Last year’s website redesign produces mixed results.
Natural search is now one of the retailer’s fastest-growing traffic generators.
Luxury department store e-retailer Neiman Marcus Group Inc. last year wanted to increase the amount of traffic search engines directed to its site via natural search. At the same time, it also wanted to make the pages consumers landed on at NeimanMarcus.commore relevant to what they were searching for. For example, if a consumer searched Google for “gold cuff bracelet” and clicked a result that directed him to NeimanMarcus.com, the e-retailer wanted the customer to immediately see an array of available gold cuff bracelets. The retailer calls that type of result a thematic page.
“Thematic pages put a better assortment in front of the customer based on exactly what he or she is looking for,” says Aaron Shockey, vice president of digital marketing and advertising at Neiman Marcus.
It deployed technology from web-based marketing platform provider BloomReach Corp. to help accomplish this. The BloomSearch technology monitors consumers’ online behaviors, such as popular search terms and trending products, and adapts web pages to maximize the relevance of every page for search engine crawlers. It also generates new web pages for its e-retailer clients to match what is trending at that moment, for instance, “Red carpet fashions” after the Academy Awards airs. This helps improve search engine rankings and, consequently, increase natural traffic, he says.
Shockey says the goal is deliver shoppers directly to the type of merchandise they are searching for. “This takes our goal of reducing friction and moves it up the funnel to product search,” he says. “By understanding our customers’ intent and helping them find the right products on our site, we can make their lives easier and stay relevant to them.”
The e-retailer says natural search is now among the top three fastest-growing channels for driving traffic to NeimanMarcus.com. The retailer is No. 41 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.