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Table of contents :

Introducing WooCommerce OpenSearch: The Future of Online Shopping

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Table of contents :

Introduction

Online shopping continues to grow every year, with more people preferring the convenience of shopping from their homes. With the global pandemic, this trend accelerated further. Online shopping is not just convenient though; it allows people to access products from anywhere, anytime. With the increasing number of online shops, search solutions have become an essential part of online shopping. The current trend is towards OpenSearch, and WooCommerce has introduced its OpenSearch feature to help businesses thrive in the realm of online shopping.

What is WooCommerce OpenSearch

WooCommerce OpenSearch is a new feature that allows online shoppers to search for products more efficiently. It is an open-standards protocol that makes it easier for shoppers to discover and view products from stores that support it. When users search for a product on an OpenSearch-supported website, the search results are displayed immediately, with a quick view of images and pricing.

How it Works

The first step to using the OpenSearch function is for the store owner to activate the feature on their website. Once activated, customers can start using the search function. The protocol allows for an instant visual product display based on matching keywords. Once a customer finds something of interest, one click takes them to the product page with more information, including pricing and shipping.

Why is it Important for Online Shopping

OpenSearch brings convenience to online shopping, especially for clients who deal with many vendors. It streamlines the search process while also displaying all the necessary details of a product. Being an open standard, OpenSearch allows for the use of advanced filtering options. These options can include things like pricing, location, ratings, availability, and user preferences. By providing these additional search tools, customers have a better chance of finding what they are looking for.

Get Started with the PHP Client

To get started with the PHP client of OpenSearch, you need to install an HTTP client library. This enables you to connect your site to the OpenSearch API endpoint. Below is an example code using the Guzzle client.


// Composer Autoloader
// Load HTTP Client
// Load Guzzle
require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

use GuzzleHttp\Client;
use GuzzleHttp\Psr7\Request;
use GuzzleHttp\Exception\ClientException;

# Instantiate a new Guzzle client
$client = new Client([
 # Base URI is used with relative requests
 'base_uri' => 'https://www.my_store.com',
]);

# Setting headers/options in Guzzle
$headers = [
 'Content-Type' => 'application/opensearchdescription+xml',
 'User-Agent' => 'WooCommerce Product Search'
];

# Examples of using the Guzzle request methods
# Use this to send a GET request
$response = $client->get('/opensearch.xml', ['headers' => $headers]);
# Use this to send a POST request
$response = $client->post('/opensearch.xml', ['body' => ['name' => 'WooCommerce']]);

# Handling exceptions in Guzzle
try {
 $response = $client->request('GET', '/opensearch.xml', [
  'headers' => $headers
 ]);
} catch (ClientException $e) {
 echo Psr7\Message::toString($e->getRequest());
 if ($e->hasResponse()) {
  echo Psr7\Message::toString($e->getResponse());
 }
}

WPSOLR Can Help with Your WooCommerce OpenSearch

WPSOLR is a plugin that can help make using OpenSearch even more effective. It provides advanced search and filtering options that can integrate with WooCommerce OpenSearch. With WPSOLR, you can control the ranking of your products based on various criteria. This means that when a customer searches for a product, the most relevant results appear first. Additionally, WPSOLR provides the capabilities to customize OpenSearch results so that they match the store’s branding and layout.

Conclusion

In conclusion, OpenSearch is the future of online shopping since it provides the convenience that customers want and helps stores to stand out in the competitive arena of e-commerce. With the new WooCommerce OpenSearch feature, online store owners don’t have to limit their customers’ search capabilities. The convenience and practicality that the feature adds can attract more customers, leading to greater sales. Coupled with WPSOLR, online store owners can ensure their customers find the perfect products quickly and easily.

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