How Wolt’s search and recommender systems work
How Wolt’s search works
Wolt Search is designed to help you quickly and easily find products and services that are relevant to you. Here you can find information about why certain search results are shown to you.
Note that Wolt has two search functions that work differently: The standard search in the Wolt app and on the Wolt.com website, and the partner-specific search for a specific restaurant or business. Standard search
The standard search is available from the navigation bar in the Wolt app or from the search bar on the Wolt.com website. Standard search allows you to search the entire Wolt platform for products, services, and partners.
When you enter a search term, we match your search with our index of partners (e.g. restaurant name) and product data (e.g. product description). To give you the most relevant search results, we also use synonyms and correct spelling mistakes. By default our search results include venues and items.
The venue results are sorted by “Recommended”, which is based solely on the partners' opening hours, text-based relevance of the search results (match of the search term with the partner and product data), popularity of the partner (partner sales figures on the Wolt platform) and distance of the partner to the delivery address. These main parameters are applied with the help of certain algorithms, weightings and business internal rules. Accordingly, the text-based relevance influences with most weighting the position of the partner in the search results, after all search results have been previously grouped according to the opening hours. The popularity of the partner influences the results with the second importance in weighting and the partner’s distance influences the results as the least important factor in weighting. If a user visits the Wolt app or the Wolt.com website, partners that match the search query but are not open and partners that are further away from the user and do not deliver to the user will be displayed at the end of the search results. You can also sort & filter the search results using different options, such as the delivery price and the partner’s customer rating.
Item results are sorted in a similar way as venue results but leverage additional parameters and different weights. Accordingly, the item results are sorted again based on the partners’ opening hours, text-based relevance, partner popularity of the partner and partner distance to the delivery address. Additionally, the rating of a partner and item popularity (item sales figures on the Wolt platform) are considered.
With the consent of the user, Wolt also saves the search history and suggests searches the user has used in the past. If a user wants to delete the user’s search history, the user can withdraw the consent, log out of the app or clear previous searches manually.
Partner specific search
With the partner specific search you can search for items that are available at a specific partner. We match your selected search term with the partner's product titles and descriptions. The results of your search are sorted primarily based on the text relevance (match of the search term with the product data). Product popularity also affects the ranking but with a lower weight. In addition, products from the same category are always grouped, with the best matches at the top.
Restaurants / Shops section
In addition to the Wolt search, the "Restaurants" or "Stores" area allows you to find all restaurants or stores in your area. Both sections can be accessed in the Wolt app or website Wolt.com via the navigation bar. Here you will find information about how the respective lists are compiled.
After clicking on either the "Restaurants" or "Stores”' area, you will be shown all partners in the relevant delivery area based on your delivery address. These are prioritized using different algorithms and internal business rules as follows. You can also sort & filter the search results using different options, such as the delivery price and the partner’s customer rating. Offline or currently unavailable venues are always sorted to the end.
Restaurants: depending on whether you were already a customer with us, we use different algorithms to prioritize the results.
If you are not a customer yet or are not signed up, partners are sorted based on their delivery time, popularity (partner sales numbers on Wolt platform), price level, delivery price, distance, type of business operation model (e.g. brick and mortar vs. virtual), rating, the number of ratings and retention. The importance of these signals is determined through an automated process (machine learning). Essentially, the system observes how each signal impacts a customer's choices over time. For example, if many customers prefer items with faster delivery, the influence of the 'delivery time' increases. This learning process is ongoing, adapting to changing trends and preferences on real-world behavior. Their influence on the partner's position on the page results changes based on the underlying data.
If you are an existing customer, we prioritize partners based on your buying behavior and the buying behavior of other customers. This means that we filter for customers with buying behavior similar to yours to suggest partners that are new to you, but with whom customers similar to you have already interacted. Partner clicks, favorites and customer ratings are the equally weighted main parameters. In addition, we show only the closest franchise partners to your delivery address and prioritize any category lists displayed based on their popularity.
Stores: In this section we prioritize partners based on their popularity (partner sales figures on the Wolt platform), their customer rating and their attractiveness (ratio of a partner's visibility to their sales figures). These main parameters are considered in equal parts. As with restaurants, we show only the closest franchise partners to your delivery address and prioritize any category lists displayed based on their popularity.
The discovery page is the entry point for every customer who visits Wolt. This page is designed with several carousels, each containing multiple items. These items can be either venues or banners, which link to venues or an editorial article.
The carousels on the Discovery page are populated according to a predefined set of business rules. This ensures that the content is relevant and tailored to each specific location. The venues displayed in these carousels are selected based on their availability to deliver to the customer's current location.
The horizontal order within the carousels for venues follows the same algorithms used on our restaurant page. Though some carousels follow a different order, eg. “Order Again” is ordered by recency of the purchase. For banners, the horizontal order is defined manually.
If someone follows the “see all” link next to a carousel, a list of venues is shown. If the list of venues consists mostly of restaurants, they are ranked like on the restaurants page. All other cases use the algorithms from the stores page.
The vertical order of the carousels is determined based on the popularity of each carousel, measured by customer interactions. This ensures that the most engaging and relevant content is presented to you. Some vertical carousel positions are manually determined.
To maintain a diverse and engaging user experience, we've implemented a system to reduce duplicate content. Venues that appear higher up in a carousel are pushed towards the end of any subsequent carousel further down the page. This approach keeps the Discovery page fresh and interesting for you, while ensuring that all content is presented fairly and transparently.
The order of your search results in the Standard search and the Restaurants / Stores section can also be influenced by paid placement. In this case, such results may be ranked higher than they would be based on the parameters listed above. Partners whose position is influenced by paid placement are marked as “Sponsored”.
Wolt reserves the right to amend this information as it may change its algorithms, practices and parameters from time to time. Wolt may also experience technical issues or conduct certain trials in a limited manner that have an effect on the visibility, rankings and search results that will not be reflected in these descriptions due to their limited nature.