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Managing the front end item search

The front end item search allows your customers to search your product portfolio in the online store. In the template plugin Ceres the faceted search is activated by default for the online store item search. In the old design Callisto, the faceted search is activated in the System » Client » Select client » Online store » Item search menu.

Find out how to create facets and facet values and how to use these facets in Callisto and Ceres.

Callisto with default search

If your online store is still based on the old design Callisto and the option Default search is activated in the System » Client » Select client » Online store » Item search menu, the index of the back end item search is also used for searching items in the front end.

1. Setting up the facetted search

Facets are filter options that are used to make search results in the online store more precise based on specific criteria, i.e. facets. The faceted search has the advantage that search results are not necessarily limited by the selected criteria. Rather, the criteria are always searched for in the entire database. In other words, users are led through the search process intuitively and search results do not have to be faked if customers select criteria that are not helpful.

The filter navigation is very flexible. Facets are not only used to find which items in a category have a specific property. Rather, they are also used to narrow down the item search by the following criteria:

  • By attributes and properties

  • By the manufacturer

  • By the item availability

  • By price segments

In plentymarkets, these four facet types are combined with other values to determine the filter results. The more facets and values that you use, the more comprehensive the filters shown in the online store will be.

This function is configured in several different steps. First, facets are created. Then the settings of these facets are customized. Finally, the facets are linked to the desired values. Furthermore, you need to go to System » Client » Open client » Online store » Item search and select the option Faceted search.

Linking items to facets

You do not have to directly link items to the individual facets. Rather, items are automatically assigned to facets. This is done by [linking facets with facets values] that are then saved in the item data record.

1.1. Creating a facet

First, you need to create facets for the search, e.g. the facet "Colour" with the type Attribute/property.

Creating a facet:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Click on New.

  3. Enter a name for the facet in the system’s language. This name is shown in the online store.

  4. Select a type from the drop-down list. Pay attention to the information given in Table 1.

  5. Enter the position where the facet should be shown in the online store.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The facet is created.

Table 1. Available facet types
Facet type Description

Price

Facets of the type Price do not have to be linked to values. Rather, customers can filter from the smallest to the largest price within a category.

Attribute/property

Facets of the type Attribute/property are linked to the attributes and properties in your system. They are used to create diverse filters, e.g. colours, sizes etc.

Availability

Facets of the type Availability, e.g. "ships within 24 hours", need to be linked to the availabilities found under [Settings » Item » Item availability].

Manufacturer

Facets of the type Manufacturer, e.g. "Adidas", are linked to the manufacturers found under Settings » Item » Manufacturers.

1.2. Editing the facet

After you created the facet, the facet opens for editing. There are four tabs for carrying out additional settings and linking values.

1.2.1. Carrying out the facet settings

Carry out the settings in the Settings tab as described below.

Editing the facet

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Open the facet.
    → The Settings tab opens.

  3. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 2.

  4. Save the settings.

Table 2. Editing facets; tab Settings
Setting Description

Type

Shows the type that was selected when the facet was created. The type cannot be changed.

Sorting

Determines how the search results should be sorted. Depending on which option is selected, items will either be sorted by relevance, position number or alphabetically from A-Z.

Position

Indicates which position was selected when the facet was created. The position can be changed.

CSS class

Enter a CSS name. This name will be made available as a template variable in the CMS menu so that every facet can be saved as an individual class.

Selection type

Choose the selection type.
Restricting = Further limits the filter with the selected value. All items will be displayed that have this value and that fulfil the criteria of any previously selected filters.
Multiple = Makes it possible for multiple search results to be displayed together. For example, this option makes it possible for customers to select multiple manufacturers. The manufacturers' items will all be displayed together.

Minimum number of hits

Specifies the minimum number of results that a facet value needs to have in order to be displayed in the online store.

Maximum number of facet values shown

Specifies the maximum number of facet values that will be displayed for each facet. Up to 250 facet values can be shown.

1.2.2. Saving the facet name in an additional language

When you create a facet, enter a name in the default language of the system. This name is shown in the online store. If you offer additional languages, enter the names of the facet in these languages in the Name tab. To do so, proceed as described below.

Saving the facet name in an additional language:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Open the facet.
    → The Settings tab opens.

  3. Click on the Name tab.

  4. Enter a name in the language.

  5. Save the settings.

1.3. Linking a facet to a value

Use the Values tab to link facets to different values. For example, if you have a colour facet of the type Attribute/property, then create the values e.g. white, black, red, blue, etc. and link these values with the existing item attributes and properties in your system. To do so, proceed as described below.

