February 4, 2009, 12:00 AM

Faster site search helped eFollett.com grow web sales by 23% in 2008

EFollett.com, an online bookstore platform owned and operated by Follett Higher Education Group, used revamped site search to drive e-commerce revenue to $252 million in 2008 from $205.3 million in 2007. The site’s sales conversion rate also topped 6%.

EFollett.com, an online bookstore platform owned and operated by Follett Higher Education Group, used revamped site search to drive e-commerce revenue higher by 22.7% to $252 million in 2008 from $205.3 million in 2007.

“We have seen a significant increase in general merchandise product sales since we launched the new site search in September,” says Follett Higher Education Group director of e-commerce Mark Hammerschick.

Follett, which uses eFollett.com to provide access to over 1,400 online bookstores across the United States and Canada, installed a new site search engine from Endeca Technologies Inc. The improved technology has since helped Follett to increase the sales conversion rate on eFollett.com to about 6.5% while the average ticket has grown to about $180, the company says. “We redesigned our web site to provide our customers with a quicker, more efficient navigation path while updating the look and feel of the site,” says Hammerschick. “The new enhancements are fueling significant growth in Follett’s online business.”

In April Follett, No. 68 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also completed its purchase of Varsity Group, which operates VarsityBooks.com, an online book store platform for elementary schools and junior and senior high schools. Since the acquisition, Follett has used its existing IBM WebSphere e-commerce platform to launch more than 300 more Varsity online bookstores for schools with students in grades K-12, the company says. Follett began selling textbooks online in 1995 and launched eFollett.com in 1999.

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