Guided Navigation For E-Commerce Site Search
Guided Navigation (also known as faceted search) allows site search users to easily and rapidly narrow their search for products in a structured fashion. The advantage to the customer is that they find the site easier to navigate. The advantage to the merchant is that more visitors are converted into paying customers.
Shoppers often begin their search using vague and general terms. All too frequently they abandon the search in frustration and leave the web site altogether because too many choices are returned in an unstructured manner.
Guided navigation solves this problem by allowing the visitor to easily and rapidly narrow the search and "drill down" using the products' attributes (or "facets"). This is particularly useful when the site's inventory includes many products with complex set of features.
Another advantage of guided navigation is that it displays product features and options that might have been otherwise overlooked. For example, a shopper might not know that an item is available in a certain pattern or color, a product was available from a certain manufacturer, a lower cost option exists, etc. Guided navigation makes the full repertoire of product attributes visible in a highly structured and easily navigated fashion.
The result is both satisfied customers and merchants.