February 5, 2004, 12:00 AM

Batteries.com improves sales conversion rate 30% with new site search

After having tried three site search engines, Batteries.com was unhappy with its customers’ ability to quickly sort finding the right product. But a more intuitive engine has finally hit the mark.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

After having tried three site search engines, Batteries.com was still unhappy with its customers’ lack of ability to quickly sort through the many options for finding the right battery for their electronics device. But a more intuitive engine finally hit the mark – and just in time for the recent holiday shopping season, Eric Tobias, vice president and sales and marketing, tells Internet Retailer.

Batteries.com implemented a search engine from Endeca Technologies Inc. close to the 2003 Thanksgiving weekend, then saw a 30% year-over-year increase in its sales conversion rate for the full holiday shopping season, Tobias says.

"Our product line is so vast, it can be hard for customers to find what they need," he adds. With its former search engines – including two built in-house and one from an outside vendor other than Endeca – customers found it difficult to narrow down their searches to find the right battery, due to the multiple variables such as voltage, product number, or the model number of the related electronic device. "There are 8 to 10 different ways any given customer might search for the same battery, so it seemed impossible to build a search engine that would let them type in one term and have the engine help figure out what type of search the customer wanted to make," he says.

The Endeca engine is designed to coach the shopper on how to narrow a search, Tobias says. Once a search term is entered, the system will respond with questions that ask the shopper to further specify by terms such as voltage. "Otherwise, the shopper might not know the best terms to use in search," he says. "We call it guided navigation."

Tobias says the Endeca engine took less than 90 days to implement.

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