November 19, 2012, 10:30 AM

How advanced site search can open the door to sales

An IRWD speaker talks about boosting search with consumer data.

Lead Photo

Kevin Metz

Consumers who visit women’s apparel e-retailer Cache.com have several navigation options available to help them shop.  Featured collections, for instance, display trendy clothes, while  such product categories as sweaters or denim populate the horizontal navigation at the top of the web page. A third option, however, gives consumers more control, via a search box at the upper right of the page that enables shoppers to refine results according to attributes like color, material, fit or occasion.

Kevin Metz, vice president of e-commerce at Cache.com, says having such site search capabilities boosts sales for the e-retailer. “This is about the importance of leveraging the information you have about your products to make it easy for your consumers to leverage that information as well,” he says. Metz will talk about Cache.com’s search strategy in a session entitled “Take search beyond words: Develop a multi-faceted refinements strategy to deliver more sales” during Internet Retailer’s Web Design & Usability Conference in Orlando in February. The session will take place Feb. 12 from 1:30-2:00 p.m. SLI Systems CEO Shaun Ryan will co-present the session. Cache.com uses SLI Systems’ search technology.

Entering the term “purple” into Cache.com’s search box immediately shows five complete text search terms, such as purple tops and purple dress, that the consumer can quickly select. Beneath the text terms appear five product listings, complete with pictures and prices, associated with the color purple.

Clicking one of the product images takes consumers to the associated product page. Clicking a text term runs a search for all products that match that query. The search results page includes ways the consumer can refine the search, such as by size, price, body length, fit, neckline and sleeve length. “Not everybody navigates the same way, so if you have data like this, you should use it,” he says. “Giving them the attributes gets them there faster and you’ll get the conversions.” Metz says searching by color is one of the top ways consumers use the search box.

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Metz to speak because of his experience in implementing marketing and strategic initiatives that have helped produce sales for the retailers he’s worked for. He joined Cache.com last year after more than six years as director of e-commerce at Ulta Beauty. Prior to Ulta, he worked for Yankee Candle Co. and Limited Too in marketing and e-commerce roles. Cache.com is No. 544 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide. Ulta is No. 337 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Yankee Candle is No. 346.

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