: “Tücher” in “Heimtextilien”, “Küchenzubehör”). 

4. Klare Trennung von Suchvorschlägen und Produktvorschlägen

Es ist wichtig in der Autocomplete eine klare Trennung zwischen Such- und Produktvorschlägen herzustellen, da es sich hierbei um unterschiedliche Funktionen handelt. Während der Klick auf einen Suchvorschlag den Nutzer auf ein Produktlisting basierend auf dem gewählten Suchbegriff leitet, führen Klicks auf Produktvorschläge hingegen direkt auf die jeweilige Produktdetailseite. Gruppieren Sie beide Varianten am besten in unterschiedliche Sektionen mit eigenem Header und bieten Sie Ihren Usern klare visuelle Unterscheidbarkeit. Vor allem auf mobilen Endgeräten sollten für 90% aller Anwendungsfälle Suchvorschläge gegenüber Produktvorschlägen priorisiert werden. Auf Desktop hingegen steht mehr Spielraum zur Gestaltung und Anordnung zur Verfügung. Auch über das Größenverhältnis und die Anordnung von Thumbnails sollte sich Gedanken gemacht werden. Produktbilder helfen dem User einen ersten Eindruck vom dargestellten Produkt zu gewinnen. Unverhältnismäßig groß definierte Produktbilder jedoch lenken die Aufmerksamkeit zu stark auf die vorgeschlagenen Produkte.

Der Nutzer kann auf den ersten Blick klar zwischen Such- und Produktvorschlägen unterscheiden.

Seien Sie sich also bewusst, dass der Nutzen von Suchvorschlägen deutlich höher ist, vor allem in den frühen Phasen des Kaufprozesses und berücksichtigen Sie dies in der Gestaltung der Autocomplete.

5. Nutzung der Tastatur zur Navigation

Was sich auf den ersten Blick banal anhört, ist ein nicht zu unterschätzender Faktor im Umgang mit der Autocomplete. Durch Google sind wir es gewohnt die Tastatur zur Navigation in der Autocomplete zu verwenden und stellen diese Anforderung daher auch an moderne Online-Shops. Neben der Navigation mittels Pfeiltasten gibt es ein paar einfache Grundsätze, die berücksichtigt werden sollten. Zum Beispiel sollte der erste Suchvorschlag nicht automatisch selektiert werden.

Wird ein Suchvorschlag selektiert, sollte dieser auch ins Suchfeld kopiert werden. Beginnt der Nutzer wieder zu tippen, so sollten die Zeichen an den neuen Suchtext angehängt werden, ohne dass der Nutzer zuerst wieder per Klick den Fokus auf das Suchfeld legen muss.

6. Vermeiden Sie redundante und irrelevante Suchvorschläge

Obwohl redundante und irrelevante Suchvorschläge wohl zu keinem Zeitpunkt beabsichtigt werden, treten diese sehr häufig auf. Benchmarks der größten Online-Shops in UK under der USA zeigten, dass etwa 30% der getesteten Online-Shops mit dieser Herausforderung beschäftigt sind.  Unabhängig von der gewählten Methodik zur Erstellung der Suchvorschläge, führen redundante Begriffe zu einer schlechten Nutzererfahrung, da Nutzer entweder zu wiederholten Eingaben gezwungen werden, relevante Suchvorschläge nicht wahrnehmen oder Nutzer direkt auf die Navigation zurückgreifen. Die folgenden Liste soll Ihnen dabei helfen überflüssige Vorschläge zu identifizieren und zu vermeiden:
  • “Dead Ends”
“Dead Ends” beschreiben Vorschläge, die Ihnen das exakt selbe Ergebnis liefern, das Ihnen gerade angezeigt wird, als auch vorgeschlagene Begriffe, die zu einer “No-Result” Seite führen. “Dead Ends” treten meist dann auf, wenn Suchvorschläge rein auf dem Suchverhalten vergangener Nutzer basieren, oder der zugrundeliegende Produktkatalog/Datenfeed nicht regelmäßig aktualisiert wird. Führen Sie hier am besten eine Analyse der getätigten Suchbegriffe durch und bereinigen Sie diese in regelmäßigen Abständen.
  • Semantisch Repetitiv
Viele Webseiten bieten Suchvorschläge mit der grundsätzlich selben Bedeutung, welche sich nur durch nominale Unterschiede (wie Singular – Plural, mit/ohne Satzzeichen – Großschreibung – Symbole) oder Synonyme abgrenzen und daher immer dasselbe Ergebnis liefern. User sind sich dessen nicht bewusst. Die Auswahl des richtigen Suchvorschlages wird somit unnötig erschwert.
  • Duplikate
In manchen Fällen können sogar exakte Duplikate in der Autocomplete auftreten. Eine Variante davon sind sogenannte gespiegelte Suchvorschläge. Dabei ist der erste Suchvorschlag der Autocomplete eine Spiegelung des eingegebenen Suchbegriffes. In diesem Fall kann es passieren, dass ein weiterer Suchvorschlag exakt dem eingegebenen Suchbegriff und damit auch dem gespiegelten Suchvorschlag entspricht.   Um redundante und irrelevante Suchbegriffe zu vermeiden, gilt es zu ermitteln, wie die Suchvorschläge generiert werden. In vielen Fällen treten diese dadurch auf, dass allein der Suchverlauf der Nutzer herangezogen wird. Um die Qualität der Suchvorschläge zu steigern, sollten Datenpunkte wie die Ergebnismenge oder Conversion Rate als zusätzliche Entscheidungsfaktoren miteinbezogen werden. Zusätzlich sollten die Suchvorschläge unter Berücksichtigung dieser Faktoren regelmäßig aktualisiert werden.

7. Schnelle Darstellung der Such- und Produktvorschläge

Der Umgang mit der Suchfunktion und der Autocomplete kann für den Nutzer eine große Herausforderung darstellen, wenn das Ladeverhalten inkonsistent und zu langsam ist. Die Autocomplete sollte sofort auf Eingaben der Nutzer reagieren und passende Vorschläge liefern. Verzögerungen stellen ein frustrierendes Erlebnis für den Anwender dar. 

Die Optimierung von Scripts & deren Ladegeschwindigkeit ist in den meisten Fällen eine rein technische Herausforderung. Es gilt die Netzwerklatenz zu senken, sowie weitere mögliche Störfaktoren, die Verzögerungen führen können, zu eliminieren. Dabei steht der Grundsatz – je schneller, desto besser. Die Antwortzeit sollte 500ms in full response nicht überschreiten. Auch wenn die Ladezeit der Autocomplete immer wieder etwas variieren wird, muss das Ziel sein, dem Nutzer ein konsistentes Verhalten zu bieten.

Gregor Sandberger

Gregor ist der Digital Marketing Specialist bei Findologic. Er sorgt für die Inbound-Leadgenerierung im Marketing um das Wachstum eines einzigartigen Produktes rund um Such- und Navigationstechnologie voranzutreiben.

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