Single post hero image

Search Valet | Master Your Site’s Search Tool

Whether you’re searching for a specific car or a certain trim on a dealership’s site, nobody wants to re-type the vehicle name multiple times to get accurate results. By the time a customer reaches the search results page, their patience is already stretched thin. Far too many dealers have been subject to poorly designed search widgets that lead to a poor user experience. Shoppers are presented with a search box that requires an exact match of the search term to the description of the inventory to return results, does not display suggestions, and fails to exhibit machine-learning technologies leaving them to type and pray that any inventory is returned at all.

Don’t be the dealership that makes it harder for your customers to search for their next car, make it simple with a search widget that gives customers a flexible shopping experience. The basics of search are well understood, yet so many dealers are left with poor search widgets that do anything but refine search. DealerOn’s new optional inventory search feature called Search Valet solves that problem, by delivering an intuitive and highly accurate text search experience that dealers and shoppers demand.

Dive into all the features DealerOn’s Search Valet tool has to offer:

Inventory Search
Inventory search is a full-text search widget that includes synonym mappings, typo mappings and predictive targeting to refine the search.

Synonym Mappings, ex. Shopper types “Chevy”, the search widget will show “Chevrolet” as a suggestion.

Typo Mappings, ex. Shopper types “Chavy”, the search widget will show “Chevrolet” as a suggestion.

Fuzzy matching is a technique used in computer-assisted translation as a special case of record linkage. It works with matches that may be less than 100% perfect when finding correspondences between segments of a text and entries in a database of previous translations.

Predictive Targeting, ex. 

  • Auto-population that narrows with each character entered into the search
  • Auto population of typo correction list while searching
  • Machine learning that continues to evolve with the dealer

There are providers who fail to complement the activity of search with assistive technologies like typo mappings, synonyms and predictive targeting when it is needed. They funnel or force shoppers to select a single vehicle prior to landing on a search results page, assuming that they understand the full intent of the shopper and inadvertently provide a poor user experience. Shoppers have no idea what is available and most of the time, even if the target search is correct, shoppers want to browse and refine the results of their query. It doesn’t help to force them to select between multiple pictures of the same exact vehicle especially if the differing details they prefer are buried within the vehicle details.

Some providers abuse the search box by not optimizing for the shopper. The most important and relevant requirement for a search box is a simple quality user experience that gets the job done accurately. A search tool isn’t going to provide the point of sale, it’s a refinement tool and research has shown, it should be optimized as such.

VDP vs SRP Landing Page
When shoppers search for a vehicle, suggestions should take them to a search results page rather than a vehicle details page. Forcing a shopper to select a VDP rather than a SRP, forces them to backout to view all available inventory and refine. This back-and-forth user experience is time-consumingand arduous, especially when shoppers are browsing on mobile. Search Valet sends shoppers to a SRP allowing them to immediately view all available inventory right away.

Filtered Search
Filtered search builds upon the search term used within Search Valet. The initial search term like “Chevy” is pinned to the results until cleared such that additional filters can build on the term. It allows shoppers to have a highly effective and easy-to-navigate way to find vehicles based on specific criteria. Vehicle criteria could include terms like captain’s chairs or Apple CarPlay. Filtered Search allows shoppers to refine their search with specific features to find that specific car model.

OpenSearch Compliant
Having a search tool that is OpenSearch compliant allows native inventory search within web browsers. This helps shoppers search a site’s inventory within the browsers internal search bar. This is particularly useful as it gives dealerships a quick tool for pulling up inventory directly within the browser. Search Valet’s OpenSearch compliance capability works with browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer and FireFox.

Voice Search
This is convenient when shoppers are on mobile. Having a search tool that utilizes built-in voice search allows shoppers to quickly perform their search by simply speaking to Search Valet. Search Valet’s voice search is integrated into Chrome, Chrome for Android and Samsung Internet browsers which supports the majority of the market.


Inventory Attributes
Searching Inventory Attributes returns a predictive list that accounts for all of the variations that occur within the automotive industry. Search Valet provides a full-text search of all vehicle attributes and details, not just the structured data that’s used in filtered search. Search Valet goes beyond the simple understanding that “burgundy” is “red” by considering criteria such as OEM marketing terms like “Abyss Gray” and “Oxford White”.  If a shopper types “Ext Cab” or “Extended Cab”, all of the various OEM truck cab designations, “Extra Cab”, “King Cab”, “Quad Cab”, “Super Cab”, etc., are returned. Furthermore, “regular cab” and “crew cab” have their own specific truck mappings all based upon specific OEM designations, and let’s not forget, body style mappings are not exclusive to trucks. Search Valet won’t forget your cabriolet when a customer is searching for a convertible.

Post behavior

Your dealership’s site search tool should have the goal of being relevant.Search Valet query results are ordered by “Relevance” to the target search term as having results pre-sorted any other way would defeat the value provided by a search engine. However, the shopper themselves can sort it a different way.

With a feature like Sort and Show, shoppers can sort and expand post search results based on all of the standard sort filters on a platform. DealerOn’s platform can sort from Price: Low to High, Make: A-Z, Mileage: Low to High and many more like the image below.

DealerOn’s Search Valet will not only provide you all the features above but will ensure highly targeted and accurate results. Get shoppers through the door by allowing them to easily search for their dream car with the optimal search tool, Search Valet.

Author Nathaniel Osgood

More posts by Nathaniel Osgood

Leave a Reply

Call support
(877) 543-4200
Call Sales
(877) 543-6321