Why should I consider a third-party site search solution?
As an online merchant, you’ll know that the native site search functionality of most ecommerce platforms leaves a lot to be desired. Beyond finding products by name, their capabilities are somewhat limited. For instance, Shopify Plus doesn’t natively support managing synonyms, influencing product visibility or merchandising.
When you consider that search users can be up to five times more likely to convert, this out-of-the-box search functionality falls short.
Instead, more and more merchants are turning to third-party ecommerce site search solutions to provide their customers with an intuitive, responsive, personalised online shopping experience.
“Most ecommerce platforms aren’t inherently built to provide a really great search and navigation experience, and more and more complex requirements are on the horizon, so most mid-level, midsize to enterprise levels retailers are now looking at some form of third-party solution.”
Claudia Ditri, UK Sales & Partnerships Manager, Klevu
These third-party tools ‘take over’ the default search, adding new functionality to optimise the on-site search process.
Here are three of Swanky’s top ecommerce site search solutions for Shopify Plus stores, complete with key features, pricing and expert comments.
Searchanise: Smart search for stores of all sizes
An ecommerce site search saviour! We often turn to Searchanise as the search solution for ecommerce projects, thanks to its long list of advanced features and economical price tag.
In a nutshell, Searchanise offers an all-in-one smart search tool to deliver an excellent customer experience that transforms browsers into buyers.
When customers begin searching, an instant, mobile-responsive widget displays relevant suggested products and content pages as they type. The Searchanise results page then offers easy navigation through products, collections and pages, with unlimited filters, ‘Quick View’ and ‘Add-to-Cart’ functionality. Check out this video for more conversion-boosting features.
Searchanise is used by some of the world’s biggest brands, including Levi’s, National Geographic and Phillips. We recently implemented Searchanise on the brand new Shopify Plus store of luxury loungewear brand Olivia von Halle, with a rather swanky result (if we do say so ourselves).
The Searchanise widget fits seamlessly with the rest of the store for a beautiful aesthetic.
Product and category suggestions instantly appear after typing just one letter.
The Searchanise results page also fits seamlessly with the overall design, offering users a range of views and filters.
Here are some of the key features to look out for on Searchanise:
- Search across products, categories and content pages (including blog posts)
- Instant autocomplete from the first character typed
- Personalised search suggestions based on search history and popular queries
- Synonym dictionary
- Real-time indexation to keep search results fresh
- Display ads or important promotion announcements in the search widget
- ‘Did you mean’ suggestions for no-result searches
- Create merchandising rules to boost sales
- Results page facilitates navigation through products, collection and pages
- Filter search results by product reviews, ratings, availability, price etc.
- Recommendation blocks that can be used on any page of your store
- Custom design – change the colour scheme and font to fit your storefront’s design
- Detailed analytics and reporting to track performance and improve effectiveness
- Unlimited number of searches per month
- Mobile-friendly widget
Plans and pricing
One of the reasons why we recommend Searchanise is that it offers an affordable option for stores of any size. Whether you’re just starting out with your ecommerce venture, or have an established store with a huge catalogue of products, there’s a plan to suit you.
- 14-day free trial period
- Prices of Pro subscription plans vary according to the number of products in your store (starting from $29/month)
- Advanced Enterprise plan available for stores with up to 150,000 products
If you have multiple Shopify stores, Searchanise may not be the most economical option for your business, as costs are duplicated per store. Other ecommerce site search solutions charge one cost no matter how many stores you have.
Find out more about how Searchanise would cost on your Shopify Plus store here.
You’ve seen what Searchanise has to offer, and got an idea of pricing, but what does Swanky’s Head of Operations, Ben Homer, think about this site search solution?
“Searchanise offers amazing functionality for a relatively low cost, making it a very competitive tool. Key limitations are around custom styling and level of control over search results along with personalisation.”
Klevu: Advanced tech stack for high-volume businesses
A solution aimed at medium to enterprise-sized businesses, Klevu delivers a ‘truly semantic search experience’. This solution focuses on natural language processing, machine learning and merchandising, three important features for large retailers.
Their powerful self-learning search technology connects shoppers with the products they want to buy, thereby improving user experience and increasing revenue for your store.
As well as AI-powered search, Klevu offers a plug-and-play add-on, ‘Smart Category Navigation’. Powered by an AI algorithm, it automatically optimises the order of products on collection pages, eliminating manual merchandising work.
Merchants can also merchandise individual collections as per their promotional requirements, including assigning ‘hero’ products for the top row.
Amongst Klevu’s impressive customer base are MADE.com, Bulletproof and Agent Provocateur.
