April 8, 2004, 12:00 AM

Orvis.com sees sales from site search function rise 50% with new technology

Orvis avoids the expense of a total site overhaul while still exceeding sales and profit goals by improving its site search functionality, online merchandising and cross-channel flow to Orvis.com.


Multi-channel outdoor apparel and gear retailer The Orvis Co. experienced a 50% increase in sales from its site search function on Orvis.com over the past holiday season after implementing a solution from technology provider Endeca Technologies Inc., the company reports.

In an internal review of web site usability with the objective of boosting online sales and encouraging customers to shop the site as the lowest-cost channel, Orvis determined it could avoid a total site overhaul and still meet those goals by focusing on two key areas for improvement. They were site search performance and an inability to consistently present visitors’ with Orvis’ top-selling products.

Orvis deployed Endeca’s InFront commerce and catalog search and navigation solution. In addition to improving the search function, Orvis also streamlined key site pathways to optimize shopping flows, and enhanced product information with features such as clickable swatches and detailed Read More pages explaining key attributes of Orvis’s most important products. The print catalog was also designed to drive shoppers to Orvis’s online storefront, with the strategy that once there, customers could dive deeper into product details and be romanced by the product’s heritage or inspiration for a new design.

With a new search solution in place and greater ability to promote top-selling products within online sessions, Orvis saw significant gains during the 2003 holidays. The 50% gain in sales tied to site search helped the company exceed all of its e-commerce sales and profit goals for the season, and it was able to leverage the full value of its top-selling items, the company reports.


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