SAP Commerce Cloud: Content Indexing & Search

by Adam Reisberg

Consumers, now more than ever, are looking to be deeply informed and knowledgeable about the products they are purchasing. As part of their product discovery, consumers are relying not only on product information, but additional supplemental content, such as articles, specification sheets, and brochures. This consumption of multiple content types has become a routine part of the customer journey. To address this need, Gorilla Group has developed processes and technology to enable businesses using SAP Commerce Cloud with content indexing and search.

What Is Content Indexing and Search?

Content Indexing

Indexing is the collection of a specific type of data – product catalogs, articles, PDF documents for fast lookup. The indexer must be able to parse – or process – the various content formats into a structured data store. For example, the indexer must be able to understand the delineation between the title of an article versus the copy – or informational content – contained in the article.

Content Search

Content search is the quick retrieval of information in the content index based on a specific search term or query. The search terms will be matched against the structured data in the content index.

Searching and SAP Commerce Cloud

SAP Commerce Cloud empowers both consumers and businesses with robust tools to navigate product catalogs. SAP Commerce comes built-in with business-configurable indexing and search capabilities for product information, including attributes, prices, and availability. Customers are able to browse product listing pages for specific categories and filter search results with facets.

There is a gap, however, when informational content pages (such as articles and other CMS-generated content) or supplemental product information (such as brochures, specification sheets, and PDF documents) are needed to appear in search results. SAP Commerce Cloud does not provide any out-of-the-box systems to index or search this data.

Content Indexing and Search

Knowing that consumers are looking to be well informed about their purchases, Gorilla has developed processes to activate Content Indexing and Search in SAP Commerce Cloud.

Our process for enabling content search can be summarized as follows:

  1. Content Crawling: While most supplemental product information is stored in the content management system (CMS), the data is structured in such a way that makes indexing a challenge. Instead of trying to extract and understand the database, a content crawler is used. The content crawler is an application that traverses the ecommerce storefront and extracts relevant information from articles and attachments. It is able to process a PDF document as easily as a FAQ page. The content crawler is also able to index content that is stored outside of SAP Commerce Cloud, and include such content in search results.
  2. Content Indexing: The content index provides a structured database for searching and retrieving article and attachment content. Here, specific fields, including title, copy, and metadata, are captured and stored.
  3. Content Searching: Once both the crawling and indexing steps have been completed, we will go and implement content search. Implementations of content search vary based on the needs of businesses; some businesses like content search results mixed in with product search results, and other businesses prefer standalone content search results pages.

A More-Informed Consumer

Adding content indexing and search to SAP Commerce Cloud makes the ecommerce platform even more effective in connecting brands with their customers. It enables consumers to take ownership of their buying experiences, reduces barriers to purchase, and helps to establish your brand as a trusted resource in the marketplace.