October 19, 2004, 12:00 AM

New site search takes Interstate Batteries into b2c and triples web sales

B2b-focused Interstate Batteries overhauled its site search in expanding its b2c business. A new search and navigation engine from Endeca boosts online sales to consumers by 22% within two months and nearly triples them within eight months.

Interstate Batteries nearly tripled online sales within eight months of deploying new site search and navigation technology from Endeca Technologies Inc., according to the company. Primarily know for b2b sales of vehicle batteries, Interstate Batteries has been working to diversify its product line and increase its b2c business, and improving site search and navigation has been part of that effort.

The new functionality overhauled its existing search feature by allowing, for example, easier back-end management of indexing by switching from manual indexing to an automated system. It also built into site search spell-checking and an industry-specific thesaurus that improved the ability to return relevant results on initial misspellings or when a customer typed in product word derivatives. Also helping to boost online sales was the incorporation of a new “find a battery” catalog browser.

The new search and navigation function helped increase web sales by 22% within the first two months. That initial lift helped Interstate Batteries to justify an increase in online spending, resulting in the launch of a new online ad campaign after two months. The improved conversion rate and increased online marketing efforts combined to produce the near-threefold lift in b2c sales over the new search and navigation feature’s first eight months, according to the company.

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