Nextopia Search Integration
We love the Volusion eCommerce platform but there is one area we feel is lacking is is the standard built in search functionality.
While it does perform adequately for smaller store with few products it really does not scale on that well. It is limited
in the type of data the the search query pulls from. Primary it displays results from product titles only and does not allow
customers to search within product description for specific keywords.
The display of the search results is also limiting and restrictive. Results are displayed in a single column of results which
does not lend itself to easy browsing for the visitors. Customers are forced to scroll through in some cases many pages of results looking for the products they are after. Often times we see that customers just give up after the second or third page of results.
Not good for any online.
Born out of our desires to improve our own eCommerce store we searched for a solution. After testing several we settled on
a search company called Nextopia. While it is true that there are other search utility providers in the marketplace like SLI systems we found their solution to be cost prohibitive. basic contracts withe these other providers ran in the range of 700-2000 per month.
For most small to mid sized eCommerce stores this just does not make it financially feasible.
Nextopia on the other hand is reasonably priced at less than $100 per month and easily pays for itself by increasing customer
conversions every month. The service is remarkably robust and provides much of the same functionality that more expensive solutions provide.
The catch….like all things there is a small catch in using Nextopia with Volusion and it has to do with the product images. While Nextopia has no problem automatically pulling in product text titles and descriptions it struggles to pull in the correct images.
This is due to the may Nextopia interacts with Volusion native xml data source.
But we wanted to use this solution for our own uses and we have solved the problem. Through nightly and or periodic updates(depending on how often products are added or edited) we have devised a simple system for feeding product images into the Nextopia search utility.
Product automatically stream in, they are displayed in easy to scan 3 column displays with enhanced search capabilities allowing customers to search bu brand name, price and several other criteria that the standards Volusion search utility does not have.
Let us help you upgrade your site search functionality today…you will glad you did as you quickly will see increased conversions and more sales.