Magento Site Search Research: Celebros Search for Magento

We continue our research of Magento site searches. After reviewing number of self-hosted solutions in our previous articles (check references at the bottom for the list), we start checking cloud searches. Today we’ll review Celebros Search for Magento.  The version that is currently available on vendor’s website is called ConversionPro V8 suite. The name probably means that Celebros’ solution is more than site search – it provides some extra functionality like intelligent cross sell,  navigation and product finder (a kind of multi-parameter advanced search).

We’ve tried to contact Celebros for demo version of their search, but haven’t received a response yet, so decided to use Costumes.com.au website from their showcases for our research.

Functionality

General search quality

Search relevance and ranking

As you may guess from its’ name Costumes.com.au sells costumes and other party supplies, so for checking general search quality we’ve decided to search for a specific kind of costumes – “cloak”. The results are presented on the screenshot below

Celebros site search for Magento, search results for “cloak”. Click to the image to enlarge.

In general it works not bad, while on the second place we see a product without cloak. If we click to product details we understand why – there is text in the description “Does not include wig, cloak, necklace or shoes”.  So the word ‘cloak’ is there, while in negative context. It is a case when technically all good, but UX suffers.

Search for plural term ‘cloaks’ produces very similar results, with a bit different sorting.

Another term we’ve tried was “peter pan child”. We expected to see there Peter Pan costumes for kids. Here is a screenshot of search results:

Celebros site search for Magento, search results for “peter pan child”. Click to the image to enlarge.

For some reason, Celebros search ranks costumes of Tinker Bell higher than those of Peter Pan, while from UX and common sense points of view it should be the other way around.

We have also found that Celebros site search only indexes product pages on Costumes.com.au. CMS and category pages are not indexed at all and excluded from site search. So if user try to search for example for “Australian post delivery”, she can only rely on the navigation. Costumes.com.au did a good job to intercept most typical searches there, like ‘shipping’ or ‘return policy’ and established forwards to the most appropriate page, but it is a manual job rather than automated solution.

Understanding of typos and mixed words order

Celebros search treats fine mixed words order: search for “child peter pan” produces the same results with “peter pan child”. Another test, comparing search terms “start wars boys” and “boys start wars” returned us very similar but not equal results.

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Next we’ve checked work with typos and the results here were quite good. We’ve tried to search for ‘pter pan’ and Celebros understood that we mean ‘peter pan’ here.

Celebros site search for Magento, work with typos. Click to the image to enlarge.

Celebros also processed well other typos we tested:

  • cloak – cloac
  • tinker bell – dinker bell
  • alice – alise

While it has failed though in some more complex cases like “dart wader” (darth vader), the work with typos seems to be better than in other solution, Celebros corrects some typos even if the mistakes is in the begin of the word (‘dinker bell’).

Understanding of jargon and synonyms

Here we’ve started from synonyms and compare results for ‘cloak’, ‘cape’ and ‘robe’ search.

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As we see these words are not treated as fundamentally the same search term by Celebros search at Costumes.com.au, the results are quite different: 116 for cape, 88 for robe and just 21 for cloak.

Taking into account that Christmas isn’t far away and Santa Clause is expected in town soon, we’ve tried our jargon tests with other nickname for Santa. There was a partial success there: Celebros search recognised keyword ‘Santy”, probably as a part of typo correction mechanism, but more complex cases like search for “Saint Nick” returned only products where ‘St. Nick’ text was used.

Hence we have to conclude that the work with synonyms and jargon isn’t really strong at Celebros search (as in the most Magento site searches we’ve reviewed so far).

Abbreviations

Based on our previous example – search term ‘Saint Nick’, we had a hope that Celebros search understands at least some abbreviations. As you see on the screenshot below there are products with just St in name displayed for this search.

Celebros site search for Magento, abbreviations. Click to the image to enlarge

Appeared however that the results are based on partial match rather than understanding that ‘St’ stands for ‘Saint’, search for just ‘Nick’ returns almost the same results.

Special characters

We haven’t found understanding of special characters at Costumes.com.au. It isn’t probably a big problem in this particular case: searches like “22 inch sword” return relevant result in many cases due to partial match.

Celebros site search for Magento, 22 inches sword.

Auto-complete and auto-suggest

Celebros search provides simple auto-complete functionality at Costumes.com.au website

Celebros site search for Magento, auto-complete

We don’t see here extended product information (images, prices). It is probably just a matter of concrete implementation, Celebros website advertises more advanced functionality there, like product image and even featured products for specific keywords.

There is also no auto-suggest in search box, if you make a typo, the suggestions stops to appear, you have to click enter to see the results with implemented suggestion. For example.  If you start to type “Piter Pan” for example, no “Peter Pan” will be advised before you press enter and see search results for “Peter Pan”.

Search query pre-fill on search results page

It is all good here, search term is saved, so users can refine it if needed.

Faceted search

Celebros supports faceted search, it has a feature called “Advanced Multi-Select Search Refinement” that promises improvements over Magento out-of-the-box faceted navigation.

Celebros site search for Magento, faceted navigation. Click to the image to enlarge.

Non-functional information about Celebros Search

Price

Celebros targets mid-market and enterprise customers with the prices starting from US $899 per month.

Deployment type

Celebros is a cloud solution, so the search engine is based on vendor’s servers and integrated with Magento store through the extension.

Ease of installation

Celebros team configures the extension for the client’s, so from the client’s prospective it is comparatively easy, while may bother organisations who are hesitant to provide server access to 3rd parties.

Magento extension popularity

Celebros Search Magento extension has 593 installation registered on Magento Connect (16 Nov 2015).

Magento Connect user review score

Celebros  Search has 4.2 stars rating on Magento Connect and 12 reviews.

Last release of Magento extension

Taking into account significant changes in Magento over last half year, like SUPEE-6788 patch it is a bit disturbing that the last release of Celebros on Magento Connect is dated 14 June 2013.

Company or individual behind the solution

Celebros search is product of Celebros, Inc., a private company with head office in the United States (New Jersey) and development centre in Israel.

Stores that use this solution

According vendor’s website Celebros Search is used by over 300 online stores including such Australian merchants as Godfrey and Costumes.com.au

Conclusion

We have mixed feeling regarding Celebros site search for Magento: it has some pretty good things – typo correction is probably the best we’ve seen. On the other hand, some quite basic stuff like proper ranking and work with synonyms can be done much better in our opinion, especially for higher end solution. Indexing only product pages is also a nuisance. We’ll continue reviewing cloud search providers for Magento. 

Stay tuned (follow us on Twitter, G+ or subscribe to the newsletter), in the next articles we’ll review other Magento site search solutions.

References:

  1. Costumes.com.au website we used for our research
  2. Celebros Search on Magento Connect
  3. Celebros Search for Magento at vendor’s website
  4. Right search for eCommerce website (Magenable)
  5. All Magento site search articles in our blog

 

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