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New search filters and sorting

Your search engine got even more powerful. Users can now filter search results by time-based availability and sort them by date, price, and extended data.

Hi!

The surest way to win over a new marketplace customer is to help them find interesting, relevant listings. That's why it's critical your marketplace offers a great search and discovery experience.

The latest addition to Flex makes your search engine even more powerful. You can now allow customers to filter their search by time-based availability and sort listings by creation date, price, or numeric extended data values.

The new search components have been added to Flex Templates for Web (FTWs). FTW hourly now has the time-based search filter, and both FTW-daily and FTW hourly have the new sorting mechanism by default.

Filtering search by time-based availability

If your customers are looking for a service, a rental, or an experience for a specific time, they typically don't want to see listings that are not available during that period.

Previously, filtering the search was possible only by day-based availability. Now, it's possible also by time-based availability. An example search component has been added to FTW-hourly.

You can filter the search by time-based availability in three ways. 

The first option is only to return listings that have the entire provided time range available. This is useful, for example, for a car rental marketplace. If a customer wants to pick up a car on Monday at 5 PM and return it on Wednesday at 10 AM, you need to ensure that nobody else has booked the car for Tuesday afternoon.

The second option is to return all listings that have at least some availability within the provided range. This comes in handy for marketplaces that offer different types of events, for instance. Let’s say a customer has an afternoon off tomorrow from 1 PM to 5 PM and wants to try a yoga class. Any listing that begins and ends within the provided range can be a match, regardless of the duration.

The third option is to return all listings that have at least one available slot of a certain length within the provided range. For many service marketplaces, this is a must. The customer from the previous example might instead want to use their free afternoon to go to a hairdresser. They know their usual haircut takes an hour, so they need to find a hairdresser who is available for at least one hour somewhere between 1 PM and 5 PM tomorrow. This filtering option is now available also if you’re using day-based availability.

All these options also work with seats. As an example, let's say a marketplace is about guided two-hour tours. A family of 4 is going to have a one-week vacation next month. They want to find all the listings that have at least one slot available within that week, with at least 4 seats.

Sorting search by date, price, and extended data

Many customers might have more specific criteria for finding the right listing. New visitors could be looking for the cheapest ones to compare offerings. Old patrons might want to see the latest listings. On marketplaces for events, start date is usually a deciding factor.

The latest Flex release gives you lots of control over how you want to allow your users to sort search results. The default sorting options are by listing creation date or price, in either ascending or descending order. However, you can also sort by any numeric extended data.

Essentially, this allows you to define your own sorting algorithm.

For example, you could allow customers to sort listings by popularity or event start date. You can store the booking count to listings and show results in popularity order. Storing the date and time of the first event for each listing allows you to show results sorted by event time.

Try out the new search options

The easiest way to try out these new features is to set up the latest version of FTW-daily or FTW-hourly and play with the new components. Alternatively, you can dive into the updated API documentation about querying listings for the Marketplace API or the Integration API.

If you're planning to allow sorting listings by extended data, remember to make the required changes to the search schema with the Flex CLI.

If you have any feedback on these improvements, let us know!

On behalf of the Sharetribe team,

Juho Makkonen
CEO, Sharetribe

P.S. If you have any questions, just reply to this email and we'll get back to you as fast as lightning! ⚡️

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