How to cash in with site search

An IRWD speaker will show how refinements can lead to more sales.

Paul Demery

The site search feature on an e-commerce site can provide a better online shopping experience and boost conversion rates and sales, but retailers need to take several steps to realize such benefits, says Shaun Ryan, CEO of site search technology company SLI Systems.

Ryan will address effective site search strategies at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference in Orlando, FL, in a Feb. 12 session entitled “Take search beyond words: Develop a multi-faceted refinement strategy to deliver more sales.” Ryan will explain how online retailers can design and test a site search application that helps both newcomers and regular customers quickly find what they’re looking for—and get additional shopping ideas. Ryan will be joined in his session by co-presenter Kevin Metz, vice president of e-commerce at Caché, an e-retailer of women’s apparel and accessories.

“I’ll discuss the important role the search box plays in quickly guiding visitors to their products of interest, and what advanced usability features retailers should provide to deliver the optimal shopping experience,” Ryan says.

Ryan will also refer to a recent survey SLI conducted of online retailers regarding the most popular site search strategies and features, such as an auto-complete function that automatically displays in the search window a list of terms related to the first two or three letters a visitor types into a search window, and testing such features to see how they impact conversions. “Retailers identified A/B testing, rich auto complete, better merchandising and improved options for refinement of search results as the areas they’ll focus on in 2013 in order to increase customer engagement and conversions,” he says.

To offer a practical look at how such site search techniques and features have impacted actual shopping experiences, Ryan will offer an inside look at how site search has helped to boost sales at several merchants, including Caché.

The editors of Internet Retailer selected Ryan as a speaker because of his extensive background in site search technology. Before co-founding SLI Systems in 2001, Ryan was a co-founder in 1998 of GlobalBrain, where he was chief technology officer before GlobalBrain was acquired in 2000 by web portal Snap.com/NBCi.com. Prior to his early days at GlobalBrain, Ryan worked as a technology consultant for organizations including Invacare, an international health care technology company.



Cache, e-commerce, IRWD 2013, Kevin Metz, merchandising and design, online apparel sales, Shaun Ryan, site search, SLI Systems