August 31, 2006, 12:00 AM

Drs. Foster & Smith leads its site search into better results

By using analytics to identify non-performing merchandise displays that automatically appeared with its site search application, pet supplies e-retailer Drs. Foster & Smith prevented a drop in conversion rates, it says.

 

By using analytics to identify non-performing merchandise displays that automatically appeared with its site search application, pet supplies e-retailer Drs. Foster & Smith prevented a drop in conversion rates, Internet marketing and analysis manager Gordon Magee tells InternetRetailer.com.

Drs. Foster & Smith, No. 83 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, uses a site search application from Endeca Technologies Inc., which includes analytics, navigation and the automated merchandising feature. But its broad product line on DrsFosterSmith.com, ranging from pharmaceutical products to supplies for animals as diverse as dogs, reptiles and wild birds, requires it to often override the automated merchandising feature, Magee says.

“Because of the nature of our product line, we found that an automated system of populating merchandising items does not work effectively,” he says. “What we saw coming in the automated merchandising were items that were clearly not a fit with a specific product line, and thus not good cross-sell or up-sell items.”

The retailer also uses a combination of in-house and Coremetrics analytics tools to produce reports on which merchandise items can be effectively matched with others as cross-sell and up-sell items. “We believe we have prevented a drop in conversion rates by catching ineffective cross-sell and up-sell items early on, then monitoring the differences in customer activity along the way,” Magee says. “Using both statistics from our analytics and good, old common sense and experience from our merchandising department brings better results for our customers.”

 

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