1.3.1. Creating a value

Creating a value:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Open the facet.

  3. Open the Values tab.

  4. At the bottom left, click on the green plus sign.
    → The Creating a value window opens.

  5. Enter a name for the value in the system’s language.

  6. Enter a position.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The value is created.

  8. Optional: In the Name tab, enter translations for the name of the value.

  9. Optional: In the Settings tab, enter a CSS class.

1.3.2. Linking a value

Now, link the value with the data in the system. You can link more than one back end value to each facet value. For example, if you create facets of the type Attribute/property, you can group together attributes and properties in one filter and thus display them together in the search result.

Linking the facet value to the back end value:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Open the facet.

  3. Open the Values tab.

  4. Click on the value.

  5. Click on the Link tab.

  6. Click on the back end value.

  7. In the lower left-hand corner, click on Link.
    → The back end value is linked to the facet’s value.

  8. Optional: Link additional values.

  9. Save the settings.

1.4. Linking facets to images

In the Images tab, you link facets and facet values with images. For example, link the manufacturers with images if you want to show manufacturer logos rather than names to list manufacturers in the online store.

1.4.1. Uploading an image

Uploading an image:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Open the facet.

  3. Click on the Images tab.

  4. Click on Upload files.

  5. Navigate to the storage location of the images.

  6. Select the image file.
    → The image file is uploaded.

  7. Save the settings.

1.4.2. Linking an image

Now, link the image with the data saved in the system. Each image can be linked to one value.

Linking an image:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Open the facet.

  3. Click on the Images tab.

  4. Move your cursor over the image.
    → At the bottom of the image, a drop-down list with values is shown.

  5. In the drop-down list, click on the value.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The image is linked with this value.
    → The image is shown with a red border.
    → The name of the value is shown on the image.

1.5. Linking facets to a client

After you have created facets, go to System » Client » Open client » Services » Facet links to link these facets to a client. Decide which facets are relevant for each client and which ones are not. Changes that you make will go into effect in real time. Proceed as described below to link facets to a client.

Facets of the type Price

Only one facet of the type Price can be linked for each client.

Linking facets in the online store:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Services » Facet links.

  2. In the list to the left, click on the facet you want to link to this store.

  3. Click on Link facet in the lower left-hand corner.

  4. Optional: Activate the option Make images available, to show the images linked to the facet available in the online store.

  5. Repeat this process for all remaining facets that should be linked.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The facet is linked in the online store.

2. Using the faceted search in Callisto

In the old design Callisto, different search methods can be used for the front end search. Which search is used depends on the setting in the System » Client » Select client » Online store » Item search menu. The following options are available:

2.1. Using Callisto with the old faceted search

Activate the old faceted search by going to System » Client » Open client » Online store » Item search and activating the option Faceted search. Set up the faceted search as described in the Setting up the faceted search chapter. Then proceed as described below to use the old faceted search in Callisto.

2.1.1. Callisto + old faceted search: Defining the search index

Use the Search index tab to specify criteria that improve the search in the online store. A facet based search offers a high level of fault tolerance. This means that search terms are found even if misspelled. Item names or manufacturer names do not have to be entered exactly to yield a result. For example, customers would still find the manufacturer "adidas" even if they incorrectly entered "addidas" or "adids". Configure the following 3 tabs for this:

  • In the Fields tab, you activate the fields to be searched when a fuzzy search is run, set the boost for these fields and specify the fields to be considered during fuzzy searches.

  • In the Settings tab, you can carry out settings related to the fuzzy search.

  • In the Full text tab, you specify the item data to be searched during a full text search.

2.1.2. Callisto + old faceted search: Adding fields to the search index

Proceed as described below to add fields to the search index. When a customer starts a search in the online store, only activated fields are searched.

Defining search fields:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Click on the Search index tab.
    → The Fields tab opens.

  3. In the column Active, activate those fields to be considered during a search.

  4. For the activated fields, enter a boost between 1 and 1000. The higher the number, the more this area will be prioritized in the search results. Results will be displayed first for the field with the highest number.

  5. Optional: For the activated fields, activate the option Fuzzy search.

  6. Optional: Activate the option Full text.

  7. Save the settings.

2.1.3. Callisto + old faceted search: Adjusting the fuzzy search

Now adjust the settings for fuzzy searches.

