April 8, 2004, 12:00 AM

How a small retailer got a 35% lift in sales with better site search

As CompactAppliance.com built out its site, it didn’t have time to focus on site search. When it finally did, it experienced a 35% increase in sales and a 26% increase in conversions.


For the past few years, Rick Lundbom was so busy building his web site--CompactAppliance.com--that he had little time to pay attention to how effective his site search was. “We spent so much time on navigation and interface, but not much time on search,” Lundbom recounts.

But his focus changed as his product selection grew, as more customers were telling him that they couldn’t easily find what they were looking for on his site and as staffers using the site search function themselves to check online inventory found how frustrating it was. The online retailer of small appliances had been using the search function that came with its EC platform “and that was no search at all,” says Lundbom, president of CompactAppliance.com.

Last year, CompactAppliance.com, which has total annual sales of just under $10 million, of which about $6.5 million take place at its web site, began looking around for improved search. By fall, it had settled on search functionality from Atomz Corp. Since then, it has experienced a 35% increase in sales and a 26% increase in its conversion rate, Lundbom tells InternetRetailer.com. Almost all of it is attributable to improved search, he says. “We didn’t do any other major improvements during that time,” he says.

Austin, TX-based CompactAppliance.com was attracted to Atomz in part by the ASP model it offers. “We didn’t want to make a huge investment in enterprise type applications,” Lundbom says. “The ASP model has worked extremely well for us because we don’t have deep technical resources.”

In addition, he says the Atomz system is easy to use and as the staff’s understanding of how search can be used as a merchandising function changes, staffers can go into the system themselves and make the necessary changes.


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