Open eCommerce Search Platform, Solr/Lucene-Based
The Importance of Search to eCommerce
Search prompt is how every customer begins interacting with eCommerce store. People want to search for products, product information, rating and reviews, prices, local availability, sentiments in social networks, friend’s advice and anything else that helps them make fast and educated decisions. If they can’t get relevant and complete information they will buy what they need somewhere else.
On the other hand, the seller has a vested interest in what products the customers find first. Better control over search results has a dramatic impact on margins, inventory levels and convergence rates. Merchants who have the ability to configure the search engine with flexible business rules around item availability, product placement, coupons and promotions will outperform those who don’t.
If Google revolutionized how people find information, next-generation eCommerce engines are revolutionizing how people shop. If Google optimizes search matches around page rank and AdWords tools for information providers, eCommerce search engines must optimize matching and relevance around the seller’s business processes.
Not Your Grandmother’s Search Engine
eCommerce providers are racing to build powerful next-generation search capabilities that can scale with the explosion of products, channels, product categories, data sources and data types. Relevance algorithms are beginning to be context- and history-aware. Result matching rules have become more real time and analytics-driven. The navigation, browse and search functions must be unified and return consistent results. Fast and convenient faceted user experience, integrated with product data, coupons and promotions are a must. The time to deliver a new functionality integrated with front-end, back-end, in-store, social and 3rd party channel systems is shrinking from months to weeks.
Mature commercial search technologies such as Mercado and Endeca, along with search capabilities embedded in complete eCommerce platforms like ATG, Omniture or IBM eCommerce were not designed to deal with the explosion of product data and data types. As well as, complex relevance and matching rules, configurability and adaptability of search results to the needs and wants of buyers and sellers. The industry is looking for a new approach and exploring fresh ideas.
Solr-Based, Massively Scalable and Highly Configurable eCommerce Search Platform
Our search solution is designed to be a highly configurable and customizable eCommerce search platform for large-scale eCommerce sites. This search platform is designed with three design goals in mind:
- Open. Search exploits and connects all capabilities of an eCommerce site. A successful search platform must be highly extensible and open for integration with all other internal and external eCommerce systems, current and future. We design every aspect of this technology with extensibility in mind. The core search engine is Solr/Lucene, enhanced by many extensions and customization. We also rely on open-source technologies for data storage, indexing, querying, messaging, caching and all other storage and processing functions for maximum extensibility and control over the underlying infrastructure.
- Scalable. It is designed to support catalogs of 100,000+ items, millions of users, tens of thousands of concurrent search requests, enabling complex and configurable business rules, indexing vast amount of heterogeneous data types, integrating with many custom systems and providing extreme uptime SLAs at peak loads.
- Configurable. Search behavior must be highly configurable and rule-driven, able to adopt matching, relevance and ordering through on-demand execution of the rules from real time data. All aspects of the search behavior are controlled by the combination of rules and data stored outside of the engine itself. This makes our search extremely configurable, flexible able to support sophisticated custom business rules.
The capabilities of our search solution are differentiated in many ways and combine several unique features with the best-in-class features of advanced commercial platforms. Core capabilities of our technology include:
- Based on open source technologies
- Ideal for large-scale catalogs with 100,000+ items
- Complex, structured and unstructured product data
- Advanced, tunable, context-aware linguistics
- Advanced support for data-driven and rule-driven facets
- Many more
Why We Offer Solutions, Not Products?
Our Search solution is not a product. It is a blueprint and reference architecture for a search platform assembled from open source components, such as Solr/Lucene, and enriched with many features specific to an eCommerce search, used by Grid Dynamics architects.
For a fraction of the cost of a license for a commercial search engine like Endeca, inclusive of the costs for implementation, integration, customization and tuning services, our engineers will turn the Reference Platform into a highly optimized, customized and tuned search engine integrated into your eCommerce fabrics, as a professional services engagement. We offer a range of services related to enterprise eCommerce search platforms, including strategy consulting, design, implementation, turning and support.
We also bring the depth and breadth of expertise into the design of a massively-scalable, mission-critical system using open source, big data, NoSQL and cloud computing – the essential building blocks of modern large-scale eCommerce solutions.
What If We Already Have a Technology Stack, And It Is Not an Open Source?
We are experienced with Java and .NET enterprise technology platforms from Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, and partner with all three companies around enterprise implementations. When customers require a solution based on their preferred technology stack, we can customize our blueprints to run on these technologies. This is the advantage of Grid Dynamics – we’ll work with you to design the solution that fits your specific needs.
If You Are Rethinking Your Search Strategy, You Just Have to Talk to Us!
We are familiar with major search technologies on the market, yet we think differently about the winning architectures behind the next-generation search platforms. We have been known for a customer engagement model that makes even the initial exploration simple and valuable to you. We will quickly demonstrate to you the power of this search approach in a live proof-of-concept working in your environment and integrated into your eCommerce fabrics. Contact us today for more information.