Ballyhoo Commerce 1.9.18 is now available. A remarkable auto-complete search function has been added to the system along with some other great new additions and improvements to performance and security.
Major Product Search Improvements
This version of Ballyhoo Commerce has really focused on search. Many customers have a good idea of what they’re looking for and once they land on your website they want to be able to find and purchase your product as quickly, and easily, as possible.
We’ve not only re-imagined the way customers use our built-in search function, we’ve also spent time on improving the search results themselves.
Auto-Complete Search Function
This version of our e-commerce software sees a massive improvement made to the way your customers search for products on your website.
This search feature works in a very similar way to the method Google’s search engine uses to suggest search terms as you type – except in this case the search feature is only referencing your catalogue of products.
When someone starts typing text into the search bar on your website the system will automatically suggest matching products or categories once a minimum number of characters have been typed (we can easily set the minimum based on your requirements).
The idea is that the customer will see the name of the product they are looking to purchase before they’ve even finished typing. For example, on a website selling computers a person might want to search for keyboards. As they type the word ‘keyboard’ the system will begin to return a range of suggested products displayed as a dynamic drop-down list which will change as the customer continues to type.
If the list does not return a matching product the customer can still press enter or click search to see a full list of products closely matching their search term.
This feature can also be useful for you as the website owner. With potentially thousands of products on your website you’d be forgiven for forgetting the odd detail or price here or there. With a rough idea of the product title you can quickly search for the product you’re looking for with minimal time and hassle.
Refined Search Results
We’ve looked at the way we return product matches and the result is that when someone uses the search feature on a Ballyhoo Commerce driven website they will now receive a more refined, accurate set of search results.
When your product catalogue runs into the thousands, or if you sell many different variations on a theme, you need to provide your customers with accurate search results so that they find what they’re looking for and continue to make a purchase without any hassle.
We’ve re-worked our algorithm to provide a more accurate set of matches and also reduced the number of matches that will be returned – making it as easy and time-efficient as possible for your customers to find what they want.
Now Returning Categories Too
Furthermore, customer search results will now also include relevant product categories too.
We know you spend a lot of time ensuring your product categories are as clear and intuitive as possible for your customers to navigate and that all of your products are added to the most relevant category.
This is particularly useful for customers who are looking to compare and evaluate a range of products before choosing to buy.
Improved Anti-Spam Protection
As an online retailer you want it to be as easy as possible for customers to contact you with any questions or queries they might have. One such way is to provide a contact form on your website for customers to complete. This is simple and quick for your customers and you can even customise the form to collect certain information.
However, by providing a contact form you could also be opening up a channel of communication for spammers too. This form of spam is often automated and can sometimes be relentless – clogging your inbox and making it difficult to identify genuine enquiries.
Without adding methods for your customers to prove they are real people (e.g. CAPTCHA), which can be time-consuming and sometimes off-putting to customers, it’s difficult to prevent spam messages.
In Ballyhoo Commerce we’ve provided several ways for customers to contact you. These include the ability to add a contact form to content pages and ‘Make an Enquiry’ and ‘Request a product’ buttons on your product pages. After seeing the system being abused by spammers we’ve taken steps to significantly reduce the amount of spam you might receive through these channels.
We won’t give away all of our secrets but let’s just say spambots will encounter something when they fill in your contact forms that will allow us to identify spam messages and prevent them from reaching your inbox.
For every version of Ballyhoo Commerce we release we always make sure we improve the system wherever we can. Often this can be in ways you don’t notice such as how we process information and the way the system stores data.
With each e-commerce version we’ll also iron out any bugs that have been reported by you or discovered in our thorough system testing.
We’re always trying to think of new ways to improve Ballyhoo Commerce – if you can think of any features you’d like to see (or if you’ve found any bugs) please let us know by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.