April 6, 2006, 12:00 AM

Google Mini boosts conversion rates for SewellDirect.com

Five months after implementing the plug-in Google Mini application, SewellDirect.com has experienced one-half of a percentage point increase in its overall conversion rate, says R. Preston Wily, vice president of business development.

Five months after implementing the plug-in Google Mini application, SewellDirect.com has experienced one-half of a percentage point increase in its overall conversion rate, says R. Preston Wily, vice president of business development. For people performing searches, the conversion rate rose to 6%, he says.

Sewell Direct began using Google Mini because of the poor performance of the retailer’s proprietary search software. “People were doing searches and they couldn’t find what they wanted, so they would just go to a competitor or go back to the search engine,” Wily says. “That was a big problem for us.”

Since using Google Mini, Sewell Direct has experienced a 30% decrease in the bounce rate after customers perform a search, he says, adding, “Overall it’s a better experience for our users. It was well worth the $3,000 investment.”

Despite the good results, Sewell Direct had some problems in implementing Google Mini, according to Wily. For example, Sewell Direct has had to hardcode iterations of words that users might spell incorrectly, such as “cereal” instead of “serial.”

“People just can’t buy Google Mini and expect it’s going to solve all their problems,” Wily says. “You have to hold its hand for awhile. You need some experience or a consultant who is pretty good with programming.”

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