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The Best On-Site Search Tools for Ecommerce

Looking for the best on-site search tools for your store? Check it out here!
Derric Haynie
Apr 16
10
 mins

Sponsored by:

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As a store owner, you’re more than likely aware of how little time you have to capture a user’s attention. 


If you’re lucky enough to have consumers reach your site and pique their interest, developing a unique strategy to guide users through that customer journey can be tricky. 


Within the Ecommerce space there are a number of tools (many of which we’ve already explored) that can be added to your store to improve on-site conversion like email marketing tools and recommendation tools, but what about leveraging functionalities that already exist on your store, like its search engine?


All Ecommerce stores provide basic search engine functionality out-of-box to filter through products, articles and pages. 


As a store’s catalog begins to expand on non-product content, the need to filter out certain results and deliver search results quickly and efficiently becomes necessary. 


Not to mention the need to simply analyze searches and make better business decisions. 


Oh yeah, and the need to make sure there is never a blank “no results” page on your site (I mean, can you imagine someone searches for a product, doesn’t find anything and then leaves, that is a “marketing crime.”) 


This is where a third-party search tool can help minimize friction and ultimately increase on-site conversion.


To help you make a fast and effortless decision, we’ve put together a list of the best site search tools for Ecommerce stores both small and large.

Why Should You Invest in a Search Tool?

Up to 30% of Ecommerce visitors use internal site search, and site searchers are 2-3x more likely to convert. This is a very “hot traffic” stage of the funnel, and optimizing it is a great way to win big.

For stores doing any sort of search volume, even as low as 200 searches a month, you’re likely leaving big money on the table if you’re using the generic site search - Shopify or Google site search just isn’t enough.


Think about it, a user arrives on your site and misspells a product within your search box. With a basic search functionality, the customer will more than likely receive a “no results” return, causing them to become frustrated and quickly bounce your store.


The simple truth is that consumers have little attention spans; optimizing your in-search engine to provide simple functions like typo tolerance, autocomplete, spell check and synonym search can drastically lower bounce rates and improve the overall shopping experience. 


Another way to improve the shopping experience with on-site search? Offer a personalized experience. 

What is Search Personalization?

With online stores, it’s difficult to sell products and engage with consumers when you can’t physically see them (and in some cases) or talk to them. In order to mimic that in-store personalized experience, Ecommerce stores collect personal data such as browsing behavior, purchase history, and demographics to deliver dynamic, personalized content and product recommendations.


Personalization can be offered across a variety of channels and through different tools, but search personalization is quickly becoming common practice.  


With these search personalization tools, you can:


  • Personalize search suggestions
  • Provide search autocomplete
  • Deliver product recommendations on typos
  • Upsell and cross-sell 
  • Deliver live price, in-stock status and product reviews


By providing simple and personalized search functionality, businesses are able to drastically simplify the purchasing process, allowing users to find what they want quickly and effortlessly.


While many site search tools are scalable, I want to highlight a selection for both small and large stores. As such, we’ve divided this article into three sections:


Small Ecommerce Stores

Mid-Market to Enterprise Ecommerce Stores

Open-Source Solutions

The Best Site Search Tools for Small Ecommerce Stores

For stores just starting off or requiring up to 10,000 search requests per month, there are a variety of tools that can help leverage advanced search with very little investment. Many of these apps are also scalable allowing stores to implement new and advanced functionalities as they grow.


Although there are many options, small stores should focus on on-site search tools that provide:


  • Autocomplete suggestions
  • Spell check, auto-correction, typo tolerance and synonym search
  • Product recommendations
  • Advanced filters
  • Personalized search results


Let’s take a look at four starting tools that will save you time and come in at the low end of the market (keeping your costs low):


Searchly by Appikon

Shopify Search, Filter and Recommendation App

Built specifically for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores, Searchly by Appikon offers instant search functionalities, advanced filters and personalized product recommendations to help stores boost their on-site conversions.


Aside from an advanced search that offers instant and automatic suggestions, as well as results from other pages (like blogs), the app also offers custom search filters based on product price, colors, ratings and reviews and much more.

Features

  • Automatic instant suggestions
  • Spell check, auto-correction, typo tolerance, synonym search
  • Advanced filters for search results page and collection pages
  • Product merchandising
  • Integrated reviews and ratings
  • Multi-currency integration
  • Personalized product recommendations
  • Advanced product labels and add-to-cart buttons
  • Integrates with Growave, Ali Reviews, Rivyo, Judge.me, Stamped.io, Loox, Langify and more


Pricing

For small stores with up to 25 products, Appikon offers a free basic plan. Those with up to 5,000 products can easily scale with the tool with a monthly plan of $35USD per month. 

Searchanise

Site Search, Navigation and Merchandising App

Built specifically for Ecommerce stores, Searchanise offers a full suite of solutions for improving customer experience. Along with search auto-complete the app also offers smart filters, up-sells and cross sells. This allows merchants to effectively cross promote their products directly within search results to drive up average order value.


The app currently integrates with several leading Ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and CS-Cart.

Features

  • Filter by price, color, sizing, rating, product type, tag, etc
  • Recommendation blocks
  • Product labels in search results
  • Personalization
  • Visual Editor
  • Site Search Analytics

Pricing

Searchanise plans are based on the size of a store’s product catalog. The app offers a free plan for stores that have up to 25 products and then plans begin at $9USD per month for a 500 product catalog. Shopify Plus plans are also available. Each plan starts with a free 14-day trial.

Doofinder

Scalable Smart Search App

Doofinder is a scalable solution for small and large Ecommerce stores running on Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, WordPress, Prestashop and Shopware. 


