Looking for a great way to immediately push the needle on your online shop sales? Get a Magento 2 search extension today.
Answer: Customers who find what they are looking for are more likely to buy.
Improve search, improve sales.
Within this guide I will highlight the most profitable features of Magento 2 Search Extensions…
Leading you to make the best purchase decision.
Why better search is importance for your Magento 2 site…
Search is user driven.
Navigation comes with presumption.
Your customer’s site search activity are akin to buying signals.
What are buying signals? And why are they worth knowing about?
Buying signals are:
…indications from your customers that they might be preparing themselves to make a decision on whether to buy with you or not.
Inside Sales Box, identify common buying signals as follows:
- features e.g. “what colours does that come in?”
- pricing e.g. “How much is that one?”
- benefits e.g. “How much time will that save me?”
- logistics e.g. “How quickly will that be delivered?”
- policies e.g. “Could I get a no questions asked refund?”
- credibility e.g. “How long have you been in business?”
- repetition e.g. “…run that by me again…”
Whilst if a customer was face-to-face with a salesperson these questions would be asked upfront.
However, using an online shop – the questions must be asked of a website’s search function.
How do online customers signal buying intent? By searching!
In this article published on eConsultancy, entitled “Four reasons why site search is vital for online retailers“, the following conclusions are put forward:
- People who use site search are more likely to purchase
- They are often in late-stage buying mode
But where’s the proof?
Roger Willcocks of Screen Pages, ecommerce solutions providers conducted a site-search based analysis of 21 of his client’s websites and found:
Visitors converted at 4.63% versus the websites’ average of 2.77%, which is 1.8 times more effective. Consequently, visitors using search contributed 13.8% of the revenues.
Magento 2 Site Search Optimization Tip #1
…courtesy of eConsultancy.com
So now we’re sold on the importance of getting site search right on your Magento 2 ecommerce shop.
Why do Magento 2 search extensions matter?
Are you familiar with search on Magento 1?
Whilst M2 still offers an in-built search functionality, it no longer operates quite like it used to in version 1.0.
- One big difference in search ability with Magento 2 is that it reads full-text only – without search modifiers e.g. ‘like’ etc..
- The open source version of Magento 2 is MySQL only. This is very limited and inflexible for both customers and vendors alike.
To get more out of your Magento 2 search function, you would need to extend it by using one of the many credible marketplace extensions which we mention further on down this page.
But what if YOU wanted to extend the Magento 2 search function?
What are the options?
As with anything web development:
- you can either DIY (if you have the in-house expertise) or,
- find a solution – custom made (£££) or ready made (£) .
It depends on what you need and are looking for.
On that note, take a look at this comprehensive breakdown of ready-made Magento 2 Search Extensions.
A Guide To The Best Magento 2 Search Extensions: Free & Premium (Paid)
Having already touched upon the importance of user-friendly search functions in ecommerce sites, we need no further persuasion.
But just in case we’re left with any shadow of doubt…
Top 3 reasons why to invest in a Magento 2 Search Extension today:
1. Site search is typically preferred above site-wide navigation by store customers
“On-site search was found to be the preferred product-finding strategy of the test subjects, as they perceived it to be faster than category navigation.” – Baymard
2. Although search is one of the top profit drivers in ecommerce, half of your peers are NOT investing in better search
“Amazingly, 52 percent are not doing anything to improve their on-site search or are “not really doing anything.” – Econsultancy
3. Let your customers tell you in large volumes exactly what they want to buy more of and WHY
“Unlike the keyword reports in Google Analytics for organic and paid search traffic — external to your website — the site search reporting provides insights into what visitors searched for on your website, using your site search.” – Practical Ecommerce
Top 19 features that your preferred Magento 2 Search Extension must have?
Here is a list of features & benefits which search extensions for Magento 2 generally provide:
1. Built using a technologically advanced stack
- This means the search function returns far more relevant results to customers finger tips and at a fraction of the time
2. Faceting (metadata) capability
- Leads customers to narrow down the selection of visible products at any time to represent only what they want
3. Multi-tenancy support
- If your Magento 2 store has multiple tenants or vendors who all sell in one place, this function means search is uncompromised
- Cut down search time by preemptively completing search queries as searchers type them in
How much actual bottom-line increase could installing autocomplete make on your Magento 2 site?
Magento 2 Site Search Optimization Tip #2
…courtesy of eConsultancy.com
5. Auto correction
- Don’t penalise your customers for misspelling or a typo – overlook their errors and bring them to their product
6. Full text search
- Make all text in your shop searchable – leaving nothing amiss for what the customer may be looking for
- As customers type present an informed guesstimate for what they might be looking for to guide them
- Know what your customers are asking for even if they don’t exactly say it right
- If your customers have very complex buying questions, this function makes your shop answer them well
10. Boolean match
- Allow customers to combine their queries together with search conditions to get more precise results
11. Data and analytics
- Remember what customers search for on their way to buying and use what you learn to make shopping easier
12. Promo rules
- Promote great value in relevant scenarios to the right customers
13. Attribute weight
- Put the product results which matter the most to customers first
14. Drill down by brand or category
- Give customers relevant and useful comparative products to assess before deciding to buy
- Simply speak to the customer in their own language
16. Recent or popular search
- Help the customer fill their basket or cart with products that like minded visitors also have been happy to buy
17. Out of stock
- Never disappoint a customer or waste their time by showing them an out of stock product
Is having products out-of-stock a bad thing for your Magento 2 store?
Not if you remember what they were looking for and let them know when it’s back in stock.
Magento 2 Site Search Optimization Tip #3
…courtesy of eConsultancy.com
- When an item is out of stock help the customer find a great alternative
19. Plurals (morphology pre-processors)
- Give the same result to a customer whether they search for one or many of the same product
The combined desired effect of all the above on your Magento 2 ecommerce shop should be significantly increased sales – with very little effort!
Now, let’s take a look at the contenders for the best Magneto 2 Search Extension for your upcoming project.
Free Magento 2 Search Extensions
First up are the freebies…offering the obvious benefit. High ROI potential, having no start up cost.
Searchanise Smart Search & Autocomplete
Author: Searchanise LLC
A commonly downloaded FREE M2 search extension, which has found its way into many a popular brand name website including: Boeing, Philips and National Geographic.
- Typo correction
Boasting speed above all and great accuracy (99.99) on relevant results returned to your customers.
- Instant search
- Filters facets
- Advanced analytics
Catalog Search Refinement
Simply convert search queries for multiple products in native Magento search function from ANY to ALL search operator.
- Narrows down multi-word searches to include results containing ALL submitted words
Search By Voice
Author: Aurelio Benedi
An application build around a voice recognition API, utilising the advantage for the sake of enabling Magento 2 store visitors to search the product catalog by voice.
- Allow your store visitors to use their device to search your store product line-up by voice search alone.
Celebros Search & Merchandising
Using machine learning and AI to determine user intent – this extension attempts to bridge the relevance gap by aligning insights gathered from data to live user queries.
- Generate smart search results by machine learning for better Magento 2 sales
Search AutoComplete for Magento 2
Simply adds autocomplete function onto the native Magento 2 search function – adding edge to your customer’s online retail experience
- Autocomplete against product catalog searches
Search AutoComplete & Suggestions
Author: Elitech Systems PVT
- Suggested products can be tailored by store owner in the back-end dashboard
Impresee Visual Search
Author: Impresee Inc.
Made by SaaS California based image search specialists – brings image search capability to Magento 2.
- Presents a digital sketch canvas to customers to find their ideal product by drawing what they are looking for
Brings a highly indexed search capacity to Magento 2 for no fee.
- Indexes a relevant search against products and content pages – quickly
Reflecktion Site Search
Founded by Google employees back in 2012, this is an AI driven extension which delivers a personalised search experience for customers providing great relevance.
- Highly visual autosuggest search panel
- Ranks search results according to searchers buying intent
Customers use their voices, rather than typing, to find their ideal product. This product is working toward serving the trend of growing mobile internet users.
- Turn on or off
- Search in multiple languages
Author: Klevu Oy
Combining both AI and autosuggestion technology to present searchers with relevant product display panel with category list and product thumbnails.
- Keyword based promotions
- Banner ads
- Error tolerance
- Popular searches
- Data tracking
Doofinder Site Search
Easy to integrate – this plugin provides great entry level value to store owners seeking instant relevant results, complete with misspelling tolerance and filters to boot.
Free to use beneath a certain threshold of product volume
Featured – Magento 2 Search Extensions
These are the market leading Magento 2 Search Extensions with large user base – and consistent reviews. Feel free to read the details below and visit the official websites.
Other Premium – Magento 2 Search Extensions
Sell diamonds? This search extension for Magento 2 enables your customer to design their own custom made rock within your web store.
- Engagement ring builder
- Integrates with Rapnet inventory
- English and Spanish are native
Ajax Search Autocomplete
Author: Templates Master
A ready made autocomplete box for your Magento 2 website: SKU, description, shape, price, colour – whatever attribute, this neat extension will find it.
- Customisable suggestions
- Attractive display of results inc. categories
Blast Search Lucene
Author: Php4u Ltd
An extension in the truest sense of the word – adds indexing ability to the native M2 search functionality.
- Partial and full indexing
- Includes hyphens, numbers and stop words
- 3 pass mode for greater accuracy
Magento 2 Elasticsearch
Store, search and analyse the data for your Magento 2 store. Some features:
- Search suggestion
- Synonym filter
- Did you mean? Intent
Auto search suggestions for your customers including the indexing of content pages. Some features:
- Non-product searches
- Includes ratings in the suggestions
- Enlarged suggestions box
Ajax Search Autocomplete
Highly customisable autosuggested products with their images. Some features:
- Full design control inc. product image size
Dynamic Search Placeholder
Set (data derived) placeholder words from the back-end which show up in the search bar as prompts to help customers Some features:
- Set placeholder word
- Change placeholder word according to auto schedule
Presents a value added suggestions panel to customers complete with buying call-to-action in-built for those who are ready to move forward – without viewing the product page
- Add to cart button in autocomplete
- Product reviews in autocomplete
Author: M-Connect Solutions
A simple, yet effective upgrade to Magento 2 native full text MySQL search ability, adding autocomplete panel with category links with no. count of products.
- Add to cart button – prompting immediate purchase
- Customise which pages show / don’t show in the search results
Ajax Quick Search Pro
Author: Mage Bees
Search by single or multiple keywords accurately via an illustrative, yet simple, autocomplete function. Customisable CSS.
- Highlighted keywords in results
- Customise which product attributes show in the search results
Advanced Search for Magento 2
Flexible and customisable Ajax-based autocomplete search function which integrates seamlessly into your M2 store.
- Category filter in-built to help customers narrow down results
- Inclusive of CMS pages
Rapnet Diamond Search
Author: Evince Development
A Magento 2 search solution which plugs into the Rapnet diamond network – drawing in live data updates.
- Customers filter by: cut, price, polish, colour
- Buyers and sellers interact directly – zero commission
A modern interface – with the standard functioning built in Ajax for speed.
- Customisable drop-down suggestions panel
- Good admin control – e.g. configure character length before autoresponse
Make Model Year Search
Author: Mage Extensions Shop
Looking to build an auto-parts Magento 2 store? This purpose built search extension gets you started with make , model and year criteria straight out of the box.
- Assign multiple make, model & year to the same product
- Filter based functioning – can be placed on any page in the CMS
Product Search By Category
Author: Mage Extensions Shop
Want to enable customers to search by category? This simple extension does exactly (just) that.
- Dropdown box interface that is integrated with native M2 search bar.
- Simple – but effective
Rapnet Diamond Search
Author: NANO Web Group
Simply integrate the Rapnet diamond inventory into your website, with instant search and for customer to purchase easily and direct from suppliers. Simply promote and add your mark-up.
- Device responsive
- Lightweight code
- Mange vendors and suppliers
Search By Category
Another simple, search by category extension for M2.
- Combination search box with existing native Magento search
- Customise which categories to show
- Shows all available categories and sub-categories
Magento 2 Search Extension Pricing
As for pricing, Magento 2 search extensions vary from Free to $500+ depending on the functionality required.
Aside from specialist niche search products like the Rapnet integrated ones, many across the mid-level offerings seem to do the same thing.
If not very similar.
Yet still among these, the price diferential could be as much as 500%.
The difference in value proposition?
Smoothness in presentation – quality of display, perhaps.
Back-end user-friendliness and control over search parameters.
And perhaps accuracy.
These features give premium products like Amasty’s Elastic Search – complete with improved layered navigation the commercial edge.
When it comes to reviews, Amasty again are well ahead.
They haven’t achieved a market leading position in the Magento 2 search extension niche without merit.
Verified reviewers say their support & integration service is as instant as their software’s search performance.
The product itself is enjoyed by over 400 shop owners and developers.
Mirasvit are close behind with over 300 reviews and an average of 5 stars – *albeit unverified, as quoted on their own website.
Support & Services
Any extension provider with even a grain of confidence in their product will offer free limited support.
Mirasvit clearly have no concerns.
They offer 90 days inclusive support when you purchase their search product.
Amasty offer the same.
The top pair, aforementioned and features providers, offer lifetime updates when you buy.
Again, the top two offer 30 days and the other 60 days – but I don’t suppose it really matters.
You should gather quickly enough if the product is for you.
Remembering that they all offer front end and back end demo. Take your time, research and make a confident investment once persuaded.
If you are still undecided on which Magento 2 search extension to invest in, my advice is try a free extension initially and monitor the performance improvement (or otherwise).
Once you see the benefits, using data driven insights, hone in on where the quick gains could be made on better functionality.
Shortlist your desired improvements.
Identify a reference group of search extensions that offer what you want.
Try the demos, read the documentation, read reviews – then make your move.
Trial your new premium search function and monitor the results (being aware of the guarantee period).
Tweak and iterate your changes.
Slowly, but surely optimise your search and the subsequent sales performance.
Measure your ROI and seek justification of the investment.
If eConsultancy’s advice above was anything to go by, the addition of smarter search to your Magento 2 store alone could result in cascading profits, for very little other than installing some software, which out of the box is a straight win-win.
Why sit on the fence like 50% of all other store owners, not bothering to invest in better on-site product search.
Are you a developer looking to increase your client’s ROI – get a search extension with autocomplete and data logging.
Justify your fee and ongoing retainer if refining their profitability through smarter search.
Take the lead.