August 18, 2011, 11:24 AM

Artbeads.com uses site search to lead shoppers to its content

That content helps inform customers which, in turn, leads to sales, says the retailer.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

One of the main reasons that bead and jewelry supplies e-retailer Artbeads.com began using SLI Systems as its site search provider last month was that the vendor offered something its previous technology provider did not—the ability to present consumers with the wealth of content the retailer presents both on its site and on social media, says Steve Groenier, the retailer’s vice president marketing and sales.

“We want to continue to evolve the way our site search works,” he says. “There is a lot of content that is very important to the customer experience that they weren’t able to find before. Now they can find things we write on our blog, in our social media channels or photos we put in Flickr. It isn’t always just about the product.”

Today the retailer’s site search results will begin appearing with three tabs—Products, Learning Center and Community. The Community tab shows relevant social media posts and Bazaarvoice-powered answers to consumers’ questions related to the search query. The Learning Center tab features articles.

Using tabs to organize search results keeps the products front and center so that a consumer looking to quickly retrieve a specific product can find that item quickly, while also allowing other customers who are browsing the site to dig deeper into the site to uncover what consumers are saying about products or what projects they can pursue, Groenier  says.

Artbeads.com’s products lend themselves to informational content and how-to advice, which the e-retailer devotes resources to producing, says Groenier. For instance, the retailer’s site features more than 800 projects aimed at inspiring consumers to create necklaces and other pieces of jewelry.

Site search is the way 20% of the retailer’s shoppers navigate the site’s more than 27,000 items, he says. And, because the site’s Yahoo Stores platform can be time-consuming to revise, it plans to eventually turn to site search to populate temporary category pages, such as those created to organize products for a particular sale. “That will make us more efficient and free up our team to do higher-level tasks,” says Groenier.

Artbeads.com is No. 402 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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