Friction is the bane of sales and marketing. A smart merchant should always be reducing friction in the checkout flow, in signup forms, and in navigation (just to name a few). As simple as it sounds, the easier you make it for your customer to do the desired action, the more customers will do it.
If a customer coming to your site wants to find black boots, you better make it easy for him to do so. This is where Magento search extensions come into play.
With a Magento search extension, your customer can easily ask for and receive the product he or she wants to buy. Getting the visitor to the page they’re looking for is just one step closer to getting them to buy. In fact, according to a study by eConsultancy, the conversion rate of visitors who used site search was 1.8x higher than the site average.
This post will cover some common features you should find in a search extension, and the top three Magento search extensions for your webstore.
Common Magento Search Extension Features
What you’re looking for in a search extension may vary from store to store, however there are a few features that should be universal.
- Autosuggest / Search Suggestions
- Product suggestions
- Spell correction
Autosuggest / Search Suggestions
This is the most basic function of a search box save for simply searching itself. You have probably come to expect this feature in every search box you’ve used.
Think about searching in Google. If you search “Cute cat p” you can bet google is already going to be suggesting “Cute cat pictures” or “Cute cat pics” or “Cute cat photos”.
This is the Autosuggest feature of the search extension. If a customer searches “Nike s” your search extensions should already be bringing up “Nike Shoes” or “Nike Shorts” or “Nike Shirts”.
You’re cutting down on friction as well as helping to avoid spelling errors.
For a good case study about the impact of Autocorrect, read how Waterstones actually found conversion rate grew by 2 to 3xs by adding autosuggest.
Product suggestions functionality is much like Autosuggest, but instead of offering predictive text to finish a users search query, product suggest actually pulls product suggestions from your catalog while the user types.
This can cut down on friction dramatically because now the user doesn’t even have to search. He can simply type part of what he wants to search, and if the product he is looking for pops up, he can navigate directly to it.
Spell correction is fairly simple. Unless you’re the spelling bee champion of the world, I’m sure you’ve seen it on Google countless times.
Spell correction is as simple as the sentence, “We didn’t find any results for —–, did you mean to type —–?”.
For instance, “We didn’t find any results for “Niken Shoes”, did you mean to type “Nike Shoes“?”.
This way you won’t run the chance of the user leaving your site after an unsuccessful search query, and according to a Site Search Report, on average only 50% of site searches are successful. That’s a lot of potential buyers you could be losing.
The last important aspect of search you may not think about are the insights you can uncover.
With proper search analytics you can see what items are the most popular in search and make them more easy to access through the navigation.
Or, if there’s a lot of search for an item you don’t carry, you know there’s demand if you want to start stocking that item.
Unlocking these analytics is a crucial aspect of a good search extension.
A Comparison of the Top 3 Magento Search Extensions
|Extension||Price||Rating||Autosuggest||Product Suggestions||Spell Corrector||Analytics|
|Sphinx Search Ultimate||$149||5/5||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Search Autocomplete + Search Suggest||Free||4.3/5||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
Rating: 4.4/5 || Price: Free
InstantSearch+ is one of Magento’s most popular search extensions. It currently has a 5150 popularity score. Also, InstantSearch+ is a silver industry partner. While it seems free originally, it is actually free for stores with up to 500 products. This may work for your store, however if you have a lot of items, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription.
So this is a great extensions for a store with fewer SKUs, however the more items you have, the more you’ll have to pay.
Sphinx Search Ultimate
Rating: 5/5 || Price: $149
Sphinx Search Ultimate has a perfect 5/5 rating with a 6639 popularity score. Sphinx Search Ultimate is actually a combination of three products: Search Spell-Correction, Search AutoComplete & Suggestions, and Advanced Spinx Search Pro.
While the price tag may be daunting, the product is well worth it. Just read through their reviews and you can tell people love this product.
Search Autocomplete & Search Suggest
Rating: 4.3/5 || Price: Free
Search Autocomplete & Search Suggest has a popularity score of 6757 and a rating of 4.3/5. One thing to be wary of through is people either seem to love this product or can’t get it to work.
Since the price tag is free, you won’t be wasting anything other than time if you install it and it doesn’t work. If it does work, it will be worth every second.
What to do now
Once you’ve selected the Magento search extension that fits your company, the next step is simple – install it. These search extensions should be a simple install. Most can even be installed in one click from the download link.
If you are still on the hunt for extensions, check out our post on the 5 best Magento extensions of 2015. Or, check out our post on Magento SEO settings & tip.
Let me know if the comments if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks for valuable info on Magento search. I would also add this extension https://amasty.com/search-pro.html which provides good search results and auto suggest. As for search analytics, it can be easily enabled in Google Analytics.
I would like to add to that list Blast Search Lucene search extension http://better-magento-search.com/blast-search-lucene-magento-extension.html
Hey, The correct demo link for InstantSearch+ is : http://demo-magento.instantsearchplus.com
and not as published.
I usually install Search Autocomplete and Suggest extension by Plumrocket on my clients’ stores. This module uses an algorithm that shows suggestions on what customer might want to search for. I can truly say that this module is one of the best Magento addons.
One of the fastest search extensions for magento https://expertrec.com/ Installation link- https://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/expertrec-search-engine.html
There are a lot of extensions of Magento Store available in the market but the question is- Are they usefull?
Here are some awesome must have extensions for your Magento Store which will be very usefull for your day to day activities: Top Magento Extensions
This is Liz from http://www.tagalys.com. I do agree you have shared some of great products available. But we also take pride in providing a better search solution, that covers all of the features you have shared and more. A key ingredient that is required in todays site search extension is intelligence in the results, cause showing relevant results is passe.
In a mobile first world, a visitor engages with 2 or 4 products per screen. Over 80% will not scroll beyond the 3rd page of any search result. Tagalys with engagement analytics, predicts what products to show for each search query is most likely to improve engagement.
And yes, we do this at scale at affordable prices 🙂 Over 200+ customers and you can find the extension https://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/search-intelligent-site-search.html
Thanks for sharing.
I want to suggest one of the best Extension helpful for fast searching named Google Custom Search Magento 2 extension. It also helps with search engine optimization. It includes auto-complete feature also which helps you to getting more efficient and fast results. https://marketplace.magento.com/solwin-googlecustomsearch.html
We would also like to recommend 2 search extensions by MageHit. For Magento 1: https://magehit.com/magento-advanced-search-extension.html and for Magento 2: https://magehit.com/magento-2-advanced-search-extension.html