Our “How To” guides are a continuing series of articles demonstrating simple ways to implement the most commonly-requested features for running a successful e-commerce business on Shopify. In this article we’ll teach you about on-site search and how to add it to your online shop.
Shoppers using search know what they’re looking for. Whether it’s general or specific, they have an idea of what they hope to purchase on your Shopify store. Ensuring that your customers receive meaningful results from their searches might be the difference between making a sale and having a customer abandon their cart entirely.
According to data compiled by ConversionXL, 30% of e-commerce visitors use on-site search, which can have a dramatic effect on conversion rates due to the increased engagement level. Some online stores can attribute on-site search users to 13.8% of their overall revenue, making on-site search a feature definitely worth having!
On-Site Search Apps for Shopify
Adding on-site search can either replace, or live alongside the built-in search provided by Shopify. Your customers will see a standard search field, which will instantly show results upon any text input it receives. As they continue to type, they’ll receive search results based on tags, descriptions, titles and other forms of metadata included in your shop. These search results can provide relevant products to customers, and even offer fallback suggestions to ensure that your visitors always see a selection of products.
Regardless of your needs, we’ll cover some Shopify on-site search apps that will help make for a great customer experience! The Shopify App Store offers alternatives to those featured here, but we picked out some of our favorites! We’ll go over their features and the simple process of adding these apps to Shopify.
Instant Search +
Instant Search + is our preferred on-site search app. It’s extremely flexible in both functionality and its theming. It also includes a search widget that works out-of-the-box with over a dozen Shopify themes. You’ll have the ability to give preferential treatment to products of your choosing, causing them to appear higher in your search results. This is an excellent way to ensure that your most popular products are presented to your visitors! Instant Search + generates auto-filters, which are best thought of as automated collections that are created for you. These filters come complete with a filterable and sortable browser that is highly customizable, meaning your users can find exactly what they’re looking for. This filter view can even act as a replacement for your Shopify store’s collection browser!
Instant Search + continuously updates its auto-filter algorithms for your store based off real-world usage by your customers. You’ll have the option to target visitors based on their geographic location or even trigger seasonal changes, which is a great way to bring holiday items to the forefront of your search results with a click of a button! All of this is backed by a CDN (a.k.a. ’the cloud’) which means your customers receive their results the instant they begin typing their query!
Smart Search + Instant Search
Smart Search + Instant Search by Searchanise is our secondary choice for an on-site search app. One standout feature it offers is integration with Yotpo, a product reviews app we covered earlier in our “How To” series. This will unlock the ability for customers to further filter their search results by reviews and ratings. Aside from that, it offers an almost identical feature set to Instant Search + at a more budget-conscious price. For $20 you’ll unlock all of its features and can have up 5,000 products in your store. That same amount of money spent with Instant Search + would limit you to 1,000 products and some of its more powerful features remain disabled.
How to Add Apps on Shopify
Once you’ve found the on-site search app you want to use, you’ll want to actually add it to your Shopify store, right? Thankfully, that’s a painless task given Shopify’s ease-of-use. Simply navigate to the app of your choice, and click the large green “Get” button. Shopify will guide you through a series of on-screen prompts and you should be ready to use your new app! Do note that some apps will require further steps, be sure to read their Shopify App Store entries to be wary of any special cases.