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FusioNBot vs SearchSpring: eCommerce Site Search Solutions

No online retailer wants to hear that customers are having a hard time navigating their site, or that searching for products yields them no results. Enabling a powerful, advanced, and customizable site search solution on your online store is vital for maintaining good conversion rates and keeping customers happy. Obviously, there’s a lot of site search solutions out there to choose from, so we’re going to pit two against each other today to see who comes out on top for your eCommerce business: FusioNBot and SearchSpring.

 

FusioNBot

Started in 1998, FusioNBot is a Chicago-based hosted software application that provides site search solutions for any website. Some of their most notable customers are American Electric Power, Covenant Health Products, and Battery Clerk.

Pricing

FusioNBot offers three tiered plans at varying costs and feature sets, and does not offer a free trial. The details of their plans are as follows:

·         Silver Plan: $60 a month, includes 1,500 pages indexed, up to daily auto-index frequency, 8 on-demand indexes per month, and email technical support.

·         Gold Plan: $200 a month, includes 5,000 pages indexed, up to daily auto-index frequency, unlimited on-demand indexes, and phone technical support.

·         Platinum Plan: $350 a month, includes more than 25,000 pages indexed, custom auto-index frequency, unlimited on-demand indexes, and phone technical support.

Site Search Features

The most standout aspect of FusioNBot’s service is, naturally, their extremely customizable selection of site search features. With FusioNBot, your site search can utilize synonym matching and word stemming, stop words, spell check logic (“Did you mean?” suggestions), and autocomplete for keywords and SKUs; all of which are totally customizable. You also have the power to add a custom product comparison modal, quick search for the top 5 matches of a keyword, and a custom product finder that includes dynamic multi-drop-down menu selectors based on custom attributes.

FusioNBot’s site search isn’t just limited to products either; you can use their search to index any pages on your website, as well as documents including PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and RTF file formats. You’re also able to enable keyword highlighting and bolded matching terms on search result pages, making the searching experience on your site much smoother. You can even control search results context, which means that you can customize which product listing elements your site search pulls from when looking for keywords (title, description, body, rank, URL, size, date, icon, nearest anchor tag, cache, preview). Best of all, these features are scalable to over 1 million SKUs.

Navigation Features

FusioNBot has the basic necessary navigation features that you’d want in an eCommerce site search solution. You’re able to enable custom filters, or facets, that apply to products based on assigned attributes. The service also allows you to control the sorting options you can give to your users, allowing products to be sorted by rank, date, name, price, and more.

Merchandising Tools

When it comes to features meant for merchandising or promotions, FusioNBot is relatively limited in what it offers. The main merchandising tools that you’ll get with FusioNBot are highlighted promoted results, custom page ranks, custom landing pages, and the ability to add in premade promotional banners.

Reporting & Analytics

FusioNBot’s service includes a long list of advanced analytics reports to help you dig deep into the data of your site search. You’ll have access to a variety of basic reporting features, including a summary report for monitoring visitor activity and keywords, an hourly traffic report, an index log report that tracks indexed pages and changes, and a weekly search activity email summary. You also have the ability to generate search reports for specific IP addresses or without specific IP addresses.

Also included is FusioNBot’s extensive reporting features, which include reports on the most frequent visitors, daily traffic and search activity, no matches or zero results occurrences, and the following advanced reports:

·         Directory Page Count Report: Determine page counts by directory and sub-directory for each site in your index.

·         User Behavior Report: Track specific users per IP address, all the way from search to click-through.

·         Recent Searches Report: Shows the 20 most recently searched terms on your site.

·         Keywords Report: Shows the most popular search terms and number of searches over a specific period.

·         Click-Through Report: Shows which pages are clicked most often within search results; sub-report shows the total number of clicks by unique IP addresses and the search terms used by visitors when a link was clicked.

·         Search Hits Report: Displays daily unique search terms and number of hits, including zero result searches.

·         Region Report: Shows query volume by unique search boxes configured and by individual search menu item; this report is useful if you have multiple search boxes and menu selection items.

Unique Features

FusioNBot offers a variety of unique features to its site search users that you won’t find with SearchSpring. Possibly the feature that they discuss the most is their transparent DNS feature, which enables searches to be executed remotely on FusioNBot servers, meanwhile the URL the searcher is on remains the same as your site’s domain. This feature is most likely helpful for avoiding confusion in customers who may become concerned by a change in website URLs.

Another unique feature that FusioNBot offers is their mini-portal, which is a feature that aggregates related content into your site search from your own site and related sites, providing users with valuable resources directly from your online store. Each tiered plan denotes the amount of sites you can include in your mini-portal, ranging from 100 sites to an unlimited amount.

