Today there are 53 different ecommerce search engines. We spent 80 hours comparing the top 50 to find the seven best you can use to turn your store into an Amazon-like search engine to sell more products.
What is the Best Ecommerce Search Engine?
Our Verdict — Best Of The Best
Price: Starts with a free plan
Algolia is the best ecommerce search engine anyone can get. It provides powerful AI-powered site search in the blink of an eye, it’s a breeze to set up, it offers all the right features, and it helps you understand what people want to buy, with its insightful analytics.
Also, if you’ve got developers on your team, they can customize Algolia’s user experience as you wish. Banger.
The Best Part:
As flexible as it gets. Algolia is incredibly flexible to use, from both the developers’ and users’ side. You can integrate it with pretty much any other tool, and it’s a breeze to tweak the user interface to match your brand.
The Worst Part:
Algolia fundamentally charges per keystroke. If someone searches for “glass” in your store, that’ll count as 5 searches, or more, depending on your setup. Since you’re paying a fixed amount per each 1,000 searches, every time someone strikes a new letter into your search box, you’re paying a tiny amount.
Get it if you want the best search engine you can get for your ecommerce store.
I recommend you get started with the free plan, then upgrade to the Search plan ($1 per 1,000 queries).
Algolia is the most powerful AI-based ecommerce search engine for any ecommerce store, no matter if you sell $1,000 or $100,000 per month.
- Almost instant search results, every time. No matter how many filters your shoppers use when searching, Algolia does an incredible job of showing results literally as fast as the blink of an eye, in 100 milliseconds.
- They got a track record. Algolia displays the tracked results on some of their famous clients. GymShark got a 159% increase in order rate, Flaconi got +10% increase in revenue, and Orange boosted their revenue by +8% all thanks to Algolia.
- Never lose a search. Searchers are the best shoppers out there, so you really don’t want to leave your searchers hanging. Algolia’s artificial intelligence makes sense of every search, even if there are typos, plurals, descriptive words, and more.
- It shows the right results at the right time. With the Personalization feature you can let Algolia sort results based on user behavior. Using their massive database to display what a customer is more prone to buying is a surefire way to increase your conversions.
- Understand your audience. You can check your search bar stats to learn what your customers are searching for and what they’re clicking on. This information is gold, as you now know what product categories you can feature more prominently in your store, so you get even more sales.
Algolia offers three pricing plans:
- Free: For up to 10,000 search requests per month.
- Search: $1/month per 1,000 search requests.
- Search Premium: $1.50/month per 1,000 search requests, with advanced features like personalization and custom rules.
Annual subscriptions provide additional discounts.
Try Algolia today with the free plan.
Our Verdict — Best For Retail Enterprises
Price: Custom pricing
Yext is a great machine that will take a skilled operator to extract all of its value. Their AI-driven search detects patterns in your user intents to always deliver the right answers (or offers) to your shoppers.
If your company is a very big retail corporation selling hundreds or thousands of SKUs, or if you’ve got multiple brick-and-mortar locations, Yext is the way to go.
The Best Part:
It can answer any question. If someone asks “at what time does the Orlando store close?” Yext will always find your official answers and deliver them to searchers.
The Worst Part:
Their tutorials are way too long. If you’re a person who likes to go through training when you get a new piece of software, get ready to spend a lot of time in front of your screen. Their learning program is long and time-consuming.
Get it if you’re a big corporation with a skilled development team.
I recommend you schedule a demo so that they can show you how they’ll improve your search conversions, then get a 30 day free trial.
(30-day free trial)
Yext is best for big retail corporations with skilled developers.
- Fine-tune the money queries. While you usually want Yext to return the most relevant results on its own, their Search Merchandiser feature makes it a breeze to optimize and fine-tune the results for specific search queries. Their drag-and-drop, point-and-click interface lets you edit results through a real-time visual interface. What you see is what you get.
- Learn from your users with their search analytics. Yext provides actionable insights from the searches you get on your store. From basic information like numbers of searches and conversion rates, search trends, all the way down to revenue generated per search term. They even normalize query strings with different capitalization or trailing whitespaces to give you a fuller picture of what users are searching for.
- Smooth search refinement capabilities. Once a shopper has searched for something, they can refine their results by price, size, color, or any relevant criteria with but one or two clicks.
- Smarter results with the Vertical Ranking Model. When a shopper searches for something, the search engine has to figure out what category of results a user is likely to be looking for — like FAQs, articles, or products. Yext makes sure searchers can find answers without scrolling or rephrasing, so they get to your calls-to-action quicker.
- Yext understands human language. The Semantic Text Search feature allows Yext to understand what your shoppers are looking for based on the meaning behind their words, not just the keywords they use. For example, if someone searches for “how to return my jacket”, Yext understands they’re looking to start a return process and leads them to the right page.
Yext pricing is based on a custom quote.
Try Yext today with a personal demo.
Our Verdict — Best For Beginners
Price: Starts with a free plan
Search.io is a powerful search engine powered by machine learning that works instantly, out of the box.
Their proprietary machine learning learns your shoppers’ behavior to offer them what’s most likely to convert first… And it gets smarter the longer you stick with it.
