Comparison of Search Solutions for Websites and Online Shops
An intelligent search solution can decide whether visitors are converted to customers. A well designed and efficient search increases customer satisfaction as well as revenues.
Websites and online shops of large companies are usually very complex. Customers must be able at all times to easily and rapidly find information and products in shops and on websites. A powerful search solution is therefore indispensable for companies, as it has a decisive influence on converting visitors to customers. Effective search solutions are therefore an ever increasing factor in business success – if products can’t be found, revenues and customer satisfaction suffer. An intelligent search increases revenues and conversion rates. Due to the popularity of Google, Bing, etc., customers have become used to functions such as a fault-tolerant search or autocomplete and expect these features in online shops as well. Next to AOE several other providers of similar solutions exist. However, these solutions, in part, differ substantially in functions, costs and usability. Below, the most important search solutions are compared.
Search Solutions Compared
Searchperience is a powerful search solution for online shops and websites and is primarily targeted at high-traffic portals and global players. At its core, the solution is based on Apache Solr. Thanks to its powerful 64-bit architecture, Searchperience can process more than 1,000 search queries per second and search index. Apache Solr has a scalable replication mechanism for the creation of distributed indices based on the master-slave principle. Replication provides better data distribution, optimizes the search process and accelerates the search at high loads.
The Searchperience architecture consists of the index, an integrated crawler as well as a search component with an administrative area and frontend. The crawler continuously and independently fills the appropriately configured search index. The data that are accessed by the crawler form the basis for the faceted search. Until now, the data needed to be provided in a structured format, such as CSV- or XML data or via Web service, regardless of the solution being used. By contrast, Searchperience is the only search solution in the market that does not require structured data, such as XML or CSV. By using the external connection, just a short code needs to be integrated into the pages – beyond that the CMS isn’t touched. This approach conserves IT resources, as no integration via XML or Web service is necessary. The intelligent crawler automatically analyzes and indexes websites and web shops and, in addition, recognizes different page types, including documents such as PDFs, images or videos. Search results are automatically distinguished by news or products as well as filtered by product characteristics, such as color or price. In addition to those features contained in the other solutions, Searchperience offers an image search and enables the integration of social media features, such as Facebook likes or Twitter buttons, into the search results.
As a standard, the search contains feature such as autocomplete, live search, and fault-tolerant or positioned search results. Searchperience is available in more than 50 languages and can improve performance by up to 35%
Additional Features of Searchperience:
- Recommendation Engine
With help from the Recommendation Engine search results can be controlled. For example, results can be displayed on other pages such as in the shopping cart. The engine can also issue personalized results to match user interests
- Campaign Management
Website administrators can optimize search results according to the requirements of marketing campaigns
Exorbyte: Commerce Search
With its solution Commerce Search Exorbyte offers a search function for midsized- to large online shops. Among others, the solution is based on the Levenshtein Algorithm and Java and combines many features that users have come to expect from a search solution.
Based on structured data, the entire website is automatically indexed, including all attachments, such as PDFs, Word- or PowerPoint files. Commerce Search’s core competence is the auto complete feature, which also functions in the case of typos and suggests matching products and recognizes synonyms. In addition, the solution takes products that are often clicked into account and ranks these results better in the search results, based on their higher relevance.
Commerce Search focuses on the core features of a search and delivers additional information relevant to the search results. However, the solution does not include a Recommendation Engine, which suggests results that are similar to the search or enables a personalized search or stemming function, which finds terms that deviate from the actual root word. The solution also does without a complex campaign management function.
Companies that mainly want to help their customers use the search to navigate quickly and efficiently to the article being sought, receive a solution with a good price-performance ratio, if they choose Exorbyte. The solution can be used either as a “Search-as-a-Service” (SaaS) solution or hosted in-house – either of which can increase conversion rates of online shops by up to ten percent, according to the provider’s own claims. But, if a complete solution, which goes beyond a simple search function, is needed for a web shop, and the emphasis is placed on advanced marketing functionalities, then additional providers should be considered.
Findologic, with its eponymous search functionality provides small- to mid-sized companies a solution for E-Commerce portals. The Java-based solution uses an intelligent, relevance-based ranking system with the possibility of highlighting specific products in the search. The search runs on the basis of structured data that can be embedded via XML connectivity. In addition Findologic includes several filtering options and autocomplete functionality. The search has a high level of performance when used as a SaaS solution and provides high availability. Should the search fail, the standard search function of the implemented shop solution can be used. However, in comparison to other search solutions Findologic offers no really unique search properties and lacks features that are integrated by default in other solutions. For example, the standard version offers no multilingual functions – but these can be booked as an option.
With Findologic, small to mid-sized companies receive a search solution that that is limited to a few core features. The solution lacks elementary functions that large companies and global players demand; these include hit-highlighting or optimized rankings to effectively control marketing campaigns.
Omikron Data Quality: FACT-Finder
The core function of the E-Commerce search solution FACT-Finder is a specially developed, language-independent similarity algorithm, which also displays similar search results. However, FACT-Finder provides no stemming feature; different results, for example, are displayed depending on whether the singular or plural form of a search term is specified. This is caused by not including the root word. But, all settings can be manually adjusted to achieve similar results, though only rudimentary adjustments of the similarity index can be made in the backend. FACT-Finder also has a tag cloud, a product comparison function, a Recommendation Engine as well as additional marketing tools. The functions are based on structured data, e.g. CSV files, which must be provided by the customer. According to the provider, these functions can achieve an increase in conversion rates from ten to 25 percent.
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