November 9, 2006, 12:00 AM

New navigation tool improves site search at Footwear Etc.

Footwear etc. has experienced a sharp improvement in the navigability of its e-commerce site since it launched SLI Systems’ Learning Navigation offering in conjunction with Learning Search, says Mike Baranov, Footwear’s director of e-commerce operations.

Footwear etc. has experienced a dramatic improvement in the navigability of its e-commerce site since it began using SLI Systems’ Learning Navigation offering, says Mike Baranov, Footwear’s director of e-commerce operations. Footwear, whose web site is Footwearetc.com, has been using Learning Navigation in conjunction with SLI’s Learning Search hosted site search offering since August.

Footwear etc.’s previous site search solution was a simple out-of-the-box offering that offered little in the way of customization, Baranov says. In comparison, SLI’s Learning Navigation dynamically builds site navigation pages by creating product groups to show similar products together, giving people more options for navigating the site.

Learning Navigation uses previous visitors’ behavior to list products under each group from most popular to least popular, increasing the likelihood that people will find what they’re looking for.

“Whether people who come to our site already know what they’re looking for or are just browsing, it’s incumbent upon us to make it easier for them to search our inventory,” Baranov says. “The ability to categorize our shoes by Men’s, Women’s, What’s on Sale and Accessories greatly simplifies the search process, and by learning from what people click on most, we’re able to list items in a way that’s more likely to generate a sale.”

Because it learns from customer click-through behavior, Learning Navigation also helps companies know which products to merchandise, both on its site and the Internet.

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