February 2, 2006, 12:00 AM

How site search helps to increase sales at Delightful Deliveries

By analyzing which product displays on its site produce the best conversion rates, food-and-gifts retailer Delightful Deliveries is modifying site search and navigation to push up overall sales, president and CEO Eric Lituchy says.

By analyzing which product displays on its site produce the best conversion rates, food-and-gifts retailer Delightful Deliveries Inc.’s DelightfulDeliveries.com is modifying site search and navigation to push up overall sales, president and CEO Eric Lituchy tells Internet Retailer.

“We’re optimizing the site so that the things people are buying are displayed first in site search and navigation,” he says.

Delightful Deliveries, No. 394 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites with $4 million in 2004 sales, continues to grow 5-15% per year and sales in January-usually a flat month for sales-are up a surprising 15% over January 2005, Lituchy says.

He attributes the continued increases partly to an increase in its number of catalogs, including a new one this year for Valentine’s Day, which the retailer has been promoting through online ads. About 60% of catalog readers make their purchases online, Lituchy says.

Delightful Deliveries also continues to benefit from increases in consumers arriving at DelightfulDeliveries.com through Internet search, but an effective site search function is crucial to getting them to the products they’re most likely to buy, he adds.

“If a customer does a site search for ‘fruit baskets,’ we want to show them the best-selling baskets, Lituchy says. “If you bring visitors to a page showing one $500 gift basket, no one might buy it, but bring them to a page with 20 best-sellers and they’re more likely to convert.”

Delightful Deliveries is using analytics from Omniture to figure the best page designs and site-search results, but it is also looking to further improve its site search results by replacing its in-house site search tool with a more sophisticated tool that, for example, would let shoppers sort results by gifts intended for women or children, or for special occasions like birthdays.

“We’ll make it more dynamic and help people find things faster,” he says.

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