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AI-Powered Search: The Best AI Search Tools For Your Online Store

Posted by Hilda Wandawa on July 13, 2023

AI-Powered Search: The Best AI Search Tools For Your Online Store

Artificial Intelligence (AI) search is no longer alien to the average consumer. The spark that ChatGPT ignited has put AI-powered search at the forefront of consumers’ and businesses' minds.

AI search tools are set to enhance consumers’ search experiences exponentially. As these tools gain popularity and become more commonplace, shoppers will grow to expect similar experiences from online stores. Fortunately, there are many AI search tools ready for e-merchants to take advantage of. In this article, we’ll run through some of the best AI search tools for online stores.

What To Look For In An AI-Search Tool

Choosing an AI search solution for an online store shouldn’t be taken lightly. With poor search experiences causing 80% of shoppers to leave a site, this can really make or break the success of an online store.

You need to be on the lookout for a few features if you want to bolster the search experience you offer.

Natural Language Processing

Human language is pretty complex and filled with nuances. We’re very rarely direct when speaking naturally, and our speech is colored with colloquialisms. This natural way of speaking is trickling down into search, a problem for traditional search engines. Traditional search engines need queries to be precise and unambiguous - the complete opposite of natural speech! With NLP, this barrier is eroded.

NLP adds meaning and structure to search queries, giving the search function a better idea of the intent behind a user’s search query. This is achieved in two ways:

  • Facet extraction - the tool will identify product attributes in a search query.
  • Typo tolerance - the tool will compare misspelled words with error-free ones to find the closest match and reduce sensitivity to typos drastically.

Machine Learning & Automation

ML bolsters the accuracy of the search results by analyzing search and product data in real time. This brings the search tool a lot closer to understanding and mimicking the way humans process information. Some ML search features include automated synonym detection, search suggestions, autocomplete, and personalization.

Customizability

There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all in eCommerce. The needs of an online store will significantly vary from one merchant to another. Thus, the AI search tool you pick should have a sizable amount of customization options. This can be as simple as altering the look and feel of the search bar or as complex as influencing product rankings in search results.

Scalability

An AI search solution that can grow alongside you as your business expands is a must. Without scalability, you’re certain to hit a brick wall as your search function will struggle to keep up with an increased load.

AI search tools with scalability will make use of cloud-based infrastructure to be impervious to slowdowns and instability.

Analytics

Analytics lay the carpet out for long-term success. Without understanding your customers and their behaviors, you’ll diminish your chances of winning them over. Make sure that the AI search solution you choose comes with reports on search behaviors. Important ones to note include high-traffic search terms, common misspellings, and sales metrics.

Integrations

Finally, ensure that the AI-powered search tool you opt for is compatible with your most valued apps, your eCommerce platform, and your mobile app if you have one.

Best AI Search Tools For Shopify Stores

Boost AI Search & Discovery

Price: Free plan available. Starts from $59/month. AI Search add-on for existing users costs $39.

Boost AI Search & Discovery is an all-encompassing tool that helps Shopify merchants propel their search experiences. The AI-fueled search function brings top-level relevance and accuracy by leveraging NLP with facet extraction, typo tolerance, and AI synonym detection. Even better, this app is more than just an AI search tool. You can bolster your store's whole product discovery experience with advanced filtering, AI product recommendations, and visual merchandising.

Standout features:

  • AI-powered search: NLP ensures that no matter how your users enter their search queries, they’re always understood, resulting in more accurate and relevant results. The search experience is further enhanced with automatic synonym detection, autocomplete, and search suggestions.
  • Searchandising: take control over the products promoted in searches with ranking rules that influence the order of search results. You can also boost products according to the campaigns you’re running.
  • Instant search results: show users products that match their search query as they type
  • Easily handle complex queries: keywords with special characters and/or numerical values are understood by the tool and matched to relevant products. Moreover, popular or hand-picked products can be displayed in case of no search results found.
  • Customizations: have the search function work just as you like it with a customizable display of autocomplete suggestions, adaptable search weight, and search redirects.
  • Enhanced analytics: dive deep into the behaviors of your searchers and the efficacy of your search experience with a wide range of reports.
  • Integrations: compatible with over 30 of Shopify’s leading apps.
  • Scalable: the app uses Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure to effortlessly handle a large number of requests without interruptions.

Product Search Bar & Filter

Price: Free plan available. Starts from $389/month.

Product Search Bar & Filter by Doofinder is an extensive AI search tool that delivers personalized search results based on real-time data. As well as being an AI search solution, the app also provides a wide range of AI-powered marketing tools that improve product visibility.

