How to drive dynamic banners using search

  • Ecommerce
  • Guides
Search-driven banners allow content to be dynamically loaded based on a search query.
8 mins reading time
Olly Secluna | July 25, 2020

Curating content at scale

With Amplience Dynamic Content it is easy to curate beautiful content and schedule it to specific 'slots' using our planning tool. However, this approach is not appropriate when content needs to be made available across hundreds or even thousands of different views. This is a common requirement in multi-brand commerce use cases where there may be very many product categories with hierarchies three or four levels deep as well as facetted navigation systems.

There may not be enough bandwidth in the content team to create bespoke experiences for every one of these locations. Additionally content may need to be reused across multiple categories, for example a brand banner for Dyson may need to be displayed in Electricals > Vacuum Cleaners as well as Beauty > Hair Dryers.

For these types of use case, search-driven dynamic banners can provide a way to publish relevant content to many locations while minimising effort.

How do search-driven banners work?

In this example I will describe how Amplience Search can be used to quickly setup search driven banners directly in Dynamic Content. However a similar approach could be used when working with a different CMS and integrating an external search engine. For a content producer, when creating the Dyson banner mentioned above, it would simply be a case of 'tagging' it with the locations (or categories) it needs to appear in. The search-driven banner content type will have a 'category' property that allows the user to select one or more items from a list of categories.

From an implementation point of view, each banner would need to be added to a search index. In Dynamic Content, this can be achieved by creating a search index specifically for the search-driven banner content type. In the frontend code for the website or app, when rendering a category landing page the search index would be queried to find banners that are relevant to that category. To ensure that the most relevant content is displayed where multiple banners are tagged with the same category, the search index can be configured to rank content by date published, to ensure that the most recent content is displayed. A 'ranking' property can additionally be used to allow a business user to boost the ranking of an individual banner.

Demo and code sample

You can view the online demo to see how banners can be displayed dynamically for each product category, and a fallback banner displayed where there is no banner tagged for the given category or no category identified.

You can see the code sample and the schema used to drive the search-driven-banner content type in codesandbox.io: search-driven-banner-demo - CodeSandbox

The demo uses Amplience Dynamic Content and its built in Search feature. Amplience Search is powered by Algolia and Algolia's create-instantsearch-app command line utility was used to bootstrap the app with their InstantSearch.js library of UI components.

Going further

Displaying banner content on product category pages or in search results is just one use case for dynamic banners. Essentially content can be tagged with any attribute that can be used to determine how and when the content is displayed.

Personalization

The same approach can be used for personalized content by adding a 'Customer segment' property. Frontend code can then query this property when a user is identified.

Connecting content + commerce

The simple example described above can be made more powerful by connecting the banner content type directly to the ecommerce catalogue using our Product selector extension. This can enable a business user to browse their product catalogue in commercetools, SAP Commerce or Salesforce B2C Commerce and select products or product categories directly. Using this method, search-driven banners could even be used to place content on product detail pages, for example size guides or brand information that needs to be displayed across mutltiple products.

Using search to get the most out of your content

Amplience Search provides fully integrated search capability for Dynamic Content that enables powerful content for commerce use cases including search-driven banners. Search driven banners can give content teams the ability to control customer experiences at the long tail such as deep in the product catalogue, on product detail pages or in personalized views. You can't always create bespoke content for every page, but with dynamic banners driven by search you can make the most of the quality content you have.