November 6, 2007, 12:00 AM

New site search at Republic of Tea boosts average order value

Visitors who shop spend on average 50% more if they use SLI Systems Inc.’s hosted Learning Search tool than shoppers who buy without engaging the feature.


Visitors who shop tea purveyor spend on average 50% more if they use SLI Systems Inc.’s hosted Learning Search tool than shoppers who buy without engaging the feature, the retailer reports. And shopper complaints about site search functionality have dropped from a few a day to almost none since the site added Learning Search in January.

Scott Compton, minister of connectivity for parent company The Republic of Tea, notes that the site receives more dollars on average per order from shoppers using the new search tool than from sales off any other area of the site – and that includes sales to shoppers who arrive on a product page via a web search. For while it’s often assumed that customers coming directly to a site for a specific product are the most qualified and therefore are likely to spend the most, has had a different experience since adding Learning Search, according to Compton.

“Thanks to the highly relevant results and the suggestions for similar products that SLI generates, people who use the search box on our site usually put more in their shopping cart than they originally intended,” he says.

Additionally, another hosted service from SLI Systems, Site Champion, an automated search engine optimization tool, has been instrumental in boosting traffic from search engines to by fourfold since it was implemented, Compton says. For example, when people search for “decaf iced tea” on a search engine, a link directing them to a landing page that’s generated by Site Champion on is more likely than before to turn up in the first page of results. The landing page displays all available decaf tea options so that the customer need not click any further to find those products.

“Search engine optimization can be a full-time job for one person,” Compton adds. “SLI’s service automates a big chunk of this process, which makes life easier for my team and helps people who don’t know about us find their way to our site.”

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