5 min read

Next Queries overview

OK, I have the hotdogs, the burgers, the buns, the ketchup, the cheese… Hmm, do I have everything? Oh! Beer! I almost forgot the beer!

Next Queries provide shoppers with ideas on what to look for next. In other words, this feature predicts what shoppers might need next before they even know they need it. For example, “cereal”, “cookies”, or “cocoa” might be the next search suggestions for “milk”.

Next queries are related to the initial query, so they usually appear after performing a first search. When a shopper selects a next query, a new search launches without needing to type the search term.

Next Queries

You can identify next queries mostly under labels such as What’s next?, Those who searched for X also searched for, or Other users have also searched.

Organic and curated next queries

With Empathy Platform, you can show organic and curated next queries in your commerce store. Organic next queries are generated automatically based on collective behavioral information, offering the most common searches that are performed by other shoppers after the initial search. Alternatively, you may want to curate the search experience and suggest search suggestions that shoppers might like to use after their initial search to drive sales as part of a branded campaign. For example, as category manager you decide to guide shoppers towards a branded beer by associating a query containing the brand name as next query after the query “hot dogs”, instead of the organic next query “beer”.

Using the Next Queries curation tool in the Empathy Platform Playboard, you can review the organic next queries generated for a query, create new curated next queries that respond to marketing strategies, change the order in which the curated next queries appear, and choose to show or hide organic next queries.

Shoppers visit a commerce store because they're looking for something they want. Sometimes, they only need a specific product, but others, they want to shop several products that can or cannot be related. Products with more clicks or common second queries entered by other shoppers are the most probable next steps in your shoppers’ search and discovery experiences. However, you cannot count only on collective behavior when, for example, a new campaign with a celebrity is coming out and you want your shoppers to discover this new jewelry collection.

Imagine you are the manager of this jewelry retailer and you need to induce shoppers to explore the jewelry collection of the celebrity’s new campaign in your commerce store.

  • What can you do?
    You can level up your shoppers' search and discovery experiences by guiding the search traffic to your target intent—in this case, the celebrity’s jewelry products.

  • How can you do it?
    You can define the next steps of the search journey with Next Queries. As the new collection has just been launched, there are still not enough collective interactions with them to organically guide shoppers to the target intent. Therefore, you need to curate the next search suggestions by adding curated next queries. So, you can create curated next queries that contain the celebrity name, collection name, and other related products, such as necklace, that will be suggested after the query “ring” or “watch”.

For this use case, creating curated next queries is not the only way to make specific products stand out in your shoppers' search and discovery journeys. Note that you can also take advantage of other Empathy Platform search features, like Product Ranking, Promotions, Redirections, and even curated Related Tags to optimize the shoppers' discovery journeys—for example, fine-tuning the shoppers search with the brand's name or tags like bracelet, earrings, or necklace after having searched for “ring”.

Spot the difference

Although Next Queries and Related Tags are suggestions closely related to the initial search, Next Queries prompts a new query in the search box and launches a completely new search. On the other hand, Related Tags refines the current search without changing the query syntax in the search box.

Try Next Queries to...

  • Anticipate shoppers' intent by offering new search suggestions that support your merchandising strategy.
  • Improve product findability. Guide shoppers to products they want or are likely to need next.
  • Speed up query entry, especially on mobile devices.
  • Offer shoppers a shopping list-like feature.

The inner workings of Next Queries

Organic next queries are generated by shoppers’ actions in the search UI. As shoppers perform different searches and actions, behavioral information (queries, clicks, add-to-cart, etc.) is collected using the Tagging microservices.

This information is analyzed by the Query Signals batch process to select the possible query pairs from the same session related to a specific query. So, from the query pairs “milk-cereal”, “milk-cocoa”, “milk-cookies”, cereal, cocoa, and cookies are identified as the organic next queries for the query “milk“ based on the highest interaction.

A review process is performed to check if each query pair is valid according to different filters (i.e. it doesn't feature on a blacklist, it isn't duplicated, etc.) and a ready-to-go list of organic next queries is created and stored by the Beacon microservice.

Curated next queries are created manually by the commerce marketer or merchandiser in the Playboard and sent to the Beacon microservice to be stored with the organic next queries. When the shopper performs a search in the frontend, Empathy Platform Interface X calls the Beacon API to retrieve a list of organic and curated next queries associated with the query, displaying them in the commerce store after the initial search.


Next Queries can also use the local web data stored in the shopper’s browser to determine precisely when a query was written, displaying only those next queries that haven’t been used yet in the current session. For that purpose, you use the History Queries feature.


Want to learn more about how you can tailor the search experience for Next Queries? Read how to configure next queries in the Empathy Platform Playboard and the options available in the Next Queries UI component.