Magento 2 Site Search

Magento 2 is an important milestone for our preferred eCommerce platform: it has been in development for very long time (over 3 years), so when recently Merchant Beta was released we at Magenable were pretty excited and eager to give it a try. Magenable established a demo store based on Magento 2 (with sample database and mostly default settings) and we decided to check site search there as a part of our research of different site searches available for Magento.

Magento 2 site search: search results. Click to the image to enlarge

So let’s have a look, how out-of-the-box site search works in Magento 2, is it better than Magento 1.9.x CE that we tested earlier or not.

 

Functionality

General search quality of Magento 2 out-of-the-box site search

We’ve tested Magento 2 site search with “short” as a search term, you can see the results on the screenshot above.  It is quite an improvement comparing with Magento CE 1.9.x site search: the products with “short” in name are listed first, before those where “short” is used somewhere in description. It still seems doesn’t understand plural form (the results for “shorts” were different from “short”).

Also Magento 2 out-of-the-box site search only searches through products: CMS pages and categories are not part of the scope here.

Understanding of typos and mixed word orders

Typo

Magento 2 out-of-the-box site search doesn’t understand typos natively: search for such terms as “shorg” or “shotr” doesn’t bring any results.

Magento 2 site search: typo

Mixed word order

This test is passed and better than in previous version of Magento. We tried to search for “Duffle Bag” and “Bag Duffle”: the results were the same and actual product with “Duffle Bag” in the name was listed first in both cases.

Magento 2 site search: mixed order of words

Magento 2 site search: mixed order of words. Click to the image to enlarge

Understanding of jargon and synonyms

Unfortunately here we don’t see any improvements: our test searches for “strides” or “trousers” (on both single and plural forms) don’t bring any results, while there are 19 products matching “pant” search term.

Abbreviations

It was quite hard to test with the sample database we have, but it is very unlikely that Magento 2 default search understand any abbreviations out of the box.

Special characters

Magento 2 site search spec chars

A miss here as well, site search couldn’t find products when we searched for 7″ (7 with double quotes), while there are at least several watches where this text is presented in the description.

Overall impression from Magento 2 out of the box site search quality is that it is better than one in Magento CE 1.9.x in terms of ranking relevancy, but still lack some stuff you can find in more advanced solutions. Similar with previous generation of Magento search you can set up a special processing for any keyword that can help to tackle issues with most common abbreviation, typos and jargon/synonyms used by your store customer. There is also Advanced search available (similar with Magento CE 1.9.x).

Auto-complete

This part remains the same with previous version of Magento: users are suggested search terms, but only those that were used before.

Magento 2 site search: auto-suggest and auto-complete

Auto-suggest

This feature isn’t really supported in other way than adding special treatment for keywords via Magento admin interface, same with Magento CE 1.9.x.

Search query pre-fill on search results page

It is supported, search term remains in the search box and can be amended.

Faceted search

It is a bit weird, but in default demo store faceted search isn’t enabled. Probably an issue of the default Magento 2 theme, but anyway not very good.

Magento 2 site search: no faceted search

Magento 2 site search: no faceted search. Click to the image to enlarge.

Non-functional things

Price

The price is zero, included in Magento 2 out-of-the-box.

Deployment type

Since it is part of Magento 2 install, it will be hosted on your servers, no external services required.

Ease of installation

Installed together with Magento, no separate installation required. Configuring, especially setting search terms for specific treatment may however required time.

Other criteria from our framework such as related with popularity and ranking on Magento Connect are not relevant here.

Company or individual behind the solution

Magento (division of eBay Enterprise)

Stores that use this solution

Magento 2 is still in merchant beta, so we don’t see references to stores that use it so far.

Conclusion

It is good to see improvements in Magento out-of-the-box site search, the relevancy is much better than used to be as well as work with mixed word order. The bad surprise is that we don’t see faceted search, hopefully it can be implemented comparatively easy with other themes. Overall default Magento 2 site search is still not as good as most of alternatives, so we recommend to look around and consider other options, especially if your store has more than couple dozens SKUs.

References:

  1. Magenable Magento 2 demo store used for this research (disabled at the moment)
  2. Magento 2 Merchant Beta release notes
  3. Right search for eCommerce website (Magenable)

 

Stay tuned (follow us on Twitter, G+ or subscribe to the newsletter), we continue to research Magento site search solutions.

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