The Advanced Search Plugin for Shopify, Woocommerce, BigCommerce and more
One of the pillars of a successful e-commerce store is giving your customers what they are searching for. Many sites take this for granted. Store owners are so familiar with their own products, that they fail to see that a potential customer might be unfamiliar with what's on offer.
Most of us accept that the standard search functionality, that comes with our e-commerce platform of choice, is good enough. We fail to realize the amount of lost sales that take place due to an ineffective search. We accept that it is working and that people searching our stores will find what they are looking for.
One way of keeping your customers happy, is an effective and powerful search function. This helps to satisfy their immediate need and in turn increases the chance of them come back for more. Thereby boosting your conversion rate and decreasing your cost per acquisition.
The 2nd sale is so much easier when a customer knows they can come to you for what they are looking for. It builds trust and goodwill towards your brand.
Look at your own experiences. What is more frustrating than searching for a specific product online but coming up empty? One has to look at it from the customer’s point of view and see the full experience.
Down the Search Rabbit Hole
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” —Alice in Wonderland
Site search makes up to 30% of total site sessions. If your stats are showing a lower number, then it might be time to relook your bog-standard search engine. Or you might want to make Search a more prominent feature on the site by not making your Search box hard to find.
Adding Site search has been shown to increase the conversion rate up to 4 times. On the flip side it has also been shown to frustrate users, if the results don’t match their search intent. Showing your customers the wrong products, or even worse zero results, can be even more detrimental to your bounce rate.
This is where an app like Searchanise comes in.
Advanced Search Made Easy
Searchanise places your store’s search on steroids. It allows you to choose which sections of your site to include. From Product names & descriptions, tags to collections, to your blog posts and static pages. Almost anything type of data can be included.
Searchanise creates an index of your content offsite, on its own servers, which means your site isn’t bogged down by the extra load.
The basic search in Shopify only searches your product pages and ignores blog posts, which could be an important conversion opportunity. Research shows that your blog posts have a much higher chance of building trust and converting into a sale. According to optinmonster blogs are the 5th most trusted source that people use for information. It also helps to establish you, or your company, as a trusted source.
It might be a good idea then to include blog posts in search results, together with product data?
More Than Just Products
Searchanise assists by showing products together with blog, category/collection & page results. This helps to drive clickthroughs to informative articles and specials you want to highlight.
Imagine a customer is searching for the benefits of rooibos tea during pregnancy. With the basic search function they would only see the product page displayed. Searchanise will provide them with a complete picture of the information available.
It even allows search by substring which makes searching by parts of a field possible. For instance only search for parts of an SKU. A useful trick if you consider the complicity of Variant SKUs.
Instant search powers up your website by providing immediate results as the user types. You have total control over how much data is visible in search results. For instance a B2C/B2B store might want to hide product pricing, or decide to remove product reviews so as not to clutter the results page.
You are also able to provide suggestions for visitors if they have misspelled a word or came up with no results. This helps to improve the bounce rate. And over time your search suggestions become more efficient at plugging all the deadens. It will also provide you with useful insights into what your clients are actually searching for and give you product ideas for the future.
The bulk of visitors to your e-Commerce platform will visit it from a mobile device. Limited screen real-estate means showing them what they are looking for is more of challenge than on desktop.
Advanced search helps with this by laser focusing the user’s attention on exactly what they are looking for.
Filter options are where the real power of the app comes into play. It is possible to search and filter by an extensive list of options including
- Custom Fields
You have full control over which options are shown. This comes in handy when some of your data is not complete or if it is not applicable. I’ve often found errors in the data that I may have missed by being able to see the full picture in one handy screen
Upsell, Cross-Sell & Personalization
“Definition: Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one in question, while cross-selling invites customers to buy related or complementary items.”Source: Bigcommerce
One of the best features built into this app is the ability to do Upselling & Cross-selling. You are able to recommend popular products & new arrivals anywhere in your store.
This allows you to show a widget to your customers throughout the site that displays the Top Products, Recently Bought items or You might also like items.
You can even choose for Searchanise to do this automatically. But you have the option to set up manual widgets and you have full control over the look and feel. This is a wonderful tool for any merchant and would usually cost extra through the use of dedicated upsell/cross-sell apps.
