Magento Search: Which Solution to Choose in 2022

Search is one of the most critical parts of any eCommerce website. Around 43% of all customers go straight to the search bar as soon as they land on an eCommerce website.

An online store might have a good website design, navigation, and selection of products, but if the on-site search doesn't meet customer requirements, the store will fail in sales.

The good news for Magento store owners is there are numerous Magento search extensions available. The bad news is there are too many Magento search solutions offering different features and performance.

Read the article to learn more about top Magento search extensions if you want to go "all in" the differences between the best solutions.

  • Speed and performance
  • Built-in search features
  • Nice-to-have features
  • Availability
  • Cross-platform support

If you want to go “all in” the selection of the best solution, read the article to learn more about top Magento search extensions.

Magento Search: Market Overview

Magento Search - Market Overview

There are dozens of Magento search extensions on the market. Below you can see a selection of solutions that are the most popular among our clients.

Native Magento Search

Native Magento search is also known among the Magento community as Elasticsearch for the underlying technology. This solution is shipped with all Magento versions out of the box so that you can use it right away. But is it that true? We'll uncover the truth later in the article.

Adobe Live Search

Adobe Live Search is the newest addition to the squad of Magento search plugins. The company released it in mid-2021 as an alternative to the native solution.

Availability is the main drawback. There is no official Magento search extension for Magento Open Source. The search is only compatible with Adobe Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud.

Klevu

Klevu is a famous name on the eCommerce search solutions available across all Magento versions. This Magento search packs in some useful features and additional integrations.

Algolia

Algolia is a SaaS Magento search using RESTful API that is known for rich functionality and high performance. Store owners can use it with both Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce. Just like Klevu, you can use Algolia across all website pages, including blogs. It's one of the differentiating features of these two solutions that sets them apart from search engines by Magento.

Magento Search Extension: Features Comparison

Every of the Magento searches is designed to provide a seamless user experience and assist customers in finding the products. Still, they offer different types of features and performance. Let's compare all solutions by a few metrics, such as speed, basic and advanced functionality, and personalized shopping experience.

Magento search speed

 Magento Search Extensions Speed Comparison

Search speed is the time needed for a platform to deliver results to customers after they type in the search query. Slow work of Magento search deteriorates customer experience and leads to an increase in bounce rate.

Speed is the first metric you should take into account when choosing an eCommerce website search.

Magento Native Search is the slowest among the reviewed options. As it's an on-premise solution, your hosting directly influences its speed. Native Magento Search usually takes up to a second to process a query and show results. The speed depends on a number of factors, such as hosting and what developers have done for its optimization.

Adobe Live Search shows one of the best results with 200 milliseconds or less. Such a high speed is explained by its multi-tenant SaaS architecture with the best hosting solutions like AWS working in its favor.

Klevu is based on Solr, an open-source search solution, and is hosted on AWS, OVH, and Google. Klevu is a little bit slower when it comes to speed, and usually takes around 350 milliseconds to deliver any results.

Algolia is known for its blazing-fast speed. The system runs in the cloud and, from the very start, was designed to be lightweight and efficient. As the company states, it takes 70 to 100 milliseconds to process a search query and deliver results to customers.

Will your customers notice the difference in speed between all these solutions?

They will notice a difference between Native Magento Search and any of the other solutions. But the speed difference between Klevu, Algolia, and Live Search is not that huge to impact customer experience, considering that your website works pretty fast.

Typo-tolerance & Autocomplete

Magento Searches Solutions Comparison - Typo-Tolerance and Autocomplete Features

Typing a search query, users often make mistakes. But it doesn't mean that you should tell them about it. Instead, an eCommerce search engine should automatically correct any misspellings and autocomplete requests to provide relevant search results.

The capabilities of Magento Native Search are pretty limited. You can add any features you need, but only with the help of Magento developers. The result of such limitations is more time and money spent on customizations.

Adobe Live Search offers search-as-you-type results, speeding up the whole search experience. Flexible synonyms allow merchants to point shoppers to the right products, even if customers don't know the exact number of something they are looking for.

Algolia provides robust typo-tolerance capabilities along with the way to customize the level of search tolerance. For example, suppose the vast majority of your customers are mobile users. In that case, you might want to make your Magento search a bit more tolerant, as typing on a smartphone often increases the number of typos. Algolia also provides autocomplete and query suggestion features.

