Introducing Semantic Search: Shopify’s AI-Powered Storefront Feature

Our independent research projects and impartial reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more

Screenshot of Shopify dashboard showing feature overview and search performance metrics.
I downloaded Shopify’s free Search & Discovery app to access this new feature. It uses Semantic Search to help users find products that are relevant to their needs. Source: Website Builder Expert
  • Shopify rolls out Semantic Search to Shopify Plus merchants. The tool was recently teased in Shopify Editions Winter ‘24.
  • Thanks to this search feature, users will receive more relevant results when looking for specific items on a Shopify store.

Shopify, our top-rated ecommerce website builder, has rolled out its Semantic Search feature to Shopify Plus merchants. Previously teased in Shopify Editions Winter ‘24, this AI-powered storefront feature lets customers search for products in a more intuitive way and, as a result, receive search results that are better tailored to their needs.

How Semantic Search Works

Semantic Search works by building on top of keyword matching. The tool will analyze product imagery and descriptions, using this information to gain a clearer picture of what users are searching for and provide them with relevant results.

Imagine that a customer is searching for a “Halloween Witch Costume” from a costume store. After they’ve made the search, Semantic Search could then associate this query with spooky colors like “black” and “purple,” as well as suitable props like a “broomstick” or a “black cat.

From this singular search, the customer can now find everything they need for the ultimate witchy look!

How To Use Semantic Search on Your Store

Intrigued by this feature? It’s easier to set up than you think. Head onto the Shopify App Store and download the free Search and Discovery app.  After clicking install, you’ll be redirected to your dashboard. From there, click “Settings”, scroll down to the “Search Relevance” section, and click “Turn On” – this will get the ball rolling.

Other Semantic Search Features

From the Search and Discovery app, there are other key features you can activate:

  • Synonym Customization: Here, you can create different groups of synonyms. For instance, a user may refer to “ballet pumps” as “ballet flats” instead. To ensure that the right products show up for either search term, you can group them together as synonyms.
  • Product Boosts: Shopify also lets you manipulate which products you want to show up on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) first. Picture a Shopify merchant who sells leather tote bags in a variety of colors. One day, they may release a new color option that they want online shoppers to know about. Now, they can simply boost this new product so it appears in search results first!

Keen to learn more about Semantic Search? Check out Shopify’s Semantic Search Help Center document and get started today!

Written by:
Holly Choules is a Writer at Website Builder Expert with a background in researching and crafting engaging content for digital platforms. In previous roles, she has demonstrated her wordsmith skills by writing for public facing brands in a range of industries. After gaining hands-on experience using leading website builders, like Wix and WordPress, she is now keen to share her findings through informative, easy-to-follow articles that help small business owners get online and grow their presence. Since joining the team in 2024 and transitioning into the tech sphere, Holly is passionate about applying her three years of content writing experience and upholding Website Builder Expert’s position as an authoritative source on website builders, ecommerce, and digital marketing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *