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nopCommerce Search

Effective search is crucial. In fact, more than three in four online shoppers use on-site search when browsing an ecommerce store. An effective search isn’t just about visitors being able to find products though - it directly impacts conversions and revenue too. 

Implementing a high-performance search solution should be a priority for any growing nopCommerce store. Out of the box, nopCommerce provides a serviceable search solution that allows matching on product names and descriptions; however, this often lacks the relevancy, speed and accuracy needed to take search to the next level.

Incorporating a specialised search tool such as Algolia bridges that gap. Algolia elevates on-site search, ensuring unparalleled speed and highly relevant search results. Let's delve into the significance of this and learn how to integrate Algolia into nopCommerce stores.

The Constraints of the Standard On-Site Search Experience

To understand why Algolia is worth integrating, it helps to recognise the limitations merchants face with nopCommerce’s default search: 

  • Queries rely on reading from the SQL product database, limiting response times, which is particularly noticeable for larger catalogues
  • Restrictive query matching - Searching only matches exact words used in product titles or descriptions, reducing relevant hits.
  • Typos or stopwords yield no results.
  • No search analytics - Without analytics tracking, it’s impossible to optimise popular keywords or failing queries.

By switching to Algolia, merchants can address these limitations - leading to higher on-site conversions.

The Algolia Difference for nopCommerce Stores

Algolia was built from the ground up to tackle the challenges of search across all platforms. Hosted in the cloud, it acts as a fast search engine layer optimised specifically for ecommerce catalogues.

Here’s why over 10,000 sites use Algolia to enhance their search experience:

  • Sub-millisecond query returns - Algolia indexes each product for instant lookups, ensuring speed never dips.
  • Typo tolerance and synonyms - Match misspellings and expand hits across descriptive keywords for more relevant results.
  • Advanced ranking and merchandising - Fine tune search ranking to promote top products and influence what appears.
  • Actionable search analytics - Gain insights into popular keywords, conversions from search and queries with low click rates.
  • Predictive search and autocomplete - Reduce typing by showing contextual suggestions after a few characters are entered into search bars and input fields.
  • Robust filtering and faceting - Let visitors filter by properties like price, brand, colour and more while showing counts per filter.

Setting Up Algolia with nopCommerce

Wired In has successfully integrated Algolia with nopCommerce on multiple occasions, and we've even developed a dedicated plugin to replace the standard nopCommerce search engine with Algolia. Depending on the complexity of the integration, we have customised Algolia's indexing to cover various entities, including categories, vendors, products, manufacturers, blog posts, and even brick-and-mortar store locations for retailers with a nationwide presence.

Once our plugin is activated, it automatically synchronises the necessary entities, along with their key metadata, into a high-speed Algolia index that's tailored for efficient search queries. What's especially convenient is that minimal changes are required on the front-end code side. For simple product-only searches, the existing search bars, category pages, and filters remain functional. However, when additional entities are indexed, such as categories or blog posts, some adjustments are needed to display the results in the UI.

Merchants immediately gain access to the Algolia dashboard, where they can monitor search analytics, manage synonyms, and continuously fine-tune relevancy settings. Unique search functionalities like typo tolerance, distinct hit highlighting, and spell-checking are all activated by default.

Driving Results With Improved Search

With Algolia, merchants can elevate site search beyond serviceable. Visitors benefit through relevant results returned instantly. Merchants meanwhile gain actionable analytics into optimising conversions further.

Consider that 7% of ecommerce users will abandon sites with a poor search experience. However a well-executed search strategy also provides massive opportunity: up to 51% increased conversion rates by some estimates. That’s clearly compelling motivation to perfect site search.

By delivering the fast, relevant and customisable search nimble growing businesses demand, forward-looking nopCommerce merchants will pull ahead of the pack. Because exceptional search directly equals sales in the world of modern ecommerce.

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