Customize synonyms

Search in Shopify uses synonyms to treat related terms as exact matches. Synonyms can improve the relevancy of a customer’s search results. For example, you might sell bags called "slings", but you know that customers often search for "belt bags" on your store. You can create a synonym group for "slings" and "belt bags", which helps your "slings" products display when a customer searches for "belt bags".

Synonym requirements

Each synonym can be a single word or up to 5 words. There is a maximum of 20 synonyms per synonym group, and a maximum of 1000 synonyms for the entire store.

Each synonym must be unique to your whole store, there can't be the same synonym in multiple synonym groups.

Best practices for synonyms

You can use the following best practices for synonyms to ensure that you're building an effective customer experience:

  • Review your store's report on Top online store search results with no results to see if customers are searching for terms not used in your store, but you can create relevant synonyms for.
  • Synonyms in a group should be clear substitutes for one another. Avoid creating synonym groups with loosely related terms, like having both "men" and "boys" in the same group, as it might cause relevant results to display lower in search results.
  • It isn't necessary to create synonyms for common misspellings of search terms. Shopify has built-in strategies to account for this when creating search results. Learn more about typo tolerance in storefront search.
  • If a synonym group contains a compound word, consider adding its open, closed, or hyphenated versions. For example: "belt bag", "beltbag" and "belt-bag". Alternate spellings of compound words aren't considered in Shopify's default search behavior, but might be popular among your customers.

Create a synonym group

You can create synonyms for your store.


  1. In the Shopify Search & Discovery app, click Search in the app, then choose Synonyms, and click Create synonym group.
  2. Add each word or phrase separately. Click the Add button for each synonym.
  3. Enter a synonym group title.
  4. Click Save.

Synonym group titles are used by the app to help display your synonym groups. The title does not affect search results on the online store.

Synonym behavior

Below are some behaviors of synonyms to be aware that affect search results.

Synonyms with multiple words

When a synonym has multiple words separated by a space, like "belt bag", it's used as a phrase search when returning synonoumous search results. A phrase search returns results where the words appear in the exact order of the synonym.

For example, if you have a synonym group with both sling and belt bag:

  • Searching for "sling" will match products that contain the word "sling" and products that contain the phrase "belt bag".
  • Searching for "belt bag" will match products that contain the words "belt" and "bag" (not necessarily in the same field or order) and products that contain the word "sling".

Conditions when synonyms aren't used

Synonyms aren't used for matches on product sku and barcode fields.

Synonyms aren't used when a search query contains search syntax.

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