January 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

Macys.com gets a sales boost from its search technology

Conversion rates among customers who searched for products during the holidays at Macys.com doubled after Macy’s installed new search technology from Mercado Software, Macy’s reports.

 

Conversion rates among customers who searched for products during the holidays at Macys.com doubled after Macy’s installed new search technology from Mercado Software Inc., Gary Beberman, director of technical research at Macys.com, reports. “An increased number of users came to the search function and the increase in sales and conversions was disproportionate,” Beberman says.

Just as holiday shopping was getting under way, Macys.com installed Mercado’s Intuifind search-and-browse product. Intuifind displays search results as well as product attributes to help customers narrow down their search. Beberman says customers did not use the navigation function as much as he had expected. He believes that is because search combined with navigation is a relatively new concept and consumers need to get used to it. “People are used to search behaving in a certain way and it may be a while before they get used to the idea that there’s something on the left side of the screen that they need to pay attention to,” he says.

However, the navigation function proved useful to those who used it, he says. “There are very strong signs that people who drilled down got to the products they were interested in,” he says.

Intuifind also allows a merchant to display results based on merchandising criteria, such as brands the merchants wants to promote, or high-margin or high-inventory products. Beberman says Macy’s was pleased with those results as well. “There are strong indications that featured products drove a lot of reaction among customers,” he says.

Macys.com plans to promote the search function in its marketing material. “It unquestionably can be a competitive advantage,” Beberman says.

 

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