April 11, 2002, 12:00 AM

SizeAppeal.com targets search function to help triple sales

SizeAppeal.com’s expected tripling in sales will come in large part from improving the search function at the site, the company says.

SizeAppeal.com’s expected tripling in sales (internetretailer.com, 4/8) will come in large part from improving the search function at the site, Linzi Glass, co-founder of the online plus-size women’s clothing retailer, tells internetretailer.com. SizeAppeal hired Guidance Inc., a Marina Del Ray, CA-based systems integrations firm, to make over the site and incorporate a proprietary search tool. Guidance re-built the site around Microsoft Corp.’s Commerce Server 2000.

Tom Dacon, the technical team leader for Guidance’s SizeAppeal project, says the company built its own search functions, including full text indexing that makes every descriptive word a keyword, and a guided search by category. "We wanted to improve the quality of the search results so a shopper always gets results back," says Dacon. In particular, the search function determines color synonyms, so consumers who type in "red" get all the related colored products, such as wine, burgundy or other designer color names. Guidance also built a merchandising function into the search tool which will allow merchandisers to specify that certain products show up in a variety of searches, even if it doesn’t exactly match the customer’s search parameters.

Glass says SizeAppeal chose Guidance over the companies that provide search technology for sites because Guidance could incorporate all the features SizeAppeal wanted into a single system and because it had experience already dealing with retailers. SizeAppeal sells 15,000 items a month and expects the new site to increase that to 45,000.


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