This post continues the series of articles about site searches available for the Magento eCommerce platform published in Magenable blog. In this post we’ll have a look into Sooqr site search for Magento – another site search cloud solution that can be easily integrated with Magento.
GENERAL SEARCH QUALITY
Search relevance and ranking
Search relevance and ranking is a critical factor – we want that to see search results that are relevant to our request and more relevant results listed closer to top positions. Sooqr has a demo website that we can use for our research (listed in References). Screenshot below shows search results for term “dress”:
Sooqr effectively hijacks standard Magento search and displays overlay window with own search. If you close the window, the search term disappears from search box and you have to start from the beginning. I am not sure that favour this approach, my preference is more close integration when actual search results are displayed on the normal search results page, not overlay window. Also I’ve noticed that overlay doesn’t appear properly always, especially when I tried to paste keyword from clipboard. Anyway, let’s go on.
The results are relevant and sorted well at first glance. What I’ve noticed however, is that Sooqr completely ignores keyword in description, for example the product below (which isn’t dress, but has ‘dress’ in description) isn’t listed in the search results at all.
It’s a bit alarming, in my opinion the best option is to list such products, while with lower ranking.
Another interesting thing is the forth search result “Essex pencil skirt”. This product in fact doesn’t have “dress” word used in the name or description at all, but nevertheless listed.
Search for plural form, “dresses” produces interesting results: we get the same products, but listed differently, now for some reason “Essex pencil skirt” has got #1 position:
Sooqr only lists the products in search results, for example category “Dresses & Skirts” that match both “dress” and “dresses” keywords hasn’t been displayed in search results tab.
UNDERSTANDING OF TYPOS AND MIXED WORD ORDERS
Screenshot above illustrate what I got when tried to search for “cress” (typo from “dress” with first mistake in the first letter). Soorq for Magento processes this case pretty poorly: not only it doesn’t understand the typo, but you don’t see any results at all, even something like “No matching results found” page, as a user you see just the screen as about and can only guess what is going on. Not a good UX. If you type slowly Sooqr will show you some search results, but completely irrelevant:
Such typo as “drecc” also processed badly, you will see some relevant results only if you type slowly.
Mixed words order
Here Soorq site search for Magento works quite fine, the results are the same with little bit different sorting and more relevant results are on top. We did test using “cotton shirt” and “short cotton” keywords, the results for the first key phrase is below, results for the 2nd was almost the same.
Understanding jargon and synonyms
Similar with all competitors Sooqr failed this test. I tested it with the next pairs of synonyms:
- “pants” and “trousers”
- “strides” as an Aussie synonym for pants/trousers
- “jumper” and “sweater”
In all cases I have no success.
No success as well, Sooqr site search form Magento ignored quotes characters when we tried to use them in search. We got relevant results nevertheless in our case, based on part of the request that Sooqr understood:
Same with special chars: I have impression that Sooqr search doesn’t understand abbreviation, but the system managed to provide relevant results based on partial match. The test search term was “8 gigabyte” and it produced search results as per the screenshot below.
As I see the reason for that is partial match “8 gigabyte” with “8 g”. Here the specific or how Sooqr search works helps: it keeps to show last found results even once the rest of key phrase becoming irrelevant.
The overall impression from Sooqr site search for Magento isn’t very positive. It has some merits, but the way it works in Magento (through pop-up only) has serious UX flows, poor understanding of typo is also disappointing for commercial product as well as not looking into product descriptions.
AUTO-COMPLETE AND AUTO-SUGGEST
In fact the whole Sooqr search work in the overlay, which other solution use for auto-complete and auto-suggest, with all downsides of such approach mentioned above.
The screenshot above illustrates what I got when typed glass in search box. I’ve got relevant results, but far from all – for example there is no single subclasses product listed, while the store has 3 of them. Also, Sooqr search doesn’t look into category and CMS pages at all.
Talking about auto-suggest how I understand it – it isn’t supported by Sooqr. In the example above sunglasses weren’t suggested, the system displays the search results that exactly matches what you started to type and doesn’t suggest any alternatives.
If you paste your search term in search box the results are getting really weird, like on the screenshot below with search results for “Shipping and Delivery” key phrase. I admit that not so many real users doing it, but anyway it doesn’t look good.
It seems that in this case Sooqr starts to look into product description text and finds there word “and”.
Search query pre-fill on search results page and faceted search
Sooqr doesn’t have a real search result page, it is the overlay window.
You can change your search request though and search results are changed on fly. The overlay search window also has faceted search with product categories and some additional parameters like price and colour for clothes, so you can narrow search results using them.
NON-FUNCTIONAL CRITERIA – SOOQR SITE SEARCH FOR MAGENTO
Sooqr is a cloud /SaaS solution – the search is hosted on Sooqr servers and interacts with Magento throw API. There is out of the box extension for Magento that makes the installation easier.
Sooqr is free for up to 100 products. Paid options are starting from $17.5/month and the price depends on number of SKUs and faceted navigation filters used. The top advertised package allows up to 2,500 SKUs and 32 filters/facets.
Interesting to note that Sooqr promises full support for free tier clients.
Magento extension popularity and review score
Sooqr search for Magento has currently 515 popularity score and 3.8/5 stars ranking. Product reviews are mostly positive, all negative one that we’ve found are related with the fact that merchants realised they need to pay for SaaS beyond free 100 SKUs limit.
Last release of Magento extension
According Magento Connect the last release was done over than year ago – 2014-12-03 with version number: 1.0.5. It is a bit alarming, since that there were number of changes in Magento, including the last SUPEE-6788 security patch, so it isn’t clear will this
Company behind the solution
Sooqr search for Magento is developed by Dutch company Sooqr with head quarter in Hilversum.
Stores that use Sooqr search for Magento
Sooqr official website has couple dozen stores that use Sooqr search, mostly European merchants. There is one Australian (Melbourne based) business showcased, Tsirts.com.au.
While I like some features of Sooqr site search solution for Magento like free tier with full support and pretty affordable pricing I would probably recommend my clients other solution. The way that Sooqr integrates with Magento (overlay layer) and inconsistent quality of search (in particular I wasn’t impressed at all with how Sooqr plays with typos) make me to prefer alternative solutions.
- Sooqr Search for Magento demo store
- Right search for eCommerce website (Magenable)
- Sooqr Search for Magento product page at Sooqr official website
- Sooqr Search for Magento at Magento Connect
All images used in the article are screenshots made by the author from Sooqr Search for the Magento demo store.
About the author
Alexander Levashov (@levashovbiz) runs Magento specialised eCommerce consultancy Magenable based in Melbourne, Australia. Alex works with Magento since 2008, he is a Magento Certified Solution Specialist and MBA (Melbourne Business School).