August 31, 2005, 12:00 AM

Beckett will soon sport improved site search

By using an off-the-shelf application rather than its current internally developed site search engine, expects to do a much better job of marrying online content and commerce, says Beth Grimsley, senior manager of e-commerce., an online retailer of sports collectibles, is replacing an internally developed and maintained site search engine with new technology that will feature guided navigation and other enhancements.

The new site search applications for Beckett, No. 265 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, will be in place by October and in time for the holiday shopping season, says Beth Grimsley, senior manager of e-commerce.

Beckett is installing new site search applications from Endeca Technologies Inc. By using an off-the-shelf application rather than its current internal site search engine, Grimsley says Beckett, which operates one of the Internet’s biggest sports memorabilia shopping sites, expects to do “a better job of marrying content with commerce.”

Today, visitors to can use the site search engine to perform a search on a specific athlete, but must then perform two more separate searches to find articles and available items for sale.

For example, a current search at for “Babe Ruth” yields 4,256 pages of results – with over 50 individual products on each page. Collectors must then manually browse through the hundreds of products or provide additional search terms to narrow the search for a specific item or piece of content.

But with a better site search engine, specific queries will be ranked and returned faster based on different criteria such as by category, price and sports team. Better site search will also help Beckett, which generates estimated annual e-commerce revenues of about $13 million, provide more detailed price information such as price guides for specific collectibles such as baseball cards. “We will have the ability to highlight topics such as best sellers, new items and expert picks, which are all relevant to the collector’s shopping session,” Grimsley says.



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