Overcome the Limitations of Solr Search

May 22, 2014 Tim Callan

If you’re like the vast majority of online retailers, you will face the need to re-platform at some point. Maybe you’re in the middle of one of these initiatives now, or are about to get started. Or perhaps you recently completed a re-platform. Whatever the case, you may be less than satisfied with the merchandising, indexing and customization capabilities of the default Solr search that comes with your platform.

Thankfully, it’s a cinch to implement an advanced site search that addresses the shortcomings of Solr and integrates quickly and easily with your platform – new or old. Upgrading your search offers your customers a much better experience on your site, which leads to stronger brand loyalty and more sales. Here are a few examples:

e.l.f. Cosmetics, a well-known U.S. consumer brand, experienced disappointing results from the search that came as a default feature of its e-commerce platform. The company knew it had a problem because customers often abandoned the site after conducting a search and the customer service team was tapped out by calls from visitors who couldn’t find what they wanted. Additionally, e.l.f. had a difficult time getting visibility for non-product content like videos and blog posts.

Once e.l.f. implemented SLI Learning Search, it was able to take advantage of features like Rich Auto Complete and Learning Recommendations to get more products in front of visitors. The e.l.f. team was also able to offer detailed refinement capabilities to help customers narrow down the field of search results. Plus the new search indexed the educational content the company wanted to showcase.

As a result, e.l.f. saw a 21% increase in per-visit value on its e-commerce site. With SLI powering its mobile commerce site, e.l.f. also saw a 4x higher conversion rate on mobile for site search users.

Thompson & Morgan is one of the UK’s largest seed and plant retailers. This longstanding consumer brand recently re-platformed and decided to try the default Solr search. Unfortunately, the company soon realized that the Solr search was creating a poor user experience, as demonstrated by the negative customer feedback it received. A previous user of SLI Learning Search, the company’s e-commerce team decided a switch back to SLI was necessary to keep customers happy.

According to Clare Dixey, e-commerce manager of Thompson & Morgan, SLI’s implementation with its new platform was swift – the new search was live within six weeks. And the results are significant: the 21% of site visitors using site search now account for 47% of total site revenue, and the conversion rate for site search users is 74% higher than the site average. Plus, the negative customer feedback about the site’s search function has turned to praise.

Dixey attributes the impact on Thompson & Morgan’s business to SLI’s ability to continually improve relevancy through its learning-based approach, as well as the SLI Auto Complete feature, which helps customers with particularly difficult-to-spell product names. Additionally, rich merchandising capabilities allow Dixey’s team to create custom landing pages for specific terms.

Zachys Wine & Liquor is a specialty retailer of high-end wine and spirits. The company recently began a re-platforming initiative and found that its reliance on SLI to power its search has smoothed the transition. The company also uses SLI Rich Auto Complete and refinements to improve the search experience, and gets a traffic boost from the SEO-optimized landing pages created by SLI Site Champion.

These are just a few examples of retailers that were able to use advanced search features to create a more engaging online experience and, in some cases, ease the move to a new platform. Other retailers have even delayed the need to move to a new platform because of the site improvements they were able to achieve with advanced site search. You can read more about the possibility of extending the life of your current platform in the white paper “Site Search vs. Re-platforming.”

If your platform’s default search is causing you unneeded aggravation and lackluster results, perhaps you need an upgrade. With the ROI benefits you can expect, not only will your customers thank you, but your bottom line will, too.

Previous Content
Site Search and Replatforming
Site Search and Replatforming

Find out how advanced site search can ease the transition to new platforms and even eliminate the need to r...

Next Article
SLI Receives Magento Partner Award and Other 2015 Accolades
SLI Receives Magento Partner Award and Other 2015 Accolades

SLI Receives Magento’s Highest Partner Honor Last week at Magento Imagine, SLI received the “2015 Magento T...

×

Invite Me to Monthly E-commerce Webinars

First Name
Last Name
Company
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!