April 8, 2004, 12:00 AM

Finding the right info--whether it’s a product or a product manual

With new search functionality from iPhrase Technologies, RadioShack.com is easily able to direct customers to products or to support material.


Shoppers at RadioShack Corp.’s RadioShack.com might be looking for an obscure product--or they might be looking for guidance in setting up some electronic gear. Until now, they had a hard time finding the latter information at the web site. RadioShack.com had modified its search function at the site to return non-product information, but only if users had identified that as the area they wanted to search. “We have multiple collections of data and we don’t always know the context the user has in mind,” says David Goyne, senior vice president of web operations for Fort Worth, TX-based RadioShack.

With the installation of a new search function in Q4 last year, RadioShack no longer needs to know the users’ context. The search product from iPhrase Technologies Inc. searches all content at RadioShack.com, then presents results in an organized fashion. “It will always default to products,” Goyne says. But it also gives customers the option to view results from product manuals as well as from other RadioShack web sites. “We don’t have to assume that we know what you’re looking for,” he says.

RadioShack has benefited from the new search functionality in that better search results create more sales, although Goyne would not be specific, and in providing better customer service at the web site. “We have received fewer complaints about how search works,” he says. “When people found the previous search problematic, they’d let us know. We don’t hear those kind of complaints any more.”

He also notes that RadioShack has more control over how results are presented than it had with its previous system. It is able to highlight certain products in search results as well as present results in different ways for customers to browse them, such as by price or use.


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