July 28, 2005, 12:00 AM

How new site search boosted conversions at Northwest River Supplies

Since NRSWeb.com added SLI Systems search to its site, the proportion of shoppers who use search has increased from 20% to 75%. 3.4% of search users convert to buyers, up from less than 1% before.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Usage of site search has increased nearly fourfold at NRSWeb.com since the company implemented search technology from SLI Systems, the company reports. “Our existing search wasn’t dynamic enough,” says Rett Clevenger, e-commerce manager for Northwest River Supplies, manufacturer and retailer of rafting, kayaking and canoeing gear. “It wasn’t creating the kind of experience that we wanted. We knew improving that experience would translate into increased conversion rates and better customer satisfaction.”

SLI provides site search technology that analyzes how shoppers use search, looking at the terms they search on, which they click on, which they ignore and how long customers take to peruse lists before clicking, among other factors. It then uses that data to inform the results of future searches. “What I immediately liked about SLI was their Learning Search technology,” Clevenger says. “It re-sorts search results as the seasons change, automatically learning from and responding to customers’ changing needs.”

Since adding SLI search to its site, the proportion of shoppers who use search has increased from 20% to 75%, Clevenger reports. 3.4% of search users convert to buyers, up from less than 1% before.

In addition, since Q4 2004, NRS has been using SLI’s Site Champion service, which submits frequently searched terms on a web site to Internet search engines. “Site Champion is helping improve our visibility in natural search results,” Clevenger says. “We have received tens of thousands of referrals from Site Champion since going live. The terms site visitors use parallel what people are looking for at Google, MSN and others.”

 

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