Since opening their virtual doors starting in 2003, BulbAmerica has switched ecommerce platforms on multiple occasions, working each time to find a search engine solution that paired well with their website. In each of these iterations, implementing search required weeks of development work, and in some cases, ongoing data entry to make search results match expectations.
The real-time indexing power of Elastic Site Search means that search results are always up to date without having to manage a back-end infrastructure ensuring that users always get the right search results.
With over 50,000 unique light bulbs, and over 250,000 customers, BulbAmerica is the largest ecommerce store for light bulbs and fixtures in the United States. BulbAmerica has an extensive inventory which makes Elastic Site Search a critical tool in helping users find the products they are looking for.
After moving the ecommerce site to Shopify and testing multiple on-site search providers, BulbAmerica’s Shopify account manager suggested they try Elastic Site Search. They chose Elastic Site Search because of the ease of implementation, speed of search result delivery, and custom result ranking capabilities for individual queries.
BulbAmerica was able to get an Elastic Site Search engine up and running at the same level as their previous ecommerce search provides with very little work. Beyond the advantages of an easy of setup process, as BulbAmerica found that results they were serving up using Site Search were much more highly relevant than their previous solutions. Additionally, Elastic Site Search proved to be much faster than other Shopify apps that they had tried before they made the switch.
Not only did their search work better, it actually proved to be more valuable for the business than the team had originally anticipated. The difference in monetary value between users who begin shopping using the new search functionality and those who don’t was dramatic. As BulbAmerica discovered, users were 4.6 times more likely to convert after beginning their site experience with the Elastic Site Search-powered search functionality, and these same users spent 12.3% more per order on the site. After seeing the impact that the search tool had on conversion and purchase values, BulbAmerica recognized the need to feature Elastic Site Search more prominently. They experimented with a range of placeholder text, increased the size of the search bar, and moved search to a header that stayed fixed in place regardless of where users are on the page. And they did all that using the out-of-the-box features that come standard with Elastic Site Search service.
Additionally, to help optimize search results for the most popular queries, BulbAmerica used the custom result ranking feature in their Site Search account dashboard. This tool allowed them to completely customize results in real-time for top product searches, moving high margin products to the top of the results page and deleting results that don’t convert as well. Furthermore, they created custom result sets for queries that return no results, proactively guarding against blind spots where users might hit dead ends.
Lastly, because Elastic Site Search is integrated with BulbAmerica’s Shopify product catalog, search results are always up to date. This lets BulbAmerica spend less time curating results and more time focusing on customer-facing improvements, such as user interface tweaks or inventory expansion. Real-time indexing and user friendly dashboards allow BulbAmerica’s non-technical stakeholders to manage search without the need to worry about a back-end infrastructure. With Elastic Site Search, BulbAmerica has a powerful, yet easy to use tool to help their customers quickly find the exact bulbs and fixtures that they’re looking for.