Project: Insta-Search

We’ve been exploring new ways to search Tesco online.

Background and Introduction

Search is one of the biggest pain points for, primarily on factors such as relevance and speed.

Insta-Search is a new way to search Tesco products, providing an unprecedented degree of relevance at blazingly fast speeds.

By mining through web-analytics and product catalogue data, Insta-Search continually self-learns and evolves along with changing consumer tastes and trends.

Goals and Objectives

The objective of Insta-Search is to provide a high quality next-generation search experience by taking an instant best guess of what the customer intent might be.

It achieves this by:

  • Providing relevant search term suggestions as soon as a customer begins typing a search term.
  • Refining these suggestions instantly as the customer continues to type, while being tolerant to typos.
  • Displaying a rich mini product catalogue, consisting of up to 4 products with images, for the ‘best-guess’ search term suggestion.

As a result, customers experience an engaging and immersive product finding method, where the target product is quite possibly just a key-stroke away.

Where We’re At Now

Insta-Search has been trialled on Tesco Direct in January 2013 and is currently live to 100% of Tesco Direct customers.

As part of the initial trial covering 10% of customers, following were some key observations:

Insta-Search outperformed other instant search providers on conversion rate as well as average order value.

Customers seemed to type less than before while searching for products.