Boost Search Solutions vs. Shopify Default Site Search: Why you need a third-party app for site search

Cici Nguyen
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

One crucial factor leading to the success of an e-commerce store is a site search. It is the first engagement between customers and online business in many cases. In fact, 43% of retail customers immediately navigate to the search bar after arriving at a website.

However, counting on only the default search in Shopify is not enough. It is necessary to install an app to optimize your site search function, improve customers' experience and increase search conversions. Noticing the limitations of Shopify search, we have developed Boost AI Search & Discovery app with superior search functionalities. It is easy to use, and you can have much more control of search settings without lifting a finger to the back-end code.

Let's make a quick comparison between Shopify search and Boost’s search solution to see how the Boost app can leverage your site search.

Relevant Search Results

A successful search engine returns relevant results. A relevant search influences 39% of purchasers. The more relevant the results are, the better the user experience and the higher conversions you achieve.

Shopify native search has some features to make sure customers find what they need even if there is a mistake in their search queries. For example:

Typo Tolerance

Even when a user’s search query contains typos, the search engine still returns relevant results.

Singular and Plural Search Terms

The returned results can match the search terms in both singular and plural forms, for example, the results containing “flower” and “flowers” will appear when the user types “flower”.

However, this is just fundamental for the site search relevance. While Shopify search indexes data and returns results mainly based on matching product attributes, Boost integrates other factors, including native language processing, into its search engine. Therefore, our app comes with more features like Synonyms and Stop words to ensure customers get the exact results they have in mind.


These return results of search terms with the same meaning. For example, when customers search for “purse”, they also receive results for “bag”, “handbag”, “pouch”, “wallet”, and vice versa.  You don't want your site search to be part of the 70% of desktop search implementations that cannot return related results for product data that has synonyms, do you?

Stop Words

This feature filters unimportant words from the search strings. Therefore, the site search engine focuses more on the important terms, returning more accurate results.

No Search Result Suggestions

We recommend other keywords and top trending products when a search returns no results.

Watch this video to learn how to suggest keywords and products with Boost Product Filter & Search:

See more: How Boost’s algorithm and features increase your Site Search Relevance.

Boost AI Search & Discovery

The latest version of our app incorporates the power of artificial intelligence into the already powerful search algorithms. We use cutting-edge AI technologies to deliver better search results and upgraded functionalities.


In August 2022, Shopify released its “Shopify Search & Discovery” app, allowing merchants to customize product filtering and search conveniently. Talking of search function, Shopify app helps you:

  • Feature particular products in search results: Choose which products you want to rank higher in search results for a defined list of terms.
  • Create synonym groups for products to help customers find relevant products based on their search terms.

For more information, check out this app on Shopify App Store.

Search Analytics

Search is a critical tool for a business to grow sales because it reveals a whole lot about customers' needs. You can have in-depth insights into your target audience thanks to filter and search data.

Shopify only comes with basic analytics or reports for site search activities. To access a broader data set, you’ll need the help of a third-party app.

It is a good idea to consider Google Analytics for site-search reports of sessions with search, unique searches, etc. Based on this data, you will know how to adjust your content, website, and marketing strategy to meet the needs of your target customers.

Read more about Google Analytics for Shopify Merchants.

However, Google Analytics doesn’t examine the Internal Site Search data well enough. Meanwhile, the Analytics feature of Boost Product Filter & Search allows you to measure how users interact with filters on your collection pages and search on your website.

All search activities, even those done before hitting the search button, will be recorded on Boost’s analytics page, so you can discover their hidden needs and know what to do to meet their needs.

If your store has already attracted more traffic but still gets low sales, try finding how many times your shoppers search for products but receive no matching results. Then you can configure better search settings or improve product data and inventory to enhance their shopping experience.

top search terms with no results boost search solutions shopify search

Top search terms with no result is a list of the search terms entered by customers that had no matching products available. With this metric, you can spot items your customers want but you haven't offered to them yet.

Besides, the app gives you access many other search analytics, providing information on what customers are looking for and how they react to the search results. This includes total searches, top search terms, total filter clicks on search page, top filter option value on search page, and more. This search and filter analytics, if used properly, can increase conversion rates and customer retention.