The Best Part:
You don’t need to set up any search rules. Search.io delivers the right results without you ever needing to “hack” the system with synonyms or search rules. You also get functions like autocomplete, instant indexing, the quickest results in the industry, and everything you need to tweak and optimize your ecommerce’s search engine.
The Worst Part:
Algolia acquired Search.io. Algolia, which is our #1 choice as the best ecommerce search engine, acquired Search.io in 2022. That means that this product could eventually be cannibalized by its new owner.
Get it if you want a solution that won’t require too much editing and tweaking.
I recommend you get started with the free plan, then upgrade to the Starter plan ($23/month) if your store gets up to 10,000 search queries per month — or a higher plan if you go above and beyond that.
Search.io is the best option for people who are looking for the best ecommerce search engine that requires no time to set up.
- It understands your searches like no other service. Search.io runs on a “concepts over keywords” mindset, with its proprietary Neuralsearch technology. That means it will understand what people want, even if you’re not stuffing your products up with “relevant keywords”. Search.io goes for the intention behind every search, rather than just keywords.
- Easy-peasy setup. Neuralsearch is so smart it doesn’t require you to add synonyms, create rules, stuff your titles with relevant keywords, and so on. You can add your new search bar in minutes with powerful features ready to go like instant search, search filters, suggestions, and more, out of the box.
- Great yesterday, better today, better-er tomorrow. The Neuralsearch tech learns, adapts, and is always improving based on reinforcement learning. Your store’s search experience keeps improving the more it's used.
- It’s faster than light, lighter than air. Because of their ingenious vector search and hashing technologies, Search.io is the fastest search engine out there. You get results in 0.009 seconds, which any human interprets as instantaneous. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 or 10,000 products, Search.io can handle thousands of searches per second without lagging behind.
- It indexes your pages instantly. Search.io instantly indexes your new pages and new content, so that your search index is always up-to-date to provide your shoppers with the most updated answers, every time.
Search.io offers four pricing plans:
- Starter: $23/month for up to 10,000 search queries per month, on one domain.
- Standard: $119/month for up to 100,000 search queries per month, on one domain.
- Business: $479/month for up to 250,000 search queries per month, on up to five domains.
- Business+: $1,119/month for up to 1,000,000 search queries per month, on up to 10 domains.
Annual subscriptions provide a 17% discount.
Try Search.io today with the free plan.
Our Top Three Picks
Here’s a quick summary of our top three picks:
Here’s a quick comparison of our top seven picks:
Starts at $1 per 1,000 queries
30 day free trial
Starts at $23/mo
14 day free trial
Starts at $95/mo
Starts at $599/mo
7 day free trial
Starts at $19/mo
14 day free trial
Here are the top 50 ecommerce search engines we considered in this review:
- Luigi’s Box
- Athena Search
- AddSearch Site Search
- Instant Search
- Evinent Search
- Big Zeta Search
- Lucidworks Fusion
- Inbenta Search
What is an ecommerce search engine?
An ecommerce search engine is a search box you can add to your ecommerce sites to help your customer searches have more relevant results, especially when it comes to finding products. By offering a well-optimized search experience, you’ll effectively shorten your customers’ paths to purchase, promoting customer satisfaction.
What are the benefits of having good ecommerce search?
There are quite a few advantages in adopting an e-commerce search tool that enhances the search process of your store:
- It improves customer satisfaction
Recent surveys indicate that shoppers are incredibly impatient. Almost 75% of your visitors will leave your store within two minutes, if they haven’t found what they wanted.
On the flip side, when you offer a good customer experience, you increase customer loyalty in the long run, and people will come back for more purchases in the future.
When you offer a faster, more personalized experience, your conversion rates go up.
- It pumps up your average conversion rates
Did you know people who search are 2 times more likely to purchase from you? So, if you want to double your conversion rates, all you need is to rely on strong ecommerce search solutions.
- It helps you understand your audience
The strongest ecommerce search engine solutions like Algolia, Yext, and Search.io offer comprehensive search analytics, where you can get insight from your ecommerce site search — figure out the types of search queries you get, what they click on, which searches have no results, and more.
Which features should my ecommerce search engine have?
Your main goal is to make sure the search UX is in place. That is, your customers need to have the smoothest experience so they stick around for longer, and end up buying more. These are a few of the key features you want on your search engine:
- Quick response times. Every second delay in response times makes you lose about 15% of potential customers.
- Autocomplete and query suggestions. It’s very likely most of your shoppers are browsing your store with their phones, so you want to help them achieve more with less effort.
- AI-powered search. You want a search engine that understands the context of what people are saying, and aren’t just looking for “long tail keywords“ that match what shoppers are looking for. The best search engines use machine learning models to understand when people are looking for relevant products or information, like “how to return my product” for example.
- Beautiful product images. When you display gorgeous product images along with your search results, customers are up to three times more likely to go through with their purchases.
- Product recommendations. This is where the store owner can display specific products and offers they want their shoppers to know about.
- Other features you may need include synonym search, social proof, faceted search, smart filters, a user friendly interface, and the ability to do complex integrations with third-party apps.
The Bottom Line
Here are our top picks for the best ecommerce search engines to try this year: