Restoration Hardware Utilizes iPhrase to Drive Sales and Provide Industry-Leading Self-Service Shopping Experience

Kurt Peters

iPhrase One Step Delivers a Store-like Experience for Leading Home Furnishings Retailer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., December 1, 2003 - iPhrase® Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of self-service search and navigation software, today announced that its One Step™ natural language self-service search and navigation platform is powering all of the product search functions across Restoration Hardware`s online retail site, www.restorationhardware.com. iPhrase`s One Step was chosen to make it easier for customers to help themselves to Restoration Hardware`s extensive selection of merchandise through the most user-friendly, accurate and intuitive search interface available, ultimately boosting online revenue.

Restoration Hardware is using iPhrase`s One Step platform to enrich its e-commerce Web site and provide a superior self-service user experience. Restoration Hardware chose iPhrase for its ability to offer an online shopping experience similar to shopping in one of its retail stores by helping customers find the products that meet their needs quickly and easily. Before choosing iPhrase, the company evaluated five different enterprise search solutions that would eventually replace the incumbent keyword search application.

"Our customers expect an uncompromising quality of service whether they`re shopping in one of our stores, through our catalog, or looking for quality home furnishings via the Web. The experience has to be consistent across all channels," said Stephanie Garcia, director of e-Commerce, Restoration Hardware. "We needed a user-friendly search and navigation solution to help our customers help themselves to what they want from our comprehensive list of offerings, and deliver exact results to their queries. iPhrase demonstrated its superior technology and user experience in the retail space during our vendor trials, with both factors weighting heavily in our decision to choose the One Step platform."

Restoration Hardware selected iPhrase One Step based on a number of key criteria, including:
• Direct Experience in the Retail space: iPhrase has a strong presence in the retail market, which includes work with customers such as Neiman Marcus, eLuxury and Staples.
• High Out of the Box Performance and Industry Leading Relevancy: One Step offers the industry`s highest results relevancy out of the box and after tuning. This eliminates the most common frustration of users - wading through long lists of irrelevant results.
• Intuitive and Flexible Interface: One Step supports a wide range of user expressions and automatically corrects for misspellings, word order, synonyms and abbreviations.
• Support for Large and Complex Product Catalogs and Document Repositories: One Step provides fast and easy access to large, complex product catalogs in commerce applications and can support Restoration Hardware`s extensive product catalog offerings.
• Best of Breed Usability and Presentation: From initial installation, One Step presents highly relevant results to the user in the most direct, organized and easy to understand manner through direct answers, navigation and guidance. This connects users to the information they need to do business in the fewest steps.
• In-depth user intelligence analytics: One Step`s rich, language-based analytics synthesizes customers` questions into valuable market feedback based on users` expressions of their actual needs, enabling continuous improvements to the site and business.
• Ease of Integration and Deployment: One Step`s standards-compliant, service-based architecture makes integration to a variety of enterprise environments simple, allowing deployments to get off the ground quickly and at low cost.

Restoration Hardware has realized an increase in the variance to its baseline search-to-sale conversion since implementing the software. Before One Step went live on the site, conversion from search was 1.3 percentage points above baseline. After the implementation, the search conversion was elevated 2.4 percentage points higher than baseline, translating into significant revenues for Restoration Hardware.

"Restoration Hardware is an industry-leader in its space and draws the kind of high-value customers any enterprise doing business on the Web would like to attract," said André Pino, senior vice president of marketing, iPhrase Technologies. "In the short time One Step has been implemented on its site, Restoration Hardware has been able to show immediate returns in sales and increased customer loyalty. One Step is the only solution that can expose all of a company`s content, no matter where it resides and convert it into business impact and a healthier bottom line."

About Restoration Hardware, Inc.
Restoration Hardware, Inc. is a specialty retailer of home furnishings, functional and decorative hardware and related merchandise that reflects the Company`s classic and authentic American point of view. Restoration Hardware, Inc. sells its merchandise offering through its retail stores, catalog (800-762-1005) and on-line at www.restorationhardware.com.

About iPhrase
iPhrase is a leading provider of self-service search and navigation software. iPhrase offers the patent-pending One Step platform, which combines natural language processing, multi-source retrieval, dynamic presentation and in-depth analytics to simplify access to high-value information. Through superior relevancy and usability, iPhrase One Step provides a powerful return on investment in critical customer-facing applications at leading companies such as Charles Schwab & Co., Staples, Neiman Marcus, LexisNexis, Lycos and TD Waterhouse.

iPhrase`s investors include Charles River Ventures, Greylock, Reed Elsevier Ventures, Sequoia Capital, TD Capital Technology Ventures and Bain Capital. Founded by former MIT researchers and business leaders, iPhrase has offices in Cambridge, MA and San Mateo, CA. For more information, please visit www.iphrase.com or call 617/577-4300.

iPhrase is a registered trademark and One Step is a trademark of iPhrase Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Human-computer interaction, Online shopping, Restoration Hardware, Retailers, Usability