Standout features:

  • AI-powered search bar: search results adapt to individual users’ preferences in real time. The tool also makes use of NLP to identify synonyms and be typo tolerant.
  • Smart search: instant results and autocomplete quickly bring shoppers closer to the products they’re looking for
  • Searchandising: display banners and promotions associated with specific search terms or special campaigns in the search dropdown.
  • Faceted navigation: users can narrow down their search results according to price, size, color, brand, and more.
  • Visual & voice search: customers can search your store for products using images uploaded from a mobile device and perform voice searches
  • Multi-index search: search results can come from multiple resources besides your product catalog, like blogs and FAQs.
  • Analytics: gather data on search behavior such as top searches, click-through rates, and location data in real-time.
  • Product recommendations: merchants can create personalized product recommendations, combine search intent data to surface relevant recommendations on product pages, and automatically generate product recommendations for upselling.

Best AI Search Tools For Non-Shopify Stores

Elasticsearch

Price: Free trial available. Starts from $95/month

Elasticsearch is an open-source tool that brings AI-fuelled search to eCommerce stores on any platform. With full-text search capabilities, scalability, and real-time data analysis, a reliable, secure, and personalized search experience can be passed on to your customers. Advanced technical knowledge is needed to configure and implement this tool. So only use Elasticsearch if you have a capable tech team at hand.

Standout features:

  • Full-text search: complex searches are effortlessly handled as full-text search uses the entire breadth of the products’ fields and attributes to match search queries.
  • Real-time data analysis: get instant insights into various search-related behaviors. Advanced analytics tailored to your business needs can be gathered with aggregations, filtering, and sorting options.
  • High performance: large volumes of data can be easily handled as the tool uses a distributed network. This powers a fast and reliable search experience for your customers.
  • Customizability: the tool has several plugins that can be leveraged to create custom search experiences with rich functionalities.
  • Integrations: seamlessly integrates with many popular frameworks and tools.

Algolia

Price: Free plan available. Pricing available upon request.

Algolia allows developers to build bespoke AI-powered search and discovery capabilities for eCommerce stores. The tool helps stores provide a performant and fully optimized search experience for their customers. AIgolia is also an advanced AI search tool, so only use this if you have a tech team that can implement it.

Standout features:

  • Advanced AI search capabilities: Agolia’s NeuralSearch combines full-text search with vector understanding and NLP so users can search the same way they think and still receive relevant results. The AI algorithm learns and adapts in real-time to improve search experiences over time.
  • Personalized experiences: the tool analyzes each customer’s preferences and behaviors to present them with the most relevant content.
  • AI-generated synonyms and typo tolerance: the tool has no issues understanding the intent behind a search query. It uses AI to provide dynamic synonym suggestions, and has a high tolerance for misspellings and colloquial terminology.
  • Faceted navigation: shoppers can refine their search results with dynamic filters and facets. These will be based on several attributes, such as price, color, size, brand, and more.
  • High performance: Agolia is built for speed and reliability as it utilizes a highly distributed network across 17 regions. The search experience is never compromised, regardless of where your users are or how big your business gets.
  • Analytics: uncover valuable insights such as popular search queries, conversions, click-through rates, and more to make data-driven optimizations.
  • Customizations: gain greater control over the search experience with custom ranking and rules tailored to your customers’ needs and your business goals.
  • Integration: APIs and software development kits make it easy for developers to integrate Agolia into a number of popular platforms and frameworks.

Searchspring

Price: Starts from $599/month.

Searchspring is a leading search, merchandising, and personalization platform for eCommerce stores. Albeit on the pricier side, the tool is packed with powerful, conversion-boosting search and discovery capabilities.

Standout features:

  • Advanced search features: no matter how users type, they’re guaranteed a relevant search experience. This is thanks to features like auto-complete, semantic search, synonym detection, typo tolerance, and auto-suggest. The tool can also recognize numerical values and special characters.
  • Personalization: the tool’s AI algorithm keeps tabs on user behavior and adjusts the search results based on this. Personalization also extends into product recommendations on-site and in emails.
  • Visual search: users can use images as a search reference in your eCommerce store. This is especially useful as consumers have more of an appetite for visual search methods.
  • Faceted navigation: shoppers can easily drill down their search results with filters and facets based on a wide range of product attributes.
  • Mobile friendly: Searchspring is built to look great and function well on mobile devices. This will ensure a seamless and pleasing experience for mobile-first shoppers.
  • Analytics: the tool has extensive reports and insights to help e-merchants make impactful, data-driven decisions. You’ll have access to reports on search behaviors in addition to product and campaign analytics.
  • Integration and customizations: Searchspring integrates with many popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magneto. There’s also a lot of flexibility when it comes to tailoring the search and merchandising experiences.

Wrapping Up

AI-powered search tools are indispensable when it comes to increasing the relevance and accuracy of search experiences in your eCommerce store. Fortunately, there are a number of great AI search solutions at affordable prices for e-merchants of all sizes. So don’t hold back, bring AI search to your customers with one of these top-rated tools.