 

SearchSpring

Based in Colorado, SearchSpring is an eCommerce site search and merchandising solution for online retailers. A few of their biggest clients are Kate Somerville, Bethesda Game Studios, and Alternative.

Pricing

SearchSpring offers one pricing plan to customers that starts at 499.95 a month, which is more expensive than FusioNBot’s most expensive plan, and offers no free trial. However, this amount may change depending on the size of your business, so you’ll have to submit for a personalized quote to see exactly how much your plan will cost.

Site Search Features

SearchSpring has a lot of the same site search features that FusioNBot has, with a few notable additions. You’ll find synonyms and stemming, query replacements/ignored terms, typo tolerance for fuzzy search, predictive visual autocomplete, “Did you mean?” suggestions, and partial term or SKU product matching. SearchSpring also has their own way of determining search results context with their definable searchable fields, allowing you to choose which pieces of product listings can be searchable.

With SearchSpring, you’re also able to add custom no result pages, landing pages, and non-product redirects with your own custom content. What SearchSpring brings to the table that FusioNBot doesn’t, however, is its advanced natural language processing algorithm and IntelliSuggest algorithm, both of which are able to determine customer search intent and push 10 products to the top of results based on shopper engagement, respectively.

Navigation Features

SearchSpring also has the necessary navigation features you’d need in a site search, but adds onto these as well with a few important extras. You’ll find custom sorting options (price, date, size) that you can enable, as well as facets and filters that you can manually order. However, SearchSpring’s facets are smart-sorted, meaning they will dynamically order their fields depending on the context of the shopper’s page. SearchSpring also auto-eliminates empty facets, only shows relevant facets, and gives you the option to pin custom facets.

Merchandising Tools

Now, where SearchSpring really stands out from FusioNBot is with its wide array of merchandising tools that you can utilize for your online store’s site search. Like FusioNBot, you can create custom landing pages for promotions, customize page rank order to promote certain products, and add in promotional campaign banners into any page. However, SearchSpring takes it a step further by enabling you to schedule landing pages and campaigns, set up boosting rules that dynamically re-order products globally or in specific campaigns, and customize triggers for campaigns to take effect in specific complex shopper scenarios. You can also hide specific products from results, use a drag-and-drop editor to customize product order, manually override facets on category pages, and entirely customize the look and behavior of specific search pages.

Reporting & Analytics

While SearchSpring does have a select few of the same types of reports with its service, for the most part they utilize their own unique reports and are lacking many of the ones that FusioNBot uses. Alongside the same reports for search activity, zero results, keywords, and specific user behavior, SearchSpring offers the following reports:

·         Popular Searches with Automatic Search Downgrade: Shows how often secondary matches occur when a search results in zero matches.

·         Filter and Sort Reports: Gives information on how filters and sorting are being used.

·         “Did you mean?” Report: Displays how often users get a suggestion when searching, and for which terms.

·         Referral Report: Shows how much traffic your store is getting due to search results in an outside search engine, such as Google.

·         Product Performance and Insights: Gives you high level and granular views of how products are performing, how shoppers are interacting with them, and suggested action steps to make improvements.

·         Revenue Impact: Shows how much each SearchSpring feature is contributing to purchases.

·         Category Insights: Allows you to analyze how shoppers are interacting with category pages.

Unique Features

Involved in almost every aspect of SearchSpring’s service is their unique IntelliSuggest Algorithm, which they state is a powerfully smart search algorithm that assists in tracking, merchandising, product recommendations, and product insights. Their algorithm assists you in advanced ways, allowing you to record interactions on yours tore, push dynamically chosen and user behavior-based products on result pages, enable automatic upselling and cross-selling, and give you advanced views of product performance. However, it’s important to note that their IntelliSuggest Product Recommendations and Product Insights features come at an extra cost.

Other unique features that SearchSpring offers are their Product Discovery Tools, Product Finder, and Guided Selling, all of which are designed to help users find products they most likely will buy. With these tools, you can show customers products that others have views or bought and ask customers questions to narrow down what it is they’re looking for on your site.

 

Takeaway

When it comes down to comparing FusioNBot and SearchSpring, the determining factor for which you should use is what your business’s size and needs are. If your business is smaller with the potential to scale, and you prioritize being able to have a transparent DNS, mini-portal, or reports on multiple search boxes, then FusioNBot may be the best decision for you. However, if you run an enterprise-level business that prioritizes a variety of merchandising tools at your disposal, then SearchSpring may be a better option. At the end of the day, the site search solution you decide on will depend on exactly what your business is looking for from such a solution, and how much you’re willing to pay for it. But, if you’re a small-medium sized business looking for a site search that doesn’t break the bank, comes with all of the necessary features, and gives you a long list of customization capabilities, then FusioNBot is our recommendation.


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