• Site Search
  • Retail

Shopify: Powering the search for better help documentation

Short-term fix; Long-term Solution

Shopify planned to use Elastic Site Search (formerly Swiftype Site Search) as a short term fix, but they were so happy with the results that it made sense to stick with it.

Strategic Support

By using Elastic Site Search’s built-in analysis tools, Shopify’s support team provides industry-leading services by easily identifying content gaps and monitoring search engine results..

Immediate Resolution

Elastic’s support team has been there every step of the way to make sure that Shopify’s search meets their expectations.

Company Overview

Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online, at a retail location, and everywhere in between. Across their entire customer base, Shopify supports over 600,000 businesses and ensures that their over one million active users daily have continual access to the stores they want to buy from.

Powering the Search for a Better Help Documentation Search Solution

When Shopify needed a powerful search engine for the documentation section of their website, they needed a solution they could implement fast without the need to maintain a back-end infrastructure. At the outset, Shopify planned to use the Elastic Site Search Service as a short term fix as the plan was to eventually build out a new in-house search infrastructure to power their documentation. However, the Shopify team were so happy with the instant results that it made sense to stick with Site Search.

Shopify’s Journey with Elastic

Development Team Priorities

The Documentation team has projects to tackle and must stay on top of keeping their public documentation up-to-date. However, they don’t have access to their own development team in order to build and maintain a quality search solution for that documentation.. They were in need of solutions that help them do what they do best — produce quality documentation and make it accessible to people using their product.

Looking for a solution to get them up and running

Shopify’s development team maintains their own search infrastructure for their core product, but, as Shopify’s Documentation Lead Dan King explained, “we were in the middle of revamping our entire product and we wanted documentation to be ready as fast as possible — we had so many things to worry about already, and we didn't want to worry about search.” They needed search fast, without diverting valuable engineering time, so they turned to the Elastic Site Search Service.

Short term fix becomes long term solution

At the outset, Shopify planned to use Elastic Site Search as a short term fix—the plan was to eventually build out a new search infrastructure to power their documentation and manage search in-house. However, they were so happy with the results that Site Search delivered right out of the gate that it made sense to stick with it as their long-term solution.

Quick on their Feet

Without the need to spend time and money maintaining search, King and his team can now focus on creating great content. With Site Search analytics, Shopify’s support team can be much quicker on their feet. Every week, King dissects the analytics email and makes sure that the search engine is returning the best results for the top queries. He then looks at the top queries that returned no results in conjunction with incoming support tickets to identify gaps in the documentation and decide where new content needs to be created. After using Site Search for over two years, Shopify’s support page stands out because they have “a mix of two things — a powerful search engine and the right content.”

Support that’s always there

Since implementation, Elastic’s support team has been there every step of the way to make sure that Shopify’s search meets their expectations. As King related, “every time we had an issue or anything, it was promptly resolved. It’s great — working with Elastic feels like a business partnership, not just a pure provider/client relationship.”