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Search Enhancements in BuyerQuest - White Paper

BuyerQuest is committed to monitoring search effectiveness and to the continued development of search enhancements to facilitate quick and easy location of items for buyers using the platform. Features such as content curation, preferred products, and search synonyms and replacements allow organizations to fine tune and configure their environments to optimize the buying experience.

Overview

The BuyerQuest platform leverages a high-powered search algorithm, which may require some customer-specific fine tuning and overall maintenance to ensure it meets the unique needs and data set of each client. We continue to upgrade the set of tools that are available for System Administrators to improve the functionality of search.  

This table recommends when each set of tools should be used, depending on the change you are trying to make to the core search algorithm.  This document provides an overview of each of these tools.

Search Concern

Synonyms & Replacements

Content Curation

Preferred Products

Product Boost

Attribute Weighting

Product not returned in search results

     

Product not properly ranked in search results

 

Synonyms and Replacements

Synonyms are a way to associate similar words or phrases to a desired set of results. This allows organizations to define - and manage - similar words and phrases to bring more consistency to search results.

As an example, the words “glass” and “cup” are associated as synonyms; a search for “cup” or “glass” will provide a similar number and type of results. However, the ranking of these results may vary depending on what other factors have been configured.

Additionally, replacement functionality within search can be used to improve consistency in the results.  For example, if your company uses a term like ‘ladle’, but all the suppliers use the word ‘spoon’, then you can create a replacement so that when a User searches “ladle”, results for “spoon” are actually returned.

The following table summarizes how Single-term (e.g., “ladle”) and Multi-term (e.g., “plastic ladle”) Replacements, and Single-term and Multi-term Synonyms can be utilized within the BuyerQuest platform:

 

Replacement - Single Term

Replacement - Multiple Terms

Synonym - Single Term

Synonym - Multiple Terms

Original - Single Term

Original - Multiple Terms

N/A

N/A

The Replacement functionality is available to be managed directly by the System Administrator in the Admin Panel.  

The list of Synonyms should be provided to your Support representative to be deployed on the appropriate environment.

Content Curation

The BuyerQuest platform provides the ability to a user with appropriate permissions to enhance Supplier-provided content in favor of product information that may be more relevant to the needs of their organization. While initial descriptive information for a product is still available as provided by Suppliers, the content curation functionality gives an organization the ability to replace or enhance  the product's content without losing the supplier-provided data. 

Content that can be edited includes: Product Name, Product Short Description, and Product Long Description. This is done via an easy-to-navigate editing panel available from a product listing:

When content for an item has been curated, an icon is displayed to visually represent a change has taken place. Hovering over the icon displays a modal window containing the original Supplier-provided content.

Curate content is searchable and is also non-destructive - meaning the original Supplier-provided product name, short description, and long description are retained, and can be viewed from the Product Information settings in the Admin Panel. If an organization wishes to revert any edited content to its default state, it is able to do so by deleting the edited content from the content curation editing panel or via settings in the Admin Panel.

Curated product content remains accessible to the user throughout the Request submission process; the user will see the Supplier-provided content on the Checkout page, with an icon visible to indicate there is additional product information. Hovering over that link will display the edited content for reference during the Request submission process.  This is done in order to avoid confusion with the product(s) being procured when the Purchase Order is transmitted to the Supplier.

Preferred Products

Administrators are now able to identify “preferred products” to be surfaced in search results.  This functionality will act as a “Global Boost,” allowing the product to appear at the top of search results across a wide range of queries.

A new product attribute has been added to the product configuration to identify an item as a “preferred product” (this is also manageable via import/export).  If this attribute has been enabled and the product is returned for a given search query, the system automatically moves this product to the top of the search results, and is denoted with a badge icon:

While still available, this feature essentially eliminates the need to use Product Boost, as Administrators will not need to manage boosting the same product across multiple query variations. As an example: previously, a product would need to be boosted within the search results of individual queries for ‘drill bit’, ‘drill bits’, and ‘½ inch drill bit’.  Now, the product will be marked as ‘preferred’, and if the product naturally returns in a given set of search results, the system will move to the top of the list. This significantly reduces the overhead required to manage products an organization would like to feature above others in search results.

Product Boost in Search Results

Boost is a mechanism to increase the visibility of products in search results.  Users with proper permissions enabled by their administrators will see a button to “Boost Relevance” for all products returned search results.

When this button is selected for any product, the BuyerQuest platform will immediately move that particular product to the TOP of the Search Results for the current search term.

As an example, if you search for 'laptop' and scroll down to the 6th Product that is returned, and then click the 'Boost Product Relevance' button for that Product, the next time ANY User searches for the term 'laptop', this Product will now be the first to be displayed.

 

 

Enabling Search Attribute Weighting

The Search Attribute Weighting functionality can also be used to prioritize the Internal Warehouse products to appear at the top of Search Results. Details on this can be found here: Search Result Management

To leverage this functionality, a new hidden Product Attribute would be used (“Is_Warehouse”), that would have the value of either ‘Yes’ or NULL.  The attribute value of ‘Yes’ would then be given a higher weighting, which would push these items to the top of a given Search Results, as shown below.