Best E‑Commerce Site Search Solutions

    Often, the search bar is the first thing customers use in an e-shop. As it's more likely that the browsing will result in a purchase if the customer can quickly find the specific product or if he receives an appropriate recommendation if the specific product is not in stock at the moment, a good search engine is an important part of most e-shops.

    Barbora Bončová
    Barbora Bončová Product Marketing Specialist
    Best E‑Commerce Site Search Solutions

    How many times have you gotten frustrated while trying to find a product on an e‑commerce site because the search box didn’t work the way you wanted? Probably quite a few times – and most likely, you left the store then to look for another, more convenient-to-use store.

    Your customers are the same. If your search engine, instead of making it easier for them to find the products they want, only confuses the users or doesn’t give them the results they want, they will simply go to another store.

    That makes a fast and user-friendly e‑commerce search tool an essential part of your online store – one without which it might be tough to have happy customers who are coming more often. But which one of the many search platforms should you pick? Well, we do have a few tips on how to find the right search engine for your e‑commerce store – and also a few recommendations when it comes to the platforms.

    Read on to see which e‑commerce search tools we think are worth trying out – and what are their best points.

    What is an e‑commerce search engine and its benefits?

    A search engine for e‑commerce is a type of search engine designed specifically to help your e‑commerce site visitors find the products they are looking for quickly and easily. Basic e‑commerce search tools simply match the keywords from a search query with product descriptions stored in the database. However, modern e‑commerce search engines can do far more than that:

    • Thanks to artificial intelligence, search engines can learn from the data it has about the customers to give them more accurate search results
    • Give users an option to refine their search results through detailed search filters and facets (product criteria such as color, size, brand, the material used, etc.)
    • Show personalized product recommendations based on the visitors’ earlier search queries and purchase history
    • Search for products taking into account synonymous words and adding those into the results (for example, when a customer searches for “sweaters,” the engine won’t only show results with the word “sweater” but also items with “jumper” or “pullover” in the product description)
    • Recognize the most common misspellings and show the correct product even if the user makes a typo while typing the product name into the search box
    • Suggest additional products that match the ones the user has browsed or added to the cart (such as suggesting adding a screen shield and phone cover to a new smartphone)
    • Allow shoppers to use voice or product image search to look for relevant products

    With those features, you can quickly enhance the search experience website and mobile users have when using your store. Not only can they look for the products in a way that is most convenient for them (no matter whether they prefer browsing the store through a website or using a voice assistant), but the AI-powered search feature will also make sure that shoppers get the most relevant results for their search queries. With 65% of shoppers finding customer experience more important than price, giving them a user-friendly way to browse your e‑commerce store through an AI-powered site search might be something that brings far more customers to your store.

    By giving them tailored product recommendations as they add products to their shopping cart meanwhile, you can make your customers feel like you know exactly what they need and convince them to add something more to their shopping basket. Monete research found that shoppers who got the right recommendations had a 70% higher conversion rate than other shoppers. When you use an AI-powered search solution, you can customize the recommendations to your visitors’ every search and then automatically show them relevant products – and on any channel they might be using.

    What to consider when choosing an e‑commerce search engine

    You can now see that implementing a site search tool dedicated to e‑commerce in your shop will give you a lot of advantages – including having more happy customers that will buy more often and recommend your store to other potential customers.

    But how do you choose the right e‑commerce solution with so many options available? Here are a couple of points you should look at especially carefully while browsing and comparing the platforms:

    Ease of installation

    The time and effort needed to implement the search engine platform vary from product to product. If you want to install and set up the platform, you should look for solutions with a quick store integration. Luigi Box, for example, needs only one line of code added to your CMS, and you can start using it immediately. For more complex solutions, you might need to hire a dedicated technician though.

    Ease of use

    The search function is meant to make searching for products a breeze for your potential customers. To ensure they will be able to find what they want through the search bar, it’s a good idea to test how user-friendly the platform is to use before implementing it. For example, you could check how easy it would be for your potential users to add the search filters to the results or find relevant content, such as FAQ.

    Features available

    Autocomplete, typo corrections, or personalized suggestions can make your customers’ shopping experience much more enjoyable, while search analytics features can give you plenty of information about how to improve your store further. You need to remember though that the more features a platform have, the higher the subscription price will be – and there’s no point in paying for a hundred features if you’ll be using only 20. Here, it’s best first to make a list of features the new search engine should have and focus on those.

    In our earlier article, “How to pick the best search engine for your E‑shop,” we mentioned a few features that you might find especially helpful when running an online store, so it’s worth looking out for those when comparing different search solutions.

    Customization features

    To make sure that the search engine will fit your store design, you should also check and compare the customization features each platform can offer. If the default browser design is difficult or impossible to customize, then it might look out of place in your store – and discourage your shoppers from using it.

    Customer support

    When comparing different apps, you should also check what level of customer support each search engine provider can offer as well, in case you will have any problems during implementation or using the platform. For example, how fast you can expect the support team to reply to you and through which channels you can reach them (phone, mail, live chat, etc.). User reviews on platforms such as Capterra, G2, or Trustradius should tell you a lot about the customer service of each search engine provider.