Adjusting the fuzzy search:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Click on the Search index tab.
    → The Fields tab opens.

  3. Go to the Settings tab.

  4. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 3.

  5. Save the settings.

2.1.4. Callisto + old faceted search: Activating fields for the full text search

In the Full text tab, activate which item data is searched when the option Full text is activated in the Fields tab.

Activating fields for the full text search:

  1. Go to Systems » Client » Global » Services » Faceted search.

  2. Click on the Search index tab.
    → The Fields tab opens.

  3. Click on the Full text tab.

  4. Activate the fields to be searched when the option Full text is activated in the Fields tab.

  5. Save the settings.

2.2. Using Callisto with the faceted search (Elastic Search - BETA)

Activate the new faceted search by going to System » Client » Open client » Online store » Item search and activating the option Faceted search (Elastic Search - BETA). Set up the faceted search as described in the Setting up the faceted search chapter. Then proceed as described below to use the new faceted search in Callisto.

2.2.1. Callisto + Faceted search (Elastic Search- BETA): Activating fields for the search

Activate those fields to be searched during a search.

Activating fields for the search:

  1. Go to System » Item » Search » Front end » Search settings.

  2. In the column Active, activate those fields to be considered during a search.

  3. For the activated fields, enter the weight you want to give the information stored in this field into the column Boost. The higher the number, the more this area will be prioritized in the search results. Results will be displayed first for the field with the highest number.
    Tip: You can enter any number.

  4. Save the settings.

2.2.2. Callisto + Faceted search (Elastic Search- BETA): Changing languages

You can activate the faceted search for up to three languages. The languages German, English and French are activated by default. If you operate online stores in other languages, you can select different languages. To do so, proceed as described below.

Search index is completely rebuilt after any changes

If you change the language settings, the search index is completely rebuilt. That means that all items are added to the index again from scratch. Depending on how many items you have, this process can take several days.

Changing the languages:

  1. Go to System » Item » Search » Front end » Languages.

  2. Deactivate a language you do not need.

  3. Activate a language.
    Note: Only three languages can be activated per system.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The items are added to the search index for the activated languages.

2.3. Adding the faceted search to Callisto

In the old design Callisto, the faceted search is activated in the NavigationFacetsList template. The template NavigationFacetsList is part of the design Callisto Light. This template includes code that you can use to create a faceted search. Of course, this code can be modified as needed. Use the template function Container_NavigationFacetsList to insert the template NavigationFacetsList into the desired area of the online store. To do so, proceed as described below.

Recommended templates

We recommend using the template function Container_NavigationFacetsList in ItemViewCategoriesList and ItemViewSearchResultsList. These templates are found in the menu CMS » Web design » Folder: Layout » Folder: ItemView.

Adding the faceted search to Callisto:

  1. Go to [CMS » Web design].

  2. Open the desired template.

  3. Insert the template function Container_NavigationFacetsList into the template to display the faceted search.

  4. Save the settings.

  5. Repeat the steps above if you want to insert the template function into additional templates.

3. Using the faceted search in Ceres

In Ceres, the faceted search is used by default. Set up the faceted search as described in the Setting up the faceted search chapter. Then proceed as described below to use the faceted search in Ceres.

3.1. Ceres: Activating fields for the search

Activate those fields to be searched during a search.

Activating fields for the search:

  1. Go to System » Item » Search » Front end » Search settings.

  2. In the column Active, activate those fields to be considered during a search.

  3. For the activated fields, enter the weight you want to give the information stored in this field into the column Boost. The higher the number, the more this area will be prioritized in the search results. Results will be displayed first for the field with the highest number.
    Tip: You can enter any number.

  4. Save the settings.

3.2. Ceres: Changing languages

You can activate the faceted search for up to three languages. The languages German, English and French are activated by default. If you operate online stores in other languages, you can select different languages. To do so, proceed as described below.

Search index is completely rebuilt after any changes

If you change the language settings, the search index is completely rebuilt. That means that all items are added to the index again from scratch. Depending on how many items you have, this process can take several days.

Design language

  1. Go to System » Item » Search » Front end » Languages.

  2. Deactivate a language you do not need.

  3. Activate a language.
    Note: Only three languages can be activated per system.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The items are added to the search index for the activated languages.

3.3. Ceres: Adding the facetted search

For further information about setting up the faceted search in Ceres, refer to the Setting up Ceres page of the manual.

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