- Self-learning search for optimised results across product and content pages (including how-to guides and blog posts)
- Autocomplete from the 1st character of a search query
- Natural language processing – tolerant of errors, understands inflections, manages stop words
- Synonym dictionary with contextually relevant custom keyword lists
- Prompts related to trending and recent searches to accelerate the buying process (with no typing required to initiate!)
- URL redirects – direct shoppers to promotional pages when specific keywords are searched
- Seamless indexing to keep search results up-to-date
- Personalised search results based on previous interactions
- Show the search results page in the native theme of your store
- Automatic dynamic filters on results pages to aid product and content discovery
- Advanced merchandising rules to intelligently promote particular products and collections
- Associate banner ads with search keywords
- Fully customisable aesthetics for your instant search interface and results page (find out more in this video interview with Klevu’s Amy Marks and Claudia Ditri)
- Responsive, mobile-first design
- Actionable search insights with daily reports
- B2B features – e.g. SKU search, displaying particular products and pricing per customer groups
- Smart Category Navigation add-on – optimise ranking order on collection pages with machine learning
Search starts before the user starts typing, with trending and popular searches to connect with shoppers instantly.
Klevu search is optimised for all devices.
Plans and pricing
As you can see, Klevu is capable of some pretty powerful stuff. Its advanced functionality comes with a heftier price tag than Searchanise, so it’s worth weighing up if the added features are worth the extra cost. This might be through A/B testing different search tools to measure whether there would be a return on investment on the more expensive but more powerful tool.
- 14-day free trial period
- Prices start from $499/month, which covers AI-powered search for stores with up to 20,000 records
- Category Navigation is available as an added extra (price varies according to the number of API calls required)
- An Enterprise plan is available for businesses seeking full access to Klevu’s tech stack, superior data protection, priority support and account management
Check out the Klevu website for details of pricing for Shopify and Shopify Plus.
And what’s the final say from Swanky’s Head of Ops when it comes to Klevu?
“Klevu offer great functionality with personalisation and have an impressive client portfolio. Natural language processing is an interesting feature for continuing to expand user engagement with search.”
Findify: Powerful AI search for larger product catalogues
Official Shopify Plus Technology Partner Findify leverages enterprise-grade artificial intelligence to deliver real-time personalisation across an entire ecommerce store.
Another tool recommended for mid to enterprise-level ecommerce stores, Findify delivers all the search features that customers expect, along with an impressive suite of benefits driven by machine learning. This handy video walks through Findify’s features in under two minutes.
As well as powerful site search functionality and smart results pages, the ‘Smart Collections’ feature brings intelligence to collection pages (similarly to Klevu’s ‘Smart Category Navigation’ feature). Products are ranked based on their ‘trend score’ and then personalised for each customer based on their unique on-site behaviour. Merchants can then create merchandising rules based on their business needs.
Brands such as Rebecca Minkoff, RadioShack and SLEEFS trust Findify to help improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.
- Real-time personalised search across products, categories and pages, with unique results for each customer
- Instant autocomplete with suggestions and related products
- Automatic spelling error tolerance
- Synonym control
- Dynamic, AI-powered product ranking and filtering on results and collection pages
- Advanced merchandising suite to pin products and curate collections according to your business needs
- 1:1 personalised recommendations at multiple touchpoints to inspire customers and boost sales
- Fully customisable to integrate with your brand
- Actionable analytics – visualise trends and patterns to optimise your store’s offering
- Optimised for mobile
- Dedicated customer success manager for premium plans
An example of how Findify uses spell-checking software to give results based on correct spellings (results for ‘compression’ are provided, despite the typo in the search bar). You can also see the types of filters available to fine-tune results pages.
An example of the recommendations presented to customers on a product page.
Plans and pricing
Similarly to Klevu, the powerful technology driving Findify comes with a rather significant price tag.
- 14-day free trial period available
- Prices range from $499/month to $1199/month and are based on the number of monthly visitors your store receives
- Each plan includes varying levels of usage, AI functionality and support
Explore each of the different Findify plans in more detail here.
Over to Ben for his expert view of Findify:
“The ability to bring personalisation directly into instant search and search results is really exciting. We think increasingly, a personalised experience will be the expectation of shoppers. The ability to so simply implement this on Shopify at the moment is a massive win, particularly if you have a large product database.”
Which site search tool is right for your business?
These are just three of the many ecommerce site search solutions available to merchants. With so many search tools at your fingertips, how do you know which one is right for your online store?
Ultimately, this comes down to the unique needs and resources of your individual business. As well as functionality and price, consider things like support availability, user reviews and available integrations when choosing the right tool for you.
Find out more
Curious about how Swanky could transform your ecommerce store with optimised site search and other conversion-boosting features? Get in touch with our Shopify Plus Experts today to find out more!