CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
The Endeca Commerce Suite due for launch next week will enable online merchandisers to serve up customized content in site search and navigation landing pages without having to call in the I.T. department, Endeca says.
The latest version of the Endeca Commerce Suite due for launch next week aims to enable merchandisers to serve up increasingly customized content on site search and other pages. For instance, if an online shopper searches on a retailer’s site for Sony plasma TVs, the retailer could serve up a customized page that displays YouTube videos about Sony plasma TVs as well as other content tied to the customer’s shopping history, says John Andrews, vice president of solutions marketing and product management, Endeca Technologies Inc.
“It’s all about making the customer feel as comfortable as possible in the purchase decision,” Andrews says.
Endeca has for years offered technology that supports customized landing pages for site search and navigation. But the newest version of Endeca Commerce Suite is designed to not only offer more connections with sources of content, but also provide merchandisers and marketers more leeway in deploying customized landing pages without having to overly rely on either their own I.T. department or the technology experts at Endeca, Andrews says. Endeca plans to release the new Commerce Suite on April 12
The new release comes with a new software development kit that enables a retailer’s in-house I.T. team to build and customize more of their own design templates related to specific site search terms or points of site navigation. The templates could include, for example, links to a “Become a fan” widget on the retailer’s Facebook page, videos on YouTube, or cross-selling product images based on the shopper’s past shopping behavior and pulled from the retailer’s content management system.
Moreover, merchandisers and marketers without I.T. expertise would then be able to modify the templates with videos or other content to display particular products or promotions. Merchandisers will be able to do in 15 minutes what it may have taken them days or weeks to do in the past, Andrews says.
“Endeca’s new features really broaden its offering beyond site search,” says Susan Aldrich, senior consultant and analyst at research and advisory firm Patricia Seybold Group. She adds that the new Endeca application doesn’t have the breadth of customizing capabilities available through some high-end e-commerce platforms or personalization engines, but that it offers a highly useful and cost-efficient way of serving up relevant content to site visitors.