October 28, 2004, 12:00 AM

How new site search led Maps.com to 20% hike in sales

Until Maps.com launched a new site search application, many of its shoppers wouldn’t find its hottest selling products. But by making its best-sellers appear at the top of search results, it has increased sales by 20%, it says.

In the map-selling business since 1998, Maps.com knows the products that shoppers are mostly likely to buy. But until it launched a new site search application, many of its shoppers wouldn’t find its hottest sellers, president John Serpa tells InternetRetailer.com.

“We’ve come to learn what maps are better than others for certain customer needs, but with our old site search we weren’t able to push our most popular products to the top of our search results,” Serpa says, adding that most of his customers use site search as their preferred navigation tool.

Among the 25 world maps it offers, for example, there are about six that have proved to be most popular with the lowest return rates. But the old site search feature would often bury those six in search results. “If customers searched on `world,` they might see the most unpopular products at the top of search results,” Serpa says.

Maps.com went live in July with a new site search application hosted by Atomz and immediately saw a 20% hike in sales, Serpa says. The new application lets Maps.com apply its knowledge of map sales to site search by making certain product pages appear at the top of search results. Atomz provides an administrative web page that lets the retailer adjust the rankings of individual product pages and to also display product thumbnail images with product search results.

“The first month, July, our map sales increased 20% over June,” Serpa says, adding July sales are usually even with June sales. “We didn’t make any other changes to the site, so we identified the Atomz search as the catalyst.”


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