The tool offers predictive, dynamic and intuitive smart search technology that also learns and adapts to customer behavior. Along with autocomplete functionality, Doofinder also offers personalization, promotional banners, and smart filters. The app also supports mobile and voice search, visual search, multi-index search and geolocated search.

Features

  • Personalized search results
  • Faceted navigation
  • Promotional banners
  • Synonyms
  • Excluded results
  • Site Search Analytics

Pricing

Stores with up to 1,000 search requests a month can sign up for a basic plan for free. For stores with up to 50,000 requests per month, Doofinder offers a plan for $50USD per month (add $9USD per month for mobile search). For stores with over 200,000 requests per month, contact Doofinder directly for an enterprise solution. All plans come with a 30-day free trial.

Uplift

All-in-One Personalized Search and Discovery App

Uplift provides an all-in-one solution for stores looking to improve on-site conversions through AI-powered search, recommendations, landing pages, merchandising and more. It also offers 15 prebuilt smart recommendations based on hot products, visitor click history, and best cross-sell products.


The app currently integrates with leading Ecommerce platforms including Shopify, BigCommerce, Prestashop and Magento.

Features

  • Predictive, intuitive and adaptive search technology
  • SEO and landing pages
  • Natural language processing 
  • Personalized product recommendations
  • Smart filters and popular searches
  • Customized merchandising
  • Product recommendations on store blog
  • Google Analytics integration


Pricing

Uplift offers the same features for all tiered plans. For small stores with up to 10,000 search requests, Uplift offers a free plan. For stores with up to 200,000 search requests, the app offers a $99USD per month plan.


The Best Email Service Providers for Mid-Market to Enterprise Ecommerce Stores

As your inventory grows, so will the complexity of your customers needs, and your data will understandably become more complex. Opting for a new on-site search platform that makes sense of this data to offer tailored experiences and seamless discovery across multiple platforms is a smart choice.


For enterprise on-site search tools, I suggest looking for the following advanced features:


  • Advanced rule building
  • A/B testing
  • Smart filters
  • Landing pages and promotional marketing
  • Advanced merchandising
  • Advanced reporting


There are many enterprise competitors that offer the data and support for mid-market and enterprise businesses, but our top 2 are:


Algolia

Enterprise AI-Powered Search & Discovery

Algolia offers an AI-powered search platform that allows for seamless discovery across all content platforms including web, apps and Ecommerce. Its Search API is particularly useful for larger stores who need to deliver tailored experiences. 


Stores can leverage features such as typo tolerance, search rules, query suggestions, multi-lingual support, synonyms, and much more. Although Algolia was primarily built for larger brands, they do offer search solutions for smaller stores that need up to 10,000 search requests and records.

Features

  • Advanced rule builder
  • Instant search
  • Search and event analytics
  • Split testing search results
  • Natural language processing
  • Visual Editor

Pricing

For small stores requiring up to 10,000 search requests and records, Algolia offers a free plan. For stores requiring more, the app offers packaged or pay-as-you go plans for every additional 1,000 search requests.

Searchspring

Enterprise Search, Merchandising and Recommendation App

This enhanced Ecommerce search solution delivers relevant results to customers with autocomplete, custom landing pages, “did you mean” suggestions and accommodation for typos, synonyms and SKUs.


Available for Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce, Searchspring uses a combination of customized search functionality and merchandising to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for, no matter how they search for it. 


I suggest using this app if you’re a well established brand ready to scale or a mid-sized store looking to improve their merchandising and search features.

Features

  • Semantic search, measurement detection, intelligent results
  • Drag and drop merchandising
  • Boost products based on reviews, conversion rate or margins
  • Smart filters and popular searches
  • Landing pages and promotional banners
  • Product recommendations
  • Search, Product and Google Analytics insights


Pricing

Plans begin at $499USD per month. Contact for a customized quote.

Open Source Solutions

For stores that are running on headless commerce and are frustrated with search tool capabilities, I suggest checking out this open-source solution that will allow you to build and own your own search engine in house.

Chorus

Enterprise Open-Source Solution

According to its Co-Founder and CEO Eric Pugh, "Out of the box Ecommerce solutions seldom offer the right tools and algorithms for building fast and accurate search. If you want to take back control of search to maximize conversion and drive revenue, build loyalty and increase order value, open source search is the only logical choice."


Chorus will be an open-source solution for stores that would like to build their own search engine to deliver unique and personalized experiences.


Chorus can be implemented as a managed service by Mices.


Next Steps

As site traffic grows, so will site search. If you’re a small and growing store with $30k revenue and over 200 searches a month, I suggest implementing a site search tool immediately and watch the revenue flow in. While it’s not going to be the ultimate game-changer in your business, it is a relatively low investment (could even be free), and the search results can provide insight on what consumers are searching for, allowing you to make smarter data driven decisions on product labeling, SEO, and even product sourcing.


For stores looking to make sense of their complex search data, it’s important to think about how these tools advanced features can be used to personalize the shopping experience. By relying on AI and advanced insights and analytics, mid-market and enterprise users can discover new opportunities to optimize their search, and really maximize conversion and drive revenue.


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About

About the author

Derric Haynie is the host of “The Future of Ecommerce” podcast and Chief Ecommerce Technologist at Ecommercetech.io – Where Ecommerce stores go to research, discover, and buy the right tools to grow their store. Half of his day is spent reviewing tech tools, and the other half is talking with merchants to help them discover which solutions are right for them. When he’s not doing that, you can find him speaking, networking, or grabbing a drink at any of your favorite Ecommerce events.