Best Practices for Using Synonyms in

What it is and how to use Synonyms effectively.

Synonyms in provide a robust solution for refining search results and boosting conversion rates. To harness the full potential of this feature while avoiding potential challenges, it’s crucial to adhere to best practices when implementing synonyms within the platform. This guide outlines recommended approaches and strategies for leveraging synonyms effectively.

What are Synonyms

Synonyms, in the context of, concretely refer to words or phrases that share a similar meaning or are contextually related to a primary keyword. The purpose of introducing synonyms into the system is to establish semantic connections that enhance the search experience for users. By associating relevant synonyms with a particular keyword, ensures that a broader range of related products is considered during customer searches.


Unidirectional synonyms allow users to create unidirectional semantic associations between a keyword and other words. In this case, when visitors search for the specified keyword, its directed synonyms will be considered as equal terms, and relevant results will be displayed. For instance:

Search TermSynonymsResult
phonemobile, smartphonePhone = mobile, and Phone = smartphone, but Mobile ≠ phone and Smartphone ≠ phone

Regardless of the synonym type:

  • Synonyms do not replace search results for any given keyword.
  • Synonyms do not influence the position of products in the results list.


Synonyms create a bi-directional semantic association between a keyword and other words. This means that when a user searches for a particular term, the results will include products associated with both the keyword and its synonyms. However, it’s important to note that the association is established with the keyword, not between the synonyms themselves. For example:

Search TermSynonymsResult
jumpersweater, pulloverJumper = sweater, and Jumper = pullover, but Sweater ≠ pullover

Constraints and Unexpected Results

Multiple Word Synonyms: Exercise caution with multiple word synonyms, as they are generally not supported and may lead to undesired results. Exceptions may include specific cases with a structure like name + adjective (e.g., “leather coat” => “leather jacket”). Results should be carefully reviewed.

Ambiguous Synonyms: Words with multiple meanings may cause confusion in search results. For example, the term “bar” could yield results for both “Courtains bar” and a “Chocolate bar.”

Interference with Customized Search or Merchandising Campaigns: If a customized search or merchandising campaign exists for the same search term as a synonym, the latter will be overruled by the former.

When to Use and When Not to Use Synonyms

Yes, Use SynonymsNo, Avoid Synonyms
To help find products with different names
(e.g., “sneaker” = “trainer”).
Adding alternative SKUs to
a large portion of the product catalog.
To address (specific) searches in a different
language on multilingual websites.
Translating the entire product catalog.
To accommodate searches for well-known brand names
(e.g., xerox => photocopier).
Including keywords that don’t strictly qualify as synonyms.
When the data feed lacks all variations of
a product’s name.
Attempting to fix search issues
(contact tech support for such cases).
For optimizing non-converting/no-results
queries with sufficient search volume.
Promoting specific products or brands
(use merchandising for this purpose).
When introducing new products or product variations to
align with customer search behavior.
Including or excluding specific products for a given search.

Key Considerations for usage of synonyms

Understanding the Distinction: When utilizing synonyms in, it’s crucial for users to grasp the distinction between two types: Bi-directional Synonyms and Unidirectional. For most users, especially those seeking a more controlled and precise search influence, Directed Synonyms are often the preferred choice.

Benefits of Unidirectional Synonyms: Directed Synonyms allow you to guide the system in treating specific terms as equals to your primary keyword. For example, if you use “mobile” and “smartphone” as directed synonyms for “phone,” searching for “phone” will yield results for all three terms. However, if you specifically search for “mobile” or “smartphone,” the results will only include items linked directly to those terms, keeping your search outcomes more focused.

Why This Matters to You: In many cases, users find that using Directed Synonyms provides more control over the search experience, aligning results with their specific needs. This strategic flexibility ensures that you get precisely what you’re looking for without compromising the integrity of the primary keyword’s search results.

Key Consideration: Most of the time, you will benefit from using uni-directional synonyms more than bi-directional synonyms. This distinction is crucial for achieving a more tailored and accurate search experience.

Alternatives to Synonyms

Customized Search: Utilize customized search functionalities when looking to tailor search results based on specific criteria. Here is a link to further explain our customized search.

Merchandising Campaigns: Employ merchandising campaigns to strategically promote products in the context of search. Here is a link to further explain our merchandising.