Site search problems on

When I’m stuck sweltering in the city on these hot summer days, I always think about other places I could be having fun in the sun. Dreaming of the beach leads me to dreaming of beachwear, so I started browsing online. I found myself on the Hurley ecommerce site, and I decided to search the shop for board shorts.

I entered “board shorts” into the search function, but that returned no results. Strange, but I figured maybe I was spelling it wrong. I entered “boardshorts” and still got no results. This is especially confusing because as my eyes moved over to the left navigation menu, I could clearly see a Boardshorts category. What gives with this search?

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No results, huh? Because it looks like this site carries a ton of boardshorts to me:

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This is not good at all. For the record, I tried a few other search terms that I know are on the site, like “hoodie” and “wetsuit,” which also returned no results. This search function really needs to be fixed. On top of that, I would suggest that it return the same results for both “board shorts” and “boardshorts.” Shoppers should be able to find what they want regardless of whether it’s one word or two.

One search term that actually did work was “sandal.” However, this search wasn’t without problems. The results showed a number of flip flops, which could all potentially be for men or women. At the top, there is one filtering option: Mens or Girls. I wanted to see which ones came in women’s sizes, so I clicked Girls.

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What do you know, no results. If there aren’t any women’s sandals, then why offer that filtering option to begin with? This makes for a frustrating shopping experience, and I would suggest eliminating this until there are actually women’s sandals available.

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Time to get your site search in order, Hurley. A search function that doesn’t return results is a pretty pointless and frustrating feature.




  1. Posted July 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    They’re not stemming/lemmatizing or expanding for related inflections. The easiest way to cope with this is use something like Porter’s stemmer.

    Ex: Search for “boardshort,” or even “boardsh,” which proves they’re doing a brute force LIKE %% match in SQL. Which also proves they’re not ranking the results 😉

  2. Posted July 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to check out our website!
    We agree that our current search functionality is terrible, particularly when searching by category; one of many improvements that we are working on over the next couple of months.

    • ECOTTAdmin ECOTTAdmin
      Posted July 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      No problem, thanks for checking out the post! Let us know when those improvements go live on your site. We’re excited to see how it turns out!

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