July 5, 2012, 3:55 PM

Sans catalogs, Betty Mills fixes up site search

Supporting a broader product mix, a new site search kicks up conversions.

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The Betty Mills Co. has expanded over the last several years from selling mostly janitorial supplies to including a wide range of office, industrial and medical supplies in its product line. And with some 130,000 products, it once relied heavily on mailing paper catalogs to help customers find what they needed.

“We used to send out tens of thousands of catalogs a year,” says CEO Victor Hanna. “When we dropped a catalog, the pickup in sales was tremendous.”

But no more. Betty Mills has ceased its regular catalog mailings, relying instead on a beefed-up site search and navigation system for its e-commerce site. “Nothing is more important to us than site search, because we no longer ship catalogs,” Hanna says.

Betty Mills, which uses Celebros Inc. for its site search, recently upgraded its web site in February of this year, and as part of the update is planning a further upgrade to Celebros' new ConversionPro V8 for its site search, of which Betty Mills was a beta tester.  Hanna says ConversionPro V8 is designed to be easier to administer, enabling the retailer’s merchandising and marketing staffs to more easily configure site search results to promote related and higher-margin products, including best-selling products.

Overall using Celebros site search has shown that consumers who search on the site have a visitor-to-sales conversion rate 30% higher than visitors who don’t engage site search, and an average order value that is 35% higher, Hanna says.  He adds that Betty Mills expects even further gains when it migrates to ConversionPro V8 this summer. Betty Mills is No. 528 in the Internet Retailer Second 500.

To read more about site search, read the upcoming August issue of Internet Retailer.

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