Musicnotes keys in on sales by improving its site search

The retailer increased its search conversion rate from low single digits to more than 10%.

Zak Stambor

Most consumers visiting the web site of Musicnotes Inc., an online retailer of downloadable sheet music, aren’t there to browse. They know the song they need and want to quickly find the downloadable sheet music.

“That’s why internal search is so important to us,” says Bill Aicher, director of web and marketing for Musicnotes, No. 496 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “It is the main way that people shop on our site.”

Even so, until it began using Omniture’s Adobe SiteSearch and SiteCatalyst, the retailer was using its own homegrown search application. The retailer turned to an outside vendor to reduce null searches, improve the speed with which consumers could find what they’re looking for, and to provide better data on what visitors are searching for that could suggest what new music the site should offer.

Since adding the two search programs, the retailer’s site search allows consumers to display results based on variables such as top sellers, top searched items or publication date. That organization helps the retailer stay on top of pop culture trends. For instance, after the song “Smile” was performed at Michael Jackson’s memorial service it surged in popularity. Musicnotes added Jackson into the artist information associated with the song so that when consumers searched for “Michael Jackson” the version from his memorial would rank high within the results because of its popularity.

“That makes our jobs as marketers and merchandisers much easier by automatically pushing highly desired content higher,” says Aicher.

Since adding Adobe’s search to its site, Musicnotes has seen significant results, he says. For instance, the search conversion rate has risen from low single digits to more than 10%.

Moreover, by using the application’s reports on the top null searches, Musicnotes can adjust its inventory. “It helps us understand what consumer demand is dictating and what we should stock up on,” he says. 


Adobe, Bill Aicher, Musicnotes Inc.