December 7, 2011, 2:49 PM

Michael C. Fina Delivers Richer, More Engaging Online Shopping Experience

After turning to SLI’s full-service Learning Search solution, Michael C. Fina also has seen revenues increase from customers using site search.

SAN JOSE, CA – December 7, 2011 – SLI Systems (www.sli-systems.com) today announced that jewelry and fine goods retailer Michael C. Fina® (www.michaelcfina.com) has increased both revenue and conversions using SLI’s full-service site search solution. With the help of SLI’s solution and its expert team, Michael C. Fina’s online retail site now delivers a more rewarding and engaging search experience to customers, who are able to spend more time evaluating the most relevant purchase options based on their keyword term, instead of reviewing pages of results to identify products that best match their criteria.

With customers quickly finding products they are more likely to purchase, Michael C. Fina has seen the average conversion rate of site search pages more than double when compared to non-site search pages. Conversion rates of site search pages are also more than twice what they were with the jewelry merchant’s previous site search. Additionally, the average time customers spend on site search pages is four times greater than the average time spent by those visiting non-site search pages—eight minutes, 28 seconds, compared to two minutes, 19 seconds.

After turning to SLI’s full-service Learning Search solution, Michael C. Fina also has seen revenues increase from customers using site search, as they spend nearly eight percent more per order on average than customers who don’t use the search box.

Michael C. Fina, based in New York City, sells fine goods—including jewelry, formal china, art glass, and collectibles—and has been in business for over 75 years. The retailer boasts the largest selection of engagement rings and wedding bands on the East Coast, and the most comprehensive selection of fine tableware and home décor items in New York. Michael C. Fina is also the exclusive retailer in the New York area for many of the prestige brands it carries.

Quality Site Search Matches Quality Customer Service

Before bringing in SLI, Michael C. Fina relied on an internally developed site search solution that was hindering its customers’ ability to connect quickly with products they were more likely to purchase, which often led to customers abandoning the site. “The problem with our initial approach was that our output results did not always correspond directly to the search terms,” said Zhoe Garcia, digital production manager for Michael C. Fina. “This meant that searches were not always producing relevant results for our customers.”

Michael C. Fina looked to a new site provider to correct the problem, but that firm was not able to provide the site search expertise required to meet the retailer’s needs. “After evaluating SLI’s full-service, hosted and managed site search solution, we quickly realized SLI was a natural fit for us,” said Garcia.

SLI’s powerful Learning Search site search solution allows Michael C. Fina to offer its customers a more intuitive and seamless search experience, all of which adds up to more purchases. With its full customization features, Learning Search results are integrated with the look and feel of the retailer’s site. Additionally, SLI’s AJAX technology means pages do not need to be refreshed each time a customer searches, selects a refinement, or goes to the next page—so results appear faster. And the Rich Auto Complete feature, which instantly shows matching terms and corresponding products after just a few keystrokes are entered in the search box, further enhances the search process. For example, search results for “diamond earrings” include images, brand names and prices for the most popular diamond earring selections, which appear directly below the list of search suggestions.

Additionally, Michael C. Fina is using insight it’s gaining from SLI’s comprehensive reporting to better merchandise products, based on visitors’ search terms. The reports tell Garcia and his team what visitors are searching for, and what they’re finding and not finding, and also offers key metrics on search result quality, so tweaks can be made when needed. SLI Systems’ ongoing expert support has been extremely valuable in helping the group use the data to determine where and how improvements can be made.

“Our customers appreciate finer quality items and expect a high level of service. SLI is playing a key role in helping us refine our site search strategy and create the best possible experience for our visitors online,” says Garcia. “We really connected with SLI’s full-service approach because it is similar to our own. SLI’s team of experts offer continuous support in working with us to improve our site experience—similar to how our own consultants offer round-the-clock, personalized service to our customers.”

Learning Search is part of SLI Systems’ full-service, customized site search, navigation and merchandising offerings. The solutions help online retailers like Michael C. Fina meet customer expectations for relevant results and information, and also promote particular products and brands, all based on previous visitors’ search and click-through activity. The solutions are dynamic, so results change as customer buying trends and search terms shift. Additionally, SLI’s offerings are backed by the company’s team of search and navigation experts, who oversee deployment of Learning Search and provide ongoing management and support.

“The positive results Michael C. Fina is seeing with our site search solution—customers spending more time on the site and spending more per order—underscore the positive impact robust site search can have on the overall customer experience,” said Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems. “Michael C. Fina carries a large assortment of quality, beautiful items. Providing their customers with access to accurate search results allows them to find products faster that truly meet their taste.”

About SLI Systems

SLI Systems provides full-service, customized, on-demand solutions for site-search, navigation, merchandising, and user-generated SEO.  SLI Systems’ solutions empower businesses to enhance customer satisfaction while increasing sales, reducing costs and increasing site conversions.  Unlike traditional search and merchandising software, SLI Systems’ patented technology continuously “learns” from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. SLI Systems is a privately held company with offices in San Jose, California; London; New Zealand and Australia.  For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com , or read the company’s blog at http://blog.sli-systems.com/, watch the SLI YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/SLISiteSearch, follow SLI on Twitter at http://twitter.com/slisystems or listen to SLI hosted ecommerce podcasts at http://www.ecommercepodcast.com/.

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