May 19, 2005, 12:00 AM

Maplin Electronics uses natural language site search to boost conversions

Maplin Electronics, a UK-based multi-channel consumer electronics retailer, hit a sales conversion rate of 11% among customers who used a natural language site search tool to find its cable products on Maplin.co.uk, the retailer said.

 

Maplin Electronics, a UK-based multi-channel consumer electronics retailer, hit a sales conversion rate of 11% among customers who used a natural language site search tool to find its cable products on Maplin.co.uk, the retailer said.

Maplin, which sells more than 500 cables for consumer electronics products, relies on its web site to present complete information about its cable products, because its stores and catalog are too limited by space to completely serve the category’s customers, Maplin says. But to make the extent of its cable products easy to find on its web site, it deployed the TX5 Discovery Engine, a natural language search engine from ActivePoint Inc.

“ActivePoint is able to create relationships between a contextual search and our product line,” said Chris West, Maplin’s Internet channel manager. “It understands the English language, by making things that are relevant link together. The process for the customer is easy, and takes into account such ambiguities as grammar and spelling, and quickly pinpoints exactly what the customer is looking for.”

When testing the TX5 Discovery Engine, Maplin found that visitors to its site that didn’t use it converted to sales at a rate close to the industry average of 1-2%, but that those who did use the natural language tool converted at a rate of 11%.

Maplin also operates 100 stores in Europe.

 

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