Why We Love Our Smart Site Search (and You Will Too!)

Searching for parts at ISM is easy and intuitive

By Travis Scott

In 2017 we launched our redesigned website that featured e-commerce capabilities plus an easier user interface.

In order to offer online purchases, we needed software suitable for an industrial distributor like ISM. Magento is the name of the software we chose. It’s feature-rich and can handle ISM’s 80,000 plus parts catalog.

We couldn’t be happier with Magento and how our online catalog has turned out. While developing the new online catalog, we decided that Magento’s site search was not as user friendly as we wanted. So we decided to use Google Site Search instead. We figured ‘why not use the algorithm that powers the #1 search engine in the world.’

Watch this video about using ISM's smart site search tool >> 

Google drops out of site search
Shortly after launch, Google notified us that they would be phasing out their site search. Having worked with Google as long as I have, this was not surprising; but it was disappointing.

If there was ever a time that disappointment had a silver lining, this was it. The new site search engine that we launched this past week, Klevu Search, is nothing short of amazing.

After testing it on our staging environment for the past month, I’ve become an even bigger fan and think you’re going to love it, too.


ISM ads smart search to our website
The first thing you’ll notice is the “Smart” search with autofill or autocomplete suggestions that show related products, content such as blog posts, overstock pages, links to categories and individual products. 

ISM site search provides autofill and autocomplete suggestions as well as blog posts, overstock pages as well as links to product categories and individual products.

Once you enter your search terms and press the return or enter key or click the search button, you’re taken to a grid layout of relevant parts.

Search results are provided in the form of a grid layout of relevant parts.


Filtering your ISM search results
You can then re-sort by price and change the number of items that appear on the page.

Site search results can be re-sorted by price, either low to high or high to low.


The number of items in search results can be adjusted to 10, 20 or 50 per page.

One of the best features is that each part’s features or attributes can be filtered on the left-hand side of the page.

At first, the 864 items that come up when searching for 1/8” hose barb tees can be a little overwhelming.

For example, if you know that you need all three connections to be 1/8” and white nylon fits your application compatibility, your choices are narrowed to the products that fit your criteria.

Search results can be filtered to be more relevant by selecting key product criteria.


Hover your mouse pointer over any part you’re interested in, and you can add it directly to your cart.

Hover the mouse pointer over any part, click the add to cart button and it can be added directly to your shopping cart.


Also, the next time you click in the search box a drop-down appears showing the most popular searches plus your most recent searches.

Any following searches will have smart autofill choices for popular items plus your recent searches added to the drop down.


ISM’s new modern site search is always improving
The best part about the new search engine is that it will always be improving. It uses machine learning to better understand how our site visitors search, what terms they use for certain products, what they click on and will begin to serve up more relevant and accurate search results over time.

Machine learning is programming that gives computers the ability to learn and provide results that are more accurate over time without needing to be constantly reprogrammed to do this.

There are also tweaks and changes we will be making over time to improve the user experience and the quality of search results so if you have any suggestions, please let us know.

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