While Google LLC is the undisputed king of search, other companies have carved out a respectable share of the broader market.
One of them is Algolia Inc., a 10-year-old firm that has built its business by helping consumers leverage search and provide recommendations for sourcing a company’s product catalog. In a relatively short space of time, Algolia has claimed a sizable share of the enterprise search market.
“Our founders actually started off with a search tool for mobile platforms, just for your phone, and it quickly expanded,” said Daisy Urfer (pictured, left), cloud alliance sales director at Algolia. “We have 11,000 customers today with 30 billion searches per week. We are actually the second largest search engine on the internet today to Google.”
Urfer spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin during the AWS Startup Showcase “MarTech Emerging Cloud-Scale Customer Experiences” event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. She was joined by Jason Ling (pictured, right), head of product at Apply Digital, and they discussed how the two companies work to deliver tailored search experiences for the enterprise. (* Disclosure below.)
Finding relevant results
Google brings much of the world to a company’s website, but once there a user must rely on that firm’s own search engine to find what they are looking for. This can be a cumbersome and frustrating process for many buyers, and Algolia supplies a service to swiftly hunt a client’s website and find relevant results.
“Most in the industry will rank and stack what you would want to see,” Urfer said. “We use a pair-for-pair ranking system, so we compare what you are looking for. And it gives a much better result. When you search for that dress, it shows you frequently bought shoes that match.”
This kind of insight has led to partnerships with firms such as Apply Digital, a digital innovation, products and experiences company. Apply Digital’s clients encompass a diverse set of industries, from farming and entertainment to healthcare and retail.
“For customers that want their own customer experience, we use Algolia as that engine,” Ling said. “For digital experiences, search is the essence of the internet.”
It may seem as though a search engine does nothing more complex than scour the internet for keyword matches, but the work to build and execute a client-specific web search capability involves a complicated set of factors. For what Ling described as a “multinational biotech health company,” Apply Digital had to carefully follow legal compliance and contextual search criteria.
“We built an internal portal for all of their health practitioners,” Ling said. “It is a full-blown search engine specifically for the data they want. We’ve averaging north of 200,000 searches per month just on this internal portal, specifically for the employees in their company.”
Focus on mobile
Search is becoming even more critical as customers continue to gravitate to mobile platforms for their shopping experiences. A recent “Total Economic Impact” study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that Algolia’s ranking algorithm boosted the relevance of search results between 40% and 50%, especially for mobile users.
“Everyone is going mobile. I know I do a lot of shopping on my phone all of the time,” Urfer noted. “We see customers experience a huge loss in revenue by only providing basic search. We focus on the results a customer needs and what that view needs to look like.”
In early June, Algolia unveiled additional AI models and capabilities as part of its Recommend engine. The release was a move by the search company to streamline the implementation process for developers and speed delivery of relevant results to end users.
“Most of our customers are fighting against the big guys out there that have hundreds of engineers on staff custom building a search solution,” Urfer said. “You expect the same search response you get when you are streaming video content or looking for a movie from your big retailer shopping experience. We want to provide the ability to deliver that result with much less work and hassle.”
Algolia’s rise to prominence in enterprise search is indicative of the “always-on” economy, where the delivery of goods or services is available with just a few taps on a mobile device or PC.
“Peoples’ attention span can now be measured in nanoseconds. I push a button, and I want something to happen,” Ling said. “There is an entire universe that is behind that button, and that is what Algolia has really focused on.”
Stay tuned for the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Startup Showcase “MarTech Emerging Cloud-Scale Customer Experiences” event.
(* Disclosure: Algolia Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Algolia nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)