What to do in case instant results not working.

UI/UX Design

You may be familiar with the search-as-you-type function since all external search engines like Google use it. The auto-complete, auto-suggestion, and instant results in a drop-down menu when users are typing search terms allows them to get the results instantly. However, Shopify’s default search tool does not have this feature - only after you hit the “Enter" button do the results appear.

Boost Product Filter & Search app helps to improve both User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) of your store site.

Instant Search Display

The built-in Instant Search Display predicts what users are searching for and shows search term suggestions alongside search results in a drop-down box while they are typing.

instant search display mavi example shopify search

The Instant Search Display presents drop-down search terms suggestions and product results while customers are typing a query (Source: Mavi)

You have control over which information and product attributes are displayed in the Instant Search Display. Furthermore, if the preview box shows product data with image, price, sale price, and availability, the click-through rate of products and conversion rates are likely to soar. In fact, adding auto-complete to your search box will increase sales by 24%.

The auto-suggestion terms are built by an analysis process, which generates common terms found in product titles. However, you can change the priorities of these auto-suggestions by using the Suggestion Dictionary feature. For example, if you want to push the term “men jacket" to the top of the Suggestions, add its name to the Site Search Suggestion Dictionary and set its priority to “High”.

Non-Product Data Display

Besides results for products, this feature allows you to select non-product data to show in the preview box, such as collections, blogs, and pages. Blogging is an important factor in boosting your SEO results and encouraging customers to know more about your products and campaigns.

display collections and pages on site search using boost shopify search

Go to “Search page display" and turn on “Display blogs & pages results on the search page". Do similarly if you want to display collections on the search page.

Sort by Options

Your customers usually use the sorting feature to rearrange the search results or product list of a collection page and view them in their preferred order. For instance, if the customers are price-sensitive, they will choose to sort the price from low to high. It saves customers from getting lost in the sea of products, so they can quickly find the ones they want. However, Shopify doesn't offer this by default.

Boost will help you solve this problem with ease. Besides basic sorting options based on relevance, best-selling, product title, and price, you can create more alternatives from your product attributes, including vendors, tags, product types, metafield values, reviews ratings, and publishing dates.

add and edit sorting options using boost search solutions shopify search

Turn on/off and edit the options you want your customers to sort items on the collection page and search result page.

Online Merchandising

Without a third-party app, you will have little control of the arrangement of your products. This is such a considerable disadvantage of online stores, especially when you have a sales campaign and want to promote specific items.

Boost Filter Product & Search can help you perform product merchandising on the search result pages and collection pages with multiple app configurations.

Product Ranking

Use the “Product ranking” feature to configure the position of a single product on the Search result page. We currently support 5 types of ranking, including: No ranking, Always prioritized, Matched search, Keyword search and At the bottom.

For example, if you choose the “Always prioritized” ranking, the product it’s assigned to will always be pinned at the top of a search result, no matter what your customers search for.

Rule-Based Merchandising

Instead of choosing a single product like “Product Ranking”, “Rule-based Merchandising” manages the promotion of a bunch of products on the search result page based on how you set up conditions with specific product attributes. If you set the rule with a high ranking, it will be prioritized over others in search results, and vice versa.

merchandising set up using boost search solutions shopify search

For example, if you choose “Product vendor” as an attribute, with the condition  to contain the “Louis Vuitton” value, and set this rule as High ranking, then the products of which the vendor is Louis Vuitton will appear at the top of the search result page.  

Product Visibility

Besides rearranging items in the search results, our app allows you to hide certain products from a collection page, search page, or instant search widget, which cannot be done in the default Shopify search. This is an excellent feature when you don't want to show out-of-fashion or free items used in specific promotion campaigns.

In conclusion

Search is a wonderful tool to enhance product discovery and increase conversion rate. A search app like Boost Product Filter & Search can empower your Shopify search. With more useful and unique features, it makes your site visitors' searches more comfortable and effective.

Try the app for free NOW and check out our Help Center for more instructions on how to use the in-app features. If you have any customization request for functions on your website, feel free to contact us via the email for further assistance.

Cici Nguyen
Email Marketing Specialist
June 28, 2024
6 min read