Problem: Organize.com sought to merchandise its site search results.
Solution: It employed a site search software platform.
Results: Online orders increased 60 percent in the first month.
When Organize.com first employed an onsite search program in 1999, officials at the company believed the Yahoo! solution they implemented was state-of-the-art. Fast forward to the middle of 2005, and what was once a top-of-the-line technological breakthrough had become obsolete. Search results often were randomly displayed, and Organize.com was unable to track whether customers were using search to purchase.
Organize.com wanted a solution that allowed its merchandisers to be able to decide which products were most relevant to customers’ searches, says Kevin Watts, director of e-commerce for the Riverside, Calif.-based organizational products cataloger.
In seeking a replacement solution, Watts in fall 2005 ran a live, 60-day trial of a search platform that determined the relevance of search results based on the number of clicks a particular result received. The more customers clicked on a given product, the higher it appeared in search results.
But there was a problem: It didn’t work. “The technology behind the trial was impressive, but we didn’t notice a big change from what we were doing with Yahoo!,” Watts recalls. “We wanted the ability to put our best sellers right up front.”
Sent back to the drawing board, Watts focused his attention on search solutions that would allow Organize.com to “get [its] hands dirty and actually merchandise the results of the search.” Further research brought Organize.com to Mercado Software, which promised Watts the ability to create his own business rules for every potential keyword customers might use.
In mid-November 2005, Watts charged Mercado with launching the solution by January 2006. He provided the vendor with a product data feed in comma separated value (CSV) file format, which Mercado then used to create a searchable database that was standardized across product categories.