An effective site search functionality is an important component for any successful eCommerce website. People who use site search are more likely to purchase compared to those who use standard navigation, as they are shopping with intent. They are often in late-stage buying mode as information gathering is completed, and they want to view product content to satisfy other buying motivators such as price, availability and delivery charges.
Surprisingly, merchants still have a long way to go to create better site search experiences. There are still sites that won’t show useful results if the shopper misspells just one character, have weak support for search synonyms, or won’t allow shoppers to refine their search with filtered navigation.
As long-time Magento users, we have witnessed the limitations that early versions of Magento had with creating better converting site search experiences. The poor performance of the search bar in Magento 1 was somehow overcome when Magento 2 released its new improved search engine option based on ElasticSearch.
Since Magento became the power behind Adobe Commerce, things steered towards a whole new direction, culminating with Adobe’s performance to bring the search options to a new level by using AI and other modern technologies. The new feature, Live Search, combines the power of Adobe Sensei AI with commerce data to return highly relevant results, in real time, as customers type.
Adobe Sensei, the AI and machine learning technology will analyse these results. Over time, based on ongoing AI-driven analysis and coupled with robust reporting from Adobe’s Product Recommendations feature, these results become smarter. At the same time, Live Search is a great reporting tool which analyses popular or top searches to inform merchants on what future products or bundling of existing products to offer in their storefront.
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The Magento Live Search module comes free of charge for Adobe Commerce license owners and can be downloaded from the marketplace. The installation process is somehow similar to the other modules, but users will have to generate an API key from their Magento account which will later be used to communicate with other Adobe services. Once the module is installed and all data is indexed, you are good to go. Assuming all things go well, you should see the new Live Search in your Marketing tab.
From the module you can configure facets – the attributes that will be visible in your filters on a product listing page – , synonyms and rules.
The new Live Search module comes with intelligent faceting meaning that merchants no longer need to configure facet rules. Live Search uses Adobe Sensei to automatically pick and order the best filters for each search query so shoppers can easily refine results.
In the Rules tab, users can set up rules to adjust search results to match business goals. Merchants can boost products by choosing to display a particular product line higher in search results, display products lower in search results so other merchandise can get better exposure, or completely hide products if it is out of stock.
As a conclusion, the new Live Search is a step up and represents Adobe’s long term vision to integrate AI and other modern technologies with one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms. Live Search is an API-first headless service, meaning that the search functionality, together with all configurations for facets, synonyms and rules, does not take place within the platform. When a customer types in the search bar, the module sends it using GraphQL to the external Adobe infrastructure, Adobe Sensei analyses it and sends back highly relevant results.