Klevu provides error tolerance and shows relevant results. The system automatically enriches its catalogs, dynamically generating synonyms for the indexed content. Klevu searches for similar queries, compares them and shows search results.

Another provided feature – Search-as-you-Type – shows automatic suggestions for the first character or characters that users type with popular or recent searches.

Choosing a search solution with an autocomplete feature and advanced typo-tolerance helps increase conversion thanks to providing more relevant search results.

Cross-device functionality

Magento search plugins - Cross-Device Functionality

Mobile commerce continues to grow. This year, mCommerce will generate around 72.9% of all sales in eCommerce. Choosing a Magento search, sellers should pay attention to its cross-device functionality.

For example, if you choose Native Search, you'll need to customize it and develop cross-platform support. Adobe Live Search provides basic mobile responsiveness right out of the box.

Klevu offers a more advanced search that supports a responsive browser interface that can handle all screen sizes. You only need to click one button to enable a mobile-friendly layout.

Algolia provides client software and SDKs for all sorts of front-ends in addition to a responsive mobile browser interface. Functionality allows the creation of fast and easy-to-use interfaces on all platforms.

Personalized experience

Magento Search - Personalized Experience

A personalized shopping experience is the next step in eCommerce that merchants should've already implemented a long time ago. Personalized experience entails providing product recommendations based on the search history, history of purchases, and so on.

When it comes to Native Magento Search, it can't boast out-of-the-box functionality. It requires additional custom coding and probably integration with a third-party solution.

Adobe Live Search is based on Adobe Sensei AI. Artificial Intelligence analyzes every query to provide shoppers with the most relevant results and help find products faster. Adobe provides AI-powered faceting, so merchants don't need to set up faceting and filtering rules manually.

Klevu allows showing recently viewed and trending products related to shoppers' search history. They are shown in the form of a query suggestion when a user clicks the search bar. Customers can see what the most popular products offered and quickly return to recent searches are. However, such search results are website-wide optimized and not personalized to specific customers.

Klevu offers a Discovery suite, which allows you to get the real power of personalized recommendations, but for an additional price. The system combines smart search, recommendations, category merchandising, and a personalization engine for the best product discovery experience.

Algolia dynamically adjusts search results for specific customer needs. The system takes into account product views, clicks, and conversions. Merchants can use the basic configuration of the system or dive into additional configurations and adjust KPIs for the best business results.

Below you can see a table comparing all search solutions side by side.

Native Magento Search Adobe Live Search Klevu Algolia
Speed Up to a second < = 200 ms ~350 ms 70-100 ms
Typo-tolerance - - + +
Autocomplete - +/- + +
Cross-device support - Responsiveness Responsiveness Responsiveness + SDKs
Personalized experience - AI-powered faceting Query suggestions with popular and recently viewed products Personalized search results (based on search and view history, clicks and conversions)
Website pages Product pages only Product pages only Product pages and blog All website pages
Customizations Higher Higher Lower Lower
Supported platforms All Magento versions Adobe Commerce
Adobe Commerce Cloud
All Magento versions All Magento versions
Price Free Free N/A (per request) $1.00 per 1,000 search requests/mo + 1,000 Records
$1.50 per 1,000 Search requests/mo+ 1,000 records

Magento Search: Which Solution to Choose

So, which Magento search solution is the best for your company?

Turns out there is no platform that fits all.

There are no winners and losers, and the answer depends on many factors.

Native Magento search requires a lot of custom coding, which comes along with additional expenses. The main limitation of the search has always been the slow speed of showing the results, especially when customers apply different filters at the same time.

Adobe Live Search offers extensive capabilities out of the box. Taking into account that Adobe's Live Search was just released, its functionality needs to be extended in future releases to meet all customer expectations. And we can't forget about its availability for Adobe Commerce only.

Algolia and Klevu are powerful solutions with advanced out-of-the-box functionality. If you choose this solution, be ready that their customization can be quite a puzzling task for developers, especially if they've never worked with it before.

To sum up, working with a native solution like Adobe's Live Search gives developers more customization opportunities. That is what third-party solutions are lacking. But they have a lot of powerful built-in features, so you don't need to spend time and money on additional features development and customizations.

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