August 5, 2004, 12:00 AM

Atomz and Endeca roll out upgrades to site-search technology

Atomz and Endeca released major upgrades to their site search technologies at the eTail 2004 East conference this week.


In the highly competitive market for site-search technology, vendors can never sit still.

Atomz Corp. released a major upgrade to its site search technology at the eTail 2004 East conference this week that expands the technology’s merchandising functionality, moves greater control to retailers’ merchandising managers and increases the size of retail sites that the technology can handle. “We’ve done a major amount of work over the past year to bring us to this point,” says CEO Steve Kusmer.

Among the major features of the new release is what Atomz calls a “Guided Commerce” service, similar to the guided navigation that other vendors offer. It sorts search results in categories that consumers can drill into.

The new release also provides merchandisers the ability to control how search results display. Retailers can rank products in search results by price, margin, inventory, brand and other attributes. In addition, the Atomz technology can blend attributes to allow retailers to display results based, for instance, on margin and inventory or inventory and seasonality.

Merchandisers log onto an Atomz server via the Internet and can manipulate the results parameters to achieve their merchandising and sales goals. “We are giving fine-grained control to the merchandiser,” Kusmer says. At the same time, he notes, the technology is doing the work, not the merchandiser, which frees up the merchandiser to look at the bigger picture of what’s happening on the site. “Merchandisers set up the general trends they want to see and they don’t have to spend half their day tweaking the results,” Kusmer says.

Atomz has also added large capacity search to its product. Its search technology can now handle 20 million SKUs.

In addition, site search technology provider Endeca Technologies Inc. announced upgrades to its InFront product at eTail, including a personalized merchandising feature that allows retail sites to automatically promote specific products and offers to shopper based on their preferences and shopping behavior. It also includes enhanced configuration, optimization and reporting tools under the control of business users and offers expanded relevancy ranking abilities. The new version also provides new linguistic capabilities for searches in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and Japanese.

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