Federated Search Engine: Show Accurate Results From Multiple Sources

Find out how to give your visitors access to all of your website's content through a single gateway.

Jameela Ghann - Writer for Fast Simon
By Jameela Ghann
Michelle Meyer - Editor for Fast Simon
Edited by Michelle Meyer
Olivia Kashti - Writer and Fact-Checker for Fast Simon
Fact-check by Olivia Kashti

Updated February 26, 2024.

Woman Searching Browsing Internet Data Information Networking Concept with blank search

Improving your overall customer experience is essential to running your eCommerce store. And if you want to level up, make sure you have a federated search engine on your site that shows your customers accurate results.

Suppose you have a significant social media presence or run offline ads. When people come to your site after seeing a product they love, they aren't going to scroll endlessly through your products to find it—they'll head to the search bar first.

Therefore, you want to be sure your eCommerce store has an effective site search engine that delivers the best results and experience.

This is where a federated search engine comes into the picture.

» Learn how to add, remove, and customize your Shopify search bar for a great shopping experience

What Is a Federated Search Engine?

A federated search engine is a search tool that scours multiple sources of information and presents its findings as a single, unified result.

Using this type of search engine is becoming increasingly popular among eCommerce managers. It provides customers with a better search experience by showing them results from different places, including product catalogs, customer reviews, blog posts, and subscriptions.

» Discover the differences between eCommerce and content search

How Does Federated Search Help Your Store?

Federated search helps your store deliver better customer experiences, improves reliability, and helps shoppers find more relevant search results.

1. Better Customer Experience

By providing a unified search experience, a federated search engine helps to improve your customers' shopping experience in your store. Your customers can search for products, content, and other information from one place, saving them time and effort since they don't have to navigate to different parts of the store to find what they're looking for.

Plus, your customers may find products they didn't know you had, giving you a great opportunity to upsell and cross-sell.

For example, consider Targus's search results feature content from collections, products, popular searches, and articles, giving their customers a flexible shopping experience.

Federated Search_Better customer experience_Targus example_no border


2. Increased Reliability

A federated search engine can also increase the reliability of your store's search results. By searching multiple sources, a federated search can deliver more accurate results because it finds relevant information in places that it wouldn't be able to with a siloed search engine.

3. More Relevant Search Results

A federated search engine can also deliver more relevant search results based on past customer behavior or by searching various sites. For example, a customer might be searching for a product that's no longer in stock, but a federated search engine could find that product in another store and deliver a result to the customer.

Let's take a look at an example. Urban Clothing has many different brands, and you can get results across all brands when shopping for something specific, like bodysuits. If this feature didn't exist, shoppers would have to search five different sites to find what they're looking for.

federated search example


4. Easier to Browse

With a traditional search engine, customers might have to navigate to different parts of your store to find what they're looking for. For example, they might have to navigate to your blog to find styling tips for spring and then go to your maxi dress collection to find the perfect floral print.

With a federated search engine, customers can search for products, content, and other information from one place. This saves them time and effort and makes it easier to find what they're looking for—and buy!

Take the Fast Way

A federated search engine is a must-have tool for any eCommerce store. By delivering better customer experiences, increased reliability, and more relevant search results, a federated search engine helps your store to stand out from the crowd.

A good federated search engine will help you provide a better search experience for your customers and help to keep them coming back for more. So, why wait? Take the fast way and give your store the search engine it deserves.

» Have a Magento store? Optimize your Magento Search function with Fast Simon's plugin