The Analytics section must my favorite part of the app. This is where you get down and dirty into the meat of the analytics and get a better insight into what your customers are searching for including. Top search queries, top search results that gave no results and my personal favorite, Most bought products.
Other tabs included are Instant SearchAll Searches, Zero results(NB), Suggestions, Products Clicked, Products Bought CSV Export
Customize the look at feel
Many apps make it difficult to customize the design of the results or widgets. Not so with Searchanise. You are in full control of the branding, from colors to fonts to what is visible or hidden. This is a great feature and helps to make integration with your site seamless and helps it blend in.
The dashboard is where you get to delve into all the nitty-gritty and explore all the options and features. Take your time and try and understand each section. There are some powerful features that will be a boon for your online store if you apply it correctly. The app works almost instantly without too much configuration but the dashboard is where you get to tweak and optimize it to your environment.
The following tabs are available:
This is where you are able to force reindexing if you’ve made changes to the product data that you need live asap. Otherwise the indexing updates every 10 minutes.
Analytics (Available on Pro plan)
Includes all the info you need to understand your customers search patterns and boost conversion
Instant search widget
Allows you to customize the search box. Available options are: Colors, Content, Sticky Widget, Translations, Product Labels, Custom HTML, Custom CSS
Search results widget
Here you are able to customize the actual search page including Colors, Content, Filters, Translations, Product Labels and Custom CSS
Available settings. Products, Product fields such as title, description and SKU, Categories, Pages & Usergroup Rules
Filters on Collections
Another excellent feature is the ability to place filters on Collection pages within Shopify. You have the option to have no navigation, Navigation through redirecting to Shopify links or navigation by embedded code in your template.
Upsell & Cross-sell
In this section you are able to add new widgets, edit exciting ones and check in on the performance to date.
Add or remove available filters
Shopify Dashboard Integration options includes:
- Infinite Options
- Bold Product Discount
- Best Currency Converter
- Bold Multi-currency
- Appmate Wishlist King
- Swym Corporation Wishlist Plus
- Growave Wishlist
- Product Reviews
- Growave Reviews
- Look Reviews
- Campaign Monitor
- Ali Reviews
Suggestions for search terms used by visitors to your site. You are able to approve suggestions or add manual ones
You are able to add synonyms for search terms which are then treated as the term itself. Useful for spelling in different regions or for example iPad vs tablet. You are also able to bulk import/export from here which will help save time and assist store migrations.
Stop words are ignored during search including words such as “a” “the” and prepositions. You are able to add your own from here.
Promote products in search through updating this section. Available options includes Products, Tags & Categories
Helps if you have special landing pages for products or if you are running a special and want a search term to redirect to that page. A handy feature that gives you even more control over what your customers see.
Compatibly e-Commerce Platforms
- Shopify Plus
- Magento 1
- Magento 2
Further integration is also possible through API if your platform is not one of the above.
Enterprise solutions are also available for stores that need something more advanced. For instance if your product range is between 50,000 and 500,000 and you need a more robust solution. This gives you access to the Searchanise API plus your own server and CDN.
Some of the brands that use Searchanise includes
- National Geographic
For a few dollars a month you are able to provide the same level of advanced search functionality that many of the big brands above and the likes of Amazon give their customers.
Front End View
Please see below a short screen-recording of the front end. There is also a handy demo that you can play around on their website.
Searchanise Price Plans
This is the one part that I was pleasantly surprised. Many apps and plugins are expensive and out of reach for smaller merchants. Searchanise offers a nice pricing scale which makes this affordable for almost anyone. There is even a Free version for up to 25 products.
The paid plans start at $9/month up to 500 products and all the way up to $54/month for 50,000 products. Above 50,000 you will need to contact them for custom pricing.
Searchanise also offers a 14 day free trial for you to test it before buying and no credit card details are required. This is something I wish more service providers would offer.
I hope this guide is comprehensive enough to give you a better idea of the features and customisation possible with Searchanise. It is one of the apps that I most recommend to customers and almost the first one that I install in my own stores. It truly does beef up your shop and makes normal boring search into something you can be proud of.
It puts the customer first, which is something we as merchants should all strive for. And it helps in bringing your products front and center on any device. The all-inclusive search engine will give you more control, an increase in sales and hopefully many more satisfied customers. Just remember to keep checking your search stats and tweaking your settings. All the data in the world means nothing if the person at the helm remains oblivious.