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Bringing Advanced Search to Magento 2

When it comes to eCommerce, the goal of search is to read the customer’s mind. When we released Algolia for Magento 1.0 last year, that’s exactly what we wanted to do. Algolia for Magento 1.0 has been starred over 100 times, and thanks to our amazing community, we learned a lot about how we can improve the shopping experience on Magento.

Today we’re releasing our search extension for Magento to the growing Magento 2 community, bringing the same benefits of Algolia search to Magento 2 stores.

What we learned from Magento 1.0

Since releasing Magento 1.0 last year, our Magento community has grown to over 190 customers making 6 million queries per day. We’ve also seen a lot of interest from our very active Magento community on how we can make our extension even better.

Through a series of feature (and pull) requests, we were able to refine and iterate on Magento 1.0 to make it the best way to improve search in your store:

  • We cleaned up some code and tried to make the extension as developer-friendly as possible
  • We worked on our extension’s ability to synchronize with Algolia in real-time
  • We implemented the most common Algolia features directly onto the Magento dashboard so that customers could manage their Algolia settings in the same familiar environment they’re used to. For instance our Synonyms feature is available directly on the Magento dashboard.

We also received a lot of requests for an extension for Magento 2. And we thought, why not? Today, we’d like to introduce you to the all new Magento 2 extension.

Upgrading the Magento Search Engine

Our Algolia extension works with Magento 2 just as well as Magento 1.0 –  it replaces Magento’s default search engine, which uses simple SQL queries, but lacks basic features like autocomplete, fuzzy search or partial matches. We make it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for.

Our plugin also scales to any size of store, so you can have instant results even with very large inventories. Some of our customers are searching millions of SKUs.

Magento 2 is completely synchronized with Magento 1.0 with regard to features, so if you’re looking to migrate your store onto the newer platform, the transition will be seamless.

Here’s a look at some of the features we’ve incorporated onto our Magento advanced search extension:

Out-of-the-box autocomplete

Autocomplete or “find-as-you-type” search experience always makes the search more intuitive and goes a long way in shortening the distance between the end user and relevant content on the website.

How could we NOT include auto-complete for Magento 2?

Click the GIF to check out our live Magento 2 demo to see our extension in action!

Instant-search results page

Wouldn’t it be awesome if search results were automatically updated for your customers with every subsequent letter of their search query? That’s exactly what instant search gives you.

Instant search not only refines search results with each keystroke, but also updates filtering options such as price range, stock availability, colors, sizes and many others. With every letter they type, shoppers get constantly refined results.

Synonyms

Have you ever tried looking for a TV but come up with absolutely nothing because it was called “Television”, not TV?

We know the feeling.

That’s why we integrated Algolia’s Synonyms feature directly into the extension – you can manage your synonyms right from your store’s admin interface!

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 15.59.52

Indexing your Products

Indexing your products is as easy as 1, 2…3. After you install the extension and synchronize your indices for the first time, you won’t have to worry about synchronizing data ever again. The extension uses Magento’s hooks and every time you add / update / delete a product in your Magento dashboard it will automatically be synchronized with the indices.

Installing the Magento 2 extension takes under 10 minutes with a just few lines of code – or you can upgrade your store search directly through the Magento Marketplace.

Join the Algolia + Magento community

We’re on a constant quest to improve the quality of our products here at Algolia, and like last time, we’d love your feedback and support to take the Magento 2 search experience to the next level.

“The Balance Internet team love using and recommending Algolia Search-As-You-Type extension on all our Magento 1 and Magento 2 projects. The extension is easy to install, configure and customise for our clients. The search functionality delivers a fantastic user experience that is lightning fast and relevant. Our customers love being able to include CMS pages, categories and products in their Magento site search. In the past 7 years, I haven’t seen another Magento search extension / platform come close to Algolia from a performance, functionality and price perspective.”

— Kieran Smith, Solutions Architect @ Balance Internet – Australia’s most experienced Magento Partner

If you are a Magento store owner, developer, system integrator… or just someone interested in our Magento extension, we want to hear from you! You can also try a demo with our extension here.

Drop us a line at magento@algolia.com to become a member of the our Magento community and get exclusive priority access to trainings, newsletters and even workshops focused on our latest Magento related news and updates.

The extension is completely open-source and on GitHub. Feel free to fork the extension, send a pull request or open an issue. Any tweaks you suggest are highly welcome. Let’s make the Magento world more navigable for shopaholics everywhere!