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Best marketplace UX practices for search, as shown by industry leaders

Jan 4th 2021 ecommerce

Best marketplace UX practices for search, as shown by industry leaders

In this post, we’ll look at best marketplace UX practices in search from some of the world’s most popular and most profitable marketplaces. You’ll notice a trend: marketplace search engines need to power advanced search and browse scenarios such as dynamic faceting, content carousels, autocomplete drop-downs, and federated search.

If you get inspired, don’t forget to implement these practices in a way that provides a unified omnichannel experience across web, mobile web, and mobile applications.

Amazon: content carousels

The Amazon homepage has an extensive content showcase that spans dozens of categories. Sporting goods, popular deals, holiday decor, last-minute deals are called out. It’s the digital equivalent of browsing through a department store, and a great example of a merchandised content carousel.

Amazon content carousel

Etsy: personalized marketplace UX

From suggested searches based on recent search and browse activity to personalized picks and recently viewed items, Etsy knows how to retain and reengage the shopper through personalization (and certainly knows this writer well!)

Etsy search personalization

Newegg: typo tolerance

Buying electronics often requires entering precise search queries, yet brand name variations are easily mistyped, particularly by users on mobile. This is why typo tolerance is so critical. Newegg gets it: a search for “Samsung Galexy” yields the same results as the one for “Samsung Galaxy” would. 


Goat: the optimized in-between search screen

The screen that serves as a transition to the upcoming search result page is precious real estate. When a Goat user searches for a product, they are offered a quick glance at their previous searches as a reminder, as well as shown what other users are looking for. This can help an uninspired or casual shopper turn into a serious buyer.


Houzz: the engaging search bar

Houzz knows that users may not understand all the shopping and content possibilities their site offers. Rather than offering a blank (and bland) search bar, they use the opportunity to offer shoppers multiple options for search and discovery (photos, products, pros…) — and with it, conversion.

Videdressing: searchable filters on mobile

Ever had to scroll through a long page of filter values to find the one you are looking for? Because the number of filters is sometimes too large, like here with brands, Videdressing offers an easy for the users to search among those, and find brands which are available for filtering in this given context.

In addition, Videdressing makes filtering views very visual in order to improve accessibility, and the user experience. 

Walmart: bespoke faceting

Walmart’s facets are tailored to specific product categories. For example, a search for t-shirts triggers standard filters such as size and color, but also facets such as “Sleeve Length Style” or “Category”. (while photo cropping in search results could be better).

ManoMano: federated search

In addition to offering relevant search results (bonus for bolding the most relevant search terms!), ManoMano cleverly offers the user multiple types of content, which translates into multiple paths to conversion, based on user’s personal preferences and ways of processing information.

Mano Mano federated search


Interested in building advanced experiences like this? Here is our guide to what it takes to build advanced marketplace search.

About the author
Ivana Ivanovic

Senior Content Strategist


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