Just like everything in life, there are pros and cons. The fantastic eCommerce tool, Shopify, is no exception. With a variety of default settings, customizations, and methods to showcase your products, there is much to learn about this eCommerce tool. The Shopify search engine is not a mystery, but it is one of the most useful skills you could gain when it comes to running an efficient eCommerce site. 

The Basics of Shopify Search

The Shopify search engine runs like many other common search engines. It functions by taking searched words and then populating the results for the customer to review. A critical piece of information that many Shopify users may not know is that the search features can be customizable. This means that the user can customize how the products display themselves, and in what order, to the customers. By using the search.liquid feature, several different Shopify search settings can be altered based on personal preferences. 

The Pros

As stated before, one of the greatest pros in using Shopify search is that the features are customizable. However, it takes knowing what is customizable and what is not in order to best optimize the search engine. There are three main categories that can be adjusted to fit your desires:

  • Types
  • Product availability
  • Partial word matches

Each of these categories contain subcategories for specific customization that may be of interest to you. Let’s take a look at all three.


The “types” feature means that when you search in the search bar, there are three options for types of content to pop up:

  • Articles
  • Pages
  • Products

Embedded in the Shopify search engine is the option to select which of these types you’d like to populate as a search result. There are several combinations of types you can customize:

  • Article, page
  • Page, product
  • Article, product
  • Article, page, product: this setting is the default setting

By simply adding a comma, you can combine each of the types as possible search result options. This customizable setting allows you to choose what kind of content on your site is made available to your customers through the search bar tool.

Product Availability

Product availability is exactly what it sounds like. This feature allows you to choose how the search results display your products based on availability. By choosing the “unavailable_products” feature, you get to showcase your products in three different ways:

  • Show: the search results are populated based on relevance.
  • Hide: results are shown by relevance and unavailable products cannot be viewed.
  • Last: relevant products will be displayed first, followed by the unavailable products. This setting is the default setting within the Shopify search engine. 

Depending on how you want the results on your search engine to display themselves will depend on what setting you choose for this feature. Some eCommerce sites would prefer their unavailable products to not appear at all. The choice is up to you. 

Partial Word Matches

Partial word matches focus on taking the key words used in the search bar and finding products that match with the last word typed. This feature is particularly useful for showcasing a variety of products within a category that have some sort of relevance to the item searched. A great example of this can be used by searching the words “warm coat.” This search, with the partial word match setting activated, would yield results such as:

  • Winter coat
  • Heavy coat
  • Long coat

Taking the last word off of the key word search greatly expands the amount of results available to the customer. The two options for program settings within partial word matches are:

  • Last: this setting means that the partial word match will be used based on the last word type.
  • None: the partial word match feature is not activated. This is the default setting within Shopify. 

Activating this setting within your Shopify search engine can make all the difference for the amount of products shown to your searching customers. 

The Cons

The cons for Shopify search are the fact that the settings have been defaulted for you. Without knowing how to change these settings for your optimization, you’d have no clue how to adjust your eCommerce site to fit your preference. The default settings can be very limiting for your business, so you’re going to want to adjust those based on your Shopify search needs. 

Improve Your Shopify Search

If you want to improve your Shopify search engine, make the adjustments to these default settings. There are so many different options for personalization and customization. Make the changes you need that best fit your eCommerce site. In doing so, you’ll watch the search engine optimization improve for your business.