July 28, 2005, 12:00 AM

HomeDepot.com blends search, navigation functions; sees conversion lift

By giving visitors a consistent experience across search and navigation and giving the site operator more power to manage on-site promotions, technology from Endeca has helped boost conversions and average order size, Jupiter finds.


HomeDepot.com credits search technology from Endeca Technologies Inc. with a significant role in what have been double-digit conversion rate increases and a lift in average order size since last year, according to a new report from Jupiter Research, “Site and commerce search – Driving ROI through vendor selection, proper implementation, and active measurement.”

The web site of Home Depot Inc, No. 49 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, previously had used the same search technology it was using across the enterprise for its search in its customer-facing interface. Originally a bid for cost efficiency, that solution wasn’t providing HomeDepot.com with the flexibility it needed to easily facilitate more customer-friendly search. Specifically, according to report author Eric Peterson, setting up search so as to allow site visitors to easily differentiate between closely related products required extensive adjustments to the process.

The former solution also didn’t provide a consistent visitor experience across both search and navigation-a significant issue given the number of visitors who used both methods to find what they wanted on the site, according to Peterson. Search and navigation technology touches about 80% of site visitors.

The new solution from Endeca, implemented in time for the fourth quarter last year, blends search and navigation functionality to provide a more consistent customer experience. In addition to increasing customer satisfaction with the site experience, the new solution folds in new ability to mange promotional links across the site, boosting Home Depot’s power overall to do on-site promotions, according to the report.

“Thoughtful vendor selection and implementation are allowing Home Depot to drive revenue and customers’ satisfaction through a single functional interface,” according to Peterson.


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