Minipouce.fr is an online platform that enables future parents to create a baby registry list, which is a list of items that parents-to-be would like to receive as gifts. With the help of a multi-brand catalog featuring over 150,000 products, Minipouce.fr aims to make navigation intuitive and incredibly smooth for its users, ensuring everything is easy to find.
By opting for Meilisearch as the search backbone of its marketplace, Minipouce.fr is able to maintain its commitment to delivering the best possible user experience.
As parents themselves, the cofounders of Minipouce.fr were very familiar with the struggles faced by new parents. It's crucial to create a multi-brand baby registry checklist to enable friends and relatives to shop from various distributors in a single location, rather than being confined to one sole provider.
Launching a new marketplace is a complex task: you need to generate enough traffic to convince distributors to list their products in the first place. On the other hand, you need a diverse and extensive catalog in order to attract customers and drive that traffic.
For Anthony Catel, the co-founder and head of engineering, it was clear that Minipouce.fr needed to offer a competitive and high-quality user experience right from the beginning. It is important to enhance the search functionality for a platform like Minipouce.fr: more relevant search results leads to increased user purchases, which in turn allow Minipouce.fr to collect an affiliate percentage fee from every product purchase originating from its platform. To achieve this, the technology behind the platform needed to be top-notch and enable quicker and smoother product selection by incorporating layers of meaning to accommodate various search terms users might use.
To add to the complexity, each retailer tends to use different formats for its product catalog, which results in mismatched and missing information that Minipouce.fr then needs to address. Synonyms also play a crucial role as one product can have multiple names, and customers may only be familiar with one of them. Without the search accounting for all potential synonyms, users may not find the right products.
All such intricacies needed to be addressed with the help of the most appropriate search solution.
Why Minipouce.fr chose Meilisearch
- Higher out-of-the-box relevancy
At the very beginning, Minipouce.fr considered using Algolia but couldn't find an appropriate plan that would accommodate a young, rapidly growing platform. While searching for an alternative, Anthony discovered Typesense and conducted extensive testing on it. After an initial set of tests, he decided to continue searching for another solution that could offer higher relevance in search results compared to Typesense. Eventually, Minipouce.fr came across Meilisearch and found that its default configuration demonstrated higher relevancy in search results than Typesense during the testing phase, without requiring any additional tweaks.
2. Lower maintenance
Anthony chose not to consider ElasticSearch or similar solutions due to his desire to avoid managing numerous Java dependencies. Furthermore, he was drawn to Meilisearch's open-source platform, which operates on Rust, a modern language in comparison to the C++ predominantly used by its competitors. This choice resulted in less time spent on debugging and infrastructure maintenance, a crucial factor for a smaller-sized team.
3. Meilisearch’s support and services bolster its open-source offering
With high business stakes and the quality of search results being central, Minipouce.fr sought a solid, well-maintained solution. With Meilisearch’s open source engine, the organized handling of tickets and commits hinted at an established business backing it.
Today, Minipouce.fr self-hosts Meilisearch on a dedicated server using Docker, ensuring each service is containerized. The migration of the marketplace from Typesense to Meilisearch's open-source offering was completed within half a day, making it a quick and efficient process. Anthony particularly appreciated the availability of different SDKs in multiple programming languages, including a Python SDK. This feature made Meilisearch a natural addition to his tech stack, as it facilitated the setup of the platform without requiring additional resources.
To further optimize the search experience, additional tweaks are implemented using Meilisearch. This includes sorting functions that prioritize certain items in the catalog based on popularity. Updates are pushed in real-time, ensuring the search results are always up to date.
Minipouce.fr was delighted with the seamless integration and low maintenance requirements of Meilisearch, thanks to its default configuration working effectively from the start. The relevancy of the search results was impressive, surpassing the performance of other tested alternative solutions. On top of that, since the implementation of Meilisearch, Minipouce.fr has observed a 5x growth in search volume across its platform.
Looking ahead, Minipouce.fr envisions even greater possibilities, such as the implementation of vector search, which would enable intelligent connections between searches, further enhancing search experience. Considering the future, Minipouce sees the potential benefit of migrating to Meilisearch's Cloud offering to outsource the infrastructure maintenance, allowing for greater efficiency and scalability.