April 13, 2011, 12:13 PM

Invitation Consultants encourages visitors to search

That’s because shoppers who use its site search feature spend more.

Lead Photo

In the next few weeks online-only retailer Invitation Consultants plans to launch a redesigned site. And a primary focus of that redesign is to make the site search box more prominent by reducing the amount of navigation options on its home page.

The reason?

Even though only 4% of its consumers in the past 30 days used the retailer’s site search tool from vendor Celebros, those consumers accounted for about 20% of the retailer’s revenue.

“That’s a huge number,” says Olivier De Meulder, the retailer’s vice president. “If we could get more people to use the site searchthat could significantly boost our revenue.”

Site search is particularly important to Invitation Consultants because its more than 10,000 SKUs are all very similar, says De Meulder.

To help shoppers find what they’re looking for, the search allows shoppers to narrow the search in a number of ways, such as price, occasion and brand.

The retailer is regularly adding new SKUs to its site, which makes maintaining its site search an on-going process, he says.

“It isn’t something you can just put on your site and let it sit there,” he says. “We work on it every month. We look at the top queries, the products that are returned to us, and if we’re not happy we work with Celebros to tweak the refinement options.”

Because Invitation Consultants doesn’t have the in-house expertise to manage site search on its own, the e-retailer works with a dedicated Celebros agent who handles the technical aspects of revamping the search results.

“That allows them to handle what they’re good at and allows us to handle what we’re good at,” says De Meulder.

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