How Y Combinator alum Algolia is disrupting ecommerce search


Paris and San Francisco-based startup Algolia has swiftly started to corner the ecommerce market by drastically transforming the search experiences of online shoppers worldwide. From Birchbox France to Dubai’s Jado Pado, ecommerce sites in various locations have been able to speed up their on-site search engines significantly thanks to Algolia without investing heavily in back-end efforts.

The young startup—whose motto is “Milliseconds Matter”—has grown in recent years thanks in part to guidance from world-class accelerators Y Combinator and The Family, and will be sharing its ecommerce search insight on stage at the Lengow Ecommerce Day in Paris on June 2.

Birchbox Boost

As Algolia CEO Nicolas Dessaigne explained on the Intercom blog, Algolia’s goal is to help people searching for information find relevant results from the first keystroke. Algolia’s search (which is also the search of choice on the Lengow Hub) is convenient for shoppers to use due to several features. One is its ability to auto-complete searches, across multiple categories, on sites like Birchbox France.

Marie-Auxille Denis, who leads Algolia’s Product Marketing and User Experience initiatives, showcased these features in detail last Thursday at a UX+XX Meetup in Paris.

Birchbox continues to thrive as a leader in Subscription Commerce (i.e. SubCom) thanks to improving its UX and its Europe Editorial Director Mathilde Lacombe recently explained to Lengow Blog readers how Algolia’s made a huge impact.

“Algolia has offered our customers a delightful experience in terms of searching for beauty products: it’s fast, intuitive and really easy,” said Lacombe, who added that the mobile experience, and conversion, has improved especially.

“Orders from mobile have exploded in the last few months thanks to the Algolia search system. Before it was too complicated to find one product; now you can find it in one click. Hence the great conversion numbers we’re seeing on mobile.”

Jado Pado’s Jump

Popular Dubai marketplace was the subject of a recent case study and Denis explained that they were one of the biggest success stories in regards to Algolia clients in ecommerce.

“In addition to Jado Pado’s search depth increasing by 60 percent, mobile search sessions jumped 250 percent and the bounce rate decreased 17 percent,” said Denis.

With Algolia’s proven success on other retail sites like Manhattan Wardrobe Supply (8 percent jump in conversion rates) and the sites of leaders in the startup community like GrowthHackers (search volume increasing 4 to 5 times) and Product Hunt, it appears that it will be hard to find many sites that won’t be using Algolia’s search in the future.

Elias Jabbe

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