    Best e‑commerce site search solutions

    Now that we talked about why you should add a search tool dedicated to e‑commerce to your store and what to keep in mind while searching for one, it’s time to look at some of the best website search solutions on the market. We picked 5 platforms that are highly rated on G2 and also appear often in e‑commerce search engine roundup posts – here are they.

    Luigi Box

    Luigi’s Box is a product search and discovery solution designed for e‑commerce sites. The platform uses machine learning and natural language processing to match the search terms to the relevant products and also give personalized product recommendations for each site visitor. Thanks to its ease of use and multiple valuable features, Luigi Box is often mentioned in “Top search engines for e‑commerce” roundup lists – in the FinanceOnline roundup, LuigiBox even earned the 1st place as the best search solution for e‑commerce.

    So what features can you find inside it?

    Features

    • AI and machine learning
    • Voice search
    • Faceted search
    • Full-text search
    • Real-time search analytics and reporting
    • Personalized recommendations

    Pros: Luigi’s Box search box can be added to a store with just one line of code and a few clicks. This makes the platform ideal for small businesses that don’t have an in-house IT team or companies that don’t have time for long and complicated tool installation.

    Cons: Reviews mention that some of the features are quite confusing to use at first, and they needed time to learn how they work.

    Algolia

    Another platform that very often appears in the roundup posts is Algolia. Algolia is a hosted search engine that helps e‑commerce store visitors find the relevant products straight away and through any channel they need – website, mobile or voice application. Besides products, the search box can also lead your visitors to find any relevant content type or information they need – blog posts, FAQ articles, Help Desk pages, and so on. Here are some of the features worth noting:

    Features

    • Full-text search/fuzzy search
    • AI/machine learning
    • Faceted search
    • Search results ranking
    • Geo-search

    Pros: According to their website, Algolia’s search terms take only 1 to 20 milliseconds to process. Many reviewers also praise how fast the search engine works.

    Cons: A few reviewers mentioned that Algolia’s documentation is incomplete, making working with Algolia confusing for the developers. As the platform is pretty complex, getting an IT team that can run and add changes to it might also be necessary.

    Read more about Algolia’s alternative solutions and how they can help your business.

    Elasticsearch

    Elastisearch is another very popular search platform that works both for product and document and information search. Using Elastic’s built-in features for e‑commerce, merchants can optimize and personalize the search results or learn more about how their store performs.

    Some of the features you can find inside the platform are:

    Features

    • Full text and fuzzy search
    • Full customization
    • Results curating
    • Indexing of all kinds of content, from product information to documentation
    • Relevance scoring

    Pros: Elasticsearch can be used not only for e‑commerce stores but virtually any website or application that needs a reliable search tool – knowledge bases, workplace search box, and so on.

    Cons: Without a dedicated IT team, it might be pretty tough to set up and fine-tune the platform settings as everything needs to be added manually. The same goes for securing the data inside the platform.

    Read more about Elasticsearch alternative solutions and how they can help your business.

    Yext

    Yext is a hosted search-as-a-service platform that makes it easier for businesses to guide their potential customers to the right product or content, whether they search for it on the company’s website or through voice assistants. By combining both the available content and additional pages such as listings or reviews into one Knowledge Graph, Yext aims to deliver relevant answers whenever customers, employees, or business partners look for them.

    Here’s what you can find inside:

    Features

    • User intent pattern spotting
    • Natural language processing
    • Contextual search
    • Real-time analytics
    • Content classification
    • AI-powered recommendations

    Pros: Yeet has a handy feature through which you can ask visitors a couple of questions about their product preferences and then guide them to a product that matches their needs.

    Cons: A few reviewers mentioned that after you use Yext for the listings or content, you have to keep the subscription active, or else the listings will revert back to their original version. There are some complaints on the platform often glitching too.

    Read more about Yext’s alternative solutions and how they can help your business.

    Coveo Qubit

    Qubit is a software-as-a-service search tool powered by artificial intelligence through which brands can ensure that each customer gets a personalized experience but also learn which products are performing well and which don’t, thanks to automated insights. The solution can also easily handle large catalogs with millions of products. Some of the features they offer are:

    Features

    • Faceted search
    • Personalized recommendations
    • Campaign management
    • Search and journey analytics
    • Synonyms suggestion

    Pros: The Coveo customer support team is praised in a majority of G2 and Capterra reviews for being quick to answer any questions or issues about the search solutions and helping the users customize the product to their needs.

    Cons: The platform is said to be quite tricky to use, especially for new users. What makes the training harder is that the documentation is pretty vague as well – for example, one reviewer mentioned there are not enough examples of how to use the platform functionalities in practice.Read more about Coveo’s alternative solutions and how they can help your business.

    Conclusion

    The search bar is very often the very first thing your visitors use when inside your online store. When they can quickly find the specific products they want or get recommendations that match exactly what they need at the moment, they are much more likely to add a product to the cart and click on the Checkout button.

    An e‑commerce search engine can help you exactly with that – guiding your website visitors to the exact product they want to have or nudging them to make an additional purchase with personalized recommendations.

    We mentioned above a few site search tools you might want to have a closer look at and then take a free trial to test them out – that way, you are sure to find the site search tool that fits your e‑commerce store ideally.

    Read on

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