Endeca vs. Lucidworks Fusion: A comparative guide to finding the right site search platform

June 19, 2019

Which site search platform can help your business drive more conversions? An Endeca and Lucidworks Fusion comparison

When it comes to site search, there are many options and variables to consider. Do you need an out-of-box solution? What's your timeline? Do you have a technical team to maintain and implement these solutions? Should you consider open source?

When it comes to search, most large online businesses weigh the options between a more traditional player like Endeca (now called Oracle Commerce Guided Search) or Lucidworks Fusion.

As a global leading expert in site search implementation, our goal at RealDecoy is to help our customers make the right choice and truly grasp the ability to know what their customers want - even before the customer does.

Considering Endeca and Lucidworks Fusion? We've put together a comparative chart to help you decide the best option for your business.

The Contenders

Endeca (Oracle Commerce)

Endeca is a keyword-driven, on-premise search platform.

It has configurable and extensible dynamic merchandising abilities that put more power in the hands of business users.

The Experience Manager component allows the business user to configure more intelligent customer experiences through product spotlighting, personalization, and segmentation, using a company’s existing product content.

This technology requires a hands-on approach for support and maintenance, to ensure the software performs to its full capacity.

There are a number of features that can be configured to provide customers with a tailored shopping experience in terms of the content they see, and the context in which it’s presented.

  • Configurable and extensible dynamic merchandising
  • Puts more power in the hands of business users
  • A technical hands-on approach is required for support and maintenance


Lucidworks Fusion 

Fusion is described as the platform for intelligent search and search analytics.

Fusion leverages Apache Solr, the open source search engine, and Apache Spark, the open source cluster computing framework, to give you fast, scalable, proven, and reliable processing for customized search and analytics over all of your data.

This technology requires a hands-on approach for support and maintenance, to ensure the software performs to its full capacity, as well as a team required for Fusion interface training.

  • User behavioral signals to provide search personalization
  • Lucidworks Fusion provides a RESTful API that can be used with any development framework you wish, to create a compelling UI.
  • Over 60 data connectors. This provides many options to connect to your data how and when you want to

A Comparison:

ABILITY TO DRIVE CONVERSIONS ENDECA (on-premise) LUCIDWORKS FUSION
Levers your own data to drive relevancy

The degree to which the search platform is capable of levering data attributes to drive relevant search results

 

Technical specialists can manipulate the relevancy strategy being used, indicate what fields are searchable, and search other data points not in the index. Business users have a relevancy tool they can use to experiment with different relevancy strategies using data collected. Technical teams are responsible for configuring the telemetry data that will be used in relevancy, for configuring searchable fields and the weight applied to fields for relevancy scoring on field matches. 

The Fusion interface provides business users with the ability to conditionally boost and bury recordschoose stages in the query process to ignore or include and establish business rules to impact relevance. Business users can also easily access analytics within Fusion to help drive decisions for improving relevancy strategies. 

Business user control

The extent to which the search platform provides business users with the control they need to make updates and deliver timely, engaging campaigns

Gives business users full control to drive a detailed and targeted search experience, but this requires expert guidance and initial training. Business users can only affect search configurations for relevancy. A technical team is required for building targeted search experiences on the front end.
Ability to cater to unique personas

The extent to which the search platform enables business users to cater content to different personas

Need a team or individual with a deep understanding of customers to identify and define different segments/groups.
Segmentation is done by signals data, automating user to item, user to query, query to item and query to query similarities to present similar types of results (and auto-suggested queries) to similar types of customers.
Speed of catalog refresh
The speed with which the index can be rebuilt or updated
Full catalog refreshes – required for updates to the spelling correction dictionary or changes to the faceted navigation – can take considerable time depending on the size of the catalog, or if a complex ingestion process is required. Updates to selected products or attributes are possible, but require manual programming and are limited in their capabilities. Full catalog refreshes are required for updating Solr schema configurations and updates to spelling and auto-suggest dictionaries. Facet navigation does not require full catalog updates. Incremental updates are supported for both record modification and record additions. The time for update depends on the size of the catalog. However, this can be managed or reduced by distributing the index job among multiple nodes using Apache Spark and Zookeeper.
Data/index management features 

