In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Since revamping its site search the retailer’s conversion rate is up 75%.
The retailer had relied on an in-house site search tool until moving to SLI Systems’ Learning Search technology. The retailer began implementing the SLI tool in late September 2009 with wedding-related products and in June 2010 deployed it for other product categories.
The site search improvements make it easier for shoppers to find products even when they misspell search terms, the retailer says. The tool also enables consumers to sort results based on styles, shapes, colors and other attributes. The previous system only enabled shoppers to sort by best-selling or newer items.
“We knew our site search was lacking because it didn’t always return relevant results,” Lassen says. “Since we implemented Learning Search we’ve seen site search use go up dramatically. Given that people who use the search box typically convert more and spend more, the increasing number of site search users is a big bonus.”
The improvements appear to be paying off. Consumers using site search browse about 11 more pages per visit than shoppers who don’t, and remain on the e-commerce site nearly 13 minutes longer.