May 19, 2005, 12:00 AM

Ace Mart’s site search delivers results – and insights on shopper behavior

AceMart.com got a 300% lift in conversions after implementing site search from Celebros, but it also got a window on shopping behavior that sparked changes in site design. Now, site search generates 20% of all page views.

The web site of restaurant supplier Ace Mart got more than a 300% lift in conversions after implementing search and retrieval tools from provider Celebros – it also gained insight into online shopper behavior that has driven significant changes to the site, webmaster Ryan Rodkey tells Internet Retailer.

 

“Initial results suggested some new directions in site navigation,” says Rodkey, who says Ace Mart implemented Celebros’ Qwiser Salesperson last year. For example, in the past a paid search ad would deliver the searcher to a product category page. But now, AceMart.com is set up to deliver the searcher directly to a search page on the site that’s already populated with relevant results, based on the web search term.

“We used to have no leverage in how we moved products around on those category pages,” says Rodkey. “Now, doing it this way allows us to use the Qwiser tuner to move to the top of the results list particular brands and items we want to show first. That’s searchandizing.”

In another example, Ace Mart noticed that visitors sometimes typed into the search box terms that were relevant to products Ace Mart sold but didn’t include the exact names of those product names. Under that scenario, for example, search terms such as “Chinese food” delivered no results on the site, though Ace Mart does sell equipment for the preparation of Chinese food. But by using functionality within Celebros technology that allows for the thematic grouping of products across multiple categories, Ace Mart can cluster any relevant product categories on the results page, which then allows users to drill down further within the categories to find what they are looking for.

As a result, Rodkey adds, Ace Mart has seen a more than 100% increase in both sales and the number of orders for certain products. “We’re exploiting site search in ways we just didn’t think of before,” he says. Search is now the second most active area of the site, representing over 20% of all page views, he adds.

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