The extent to which the search platform allows for incremental indexing and the auto-pruning of data without manual intervention

Indexing is usually a scheduled job. Business users control the data in its source. Scheduled indexing will pull in updates from source data when run. Indexing is scheduled and executed via Apache Spark. This supports both full and incremental updates. Data can be loaded/joined from existing collections in Solr. Backup and recovery also supported by data management/indexing.
Understanding customers 

The extent to which the search platform offers comprehensive linguistic functionality, natural language processing, stop words, spelling correction, thesaurus, etc.

Some manual intervention is required (by IT and business users) for phrases, thesaurus, stop words, and stemming. Natural language processing is not available. Fusion supports both automated and manual development of dictionaries (synonyms and phrasing) and head-tail analysis of queries to improve search. Fusion server also supports natural language processing supported or named entities, sentence detection and part-of-speech tagging. 
Reporting capability

The degree to which the search platform offers business users the ability to monitor customer search behavior

Provides general reporting on top search terms, conversion rates, A/B testing, popular records, sorting options used, spell correction and alternate suggestions, business rules activated, dimension searches. Reporting requires an initial setup of the third-party analytic solution by IT. Built in analytics tools to provide reporting capabilities in near real-time (from the Analytics Dashboards). Reports can be used to perform application log analytics, search analytics (which supports head-tail analysis), and A/B testing reports from experiments. Custom dashboards configured by technical teams.
Ease of search tuning

The ease with which the search platform can be tuned for optimal customer experience

Manual effort with multiple steps, and a need to integrate with third-party analytics, reporting, and BI tools. Search tuning can be done in real-time without the need to reindex the data set. Changes can be viewed immediately once applied. Leveraging signals from Fusion AI can assist with search relevancy improvement without needing extensive market research

Meeting Business User Needs:

ABILITY TO MEET BUSINESS USER NEEDS ENDECA (on-premise) LUCIDWORKS FUSION
Total cost of ownership A combination of license fee and the cost to operate, maintain and customize the search platform

 

Per-query licensing that requires a specialized, trained team to customize the search platform. Third-party support typically required to implement and deploy. Employee costs to support and maintain the platform.
Fusion subscription pricing is based on the Fusion components installed. Each subscription includes basic support. Third party support not necessary for base deployments. Additional costs for customized implementations (especially for customizing underlying Solr engine)
Multilingual/multi-site The ease with which the search platform can be managed and indexed across multiple languages, brand websites and/or product catalogs to display the most contextually relevant content IT must build separate indexes for each language, and/or each site (depending on business goals for multi-site) IT teams can modify Solr configs within Fusion to support language detection at index and query time.  Using multiple collections for language support is recommended for performance.
Support/maintenance The degree to which established lines of support are available Requires trained business users for Experience Manager, in-house IT trained on Endeca, and may occasionally need to outsource for specific implementations. 24/7 support is available. Trained business users can make changes for search relevancy with Fusion Server. IT teams will be required for Fusion AI and App studio implementations. Business users can schedule jobs within Fusion AI without the assistance of technical teams but will require assistance to manage job configurations. 
Hardware footprint The extent to which a search platform is linearly scalable without extra costs On-premise. Requires an infrastructure team to scale (an extra cost). On-premise: Requires an infrastructure team to scale (an extra cost).

What search platform choice is best for your organization?

At RealDecoy, we have the implementation experience and insight you need to make an informed decision about which search platform is best for your B2B or B2C business. We also understand what it will take to implement a solution, whatever it may be, so your e-commerce site is set up to drive ROI. Contact us to learn more.

 

Want to learn more? Check out our Endeca VS. Lucidworks Fusion VS. Solr comparison!

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