In the competitive online marketplace, optimal search functionality is key to retailer success. If consumers cannot find the products they’re seeking quickly and easily, they will move without hesitation to a competitor’s site. After suffering from low conversion rates on its e-Commerce site, totes-ISOTONER Corp., a gloves and rainwear merchant selling online and through major retailers, implemented the Learning Search and Learning Navigation solutions from SLI Systems. Since full adoption, the merchant has more than doubled conversion rates and revenue per visit on its site.
Prior to its partnership with SLI Systems, totes-ISOTONER relied on the default site search on its e-Commerce platform. With site search usage and revenues declining rapidly on the online storefront, totes-ISOTONER required a solution that would streamline search processes. During May 2011, the retailer adopted Learning Search and Learning Navigation tools to create more streamlined browsing experiences and relevant recommendations. Throughout their continued collaboration, totes-ISOTONER and SLI are working together to optimize shopping experiences and drive more revenue through the online search function. By allowing customers to refine and customize search options, the retailer is providing shoppers with easier access to relevant products, according to Chris Reighley, Director of e-Commerce for totes-ISOTONER.
“With the guidance of SLI’s full-service team, totes-ISOTONER was able to create refinement options and ‘related search suggestions’ to make it easier for visitors to find products they’re trying to find,” Reighley told Retail TouchPoints. “We’re using SLI’s solution to merchandise natural search landing pages with dynamic banners that promote the most popular items for keyword searches conducted on the site.”
As part of the toolbox, totes-ISOTONER taps into SLI’s Site Champion offering, which optimizes search results pages with “related search” links based on past browsing behaviors. These live links allow the retailer to optimize SEO efforts and strengthen the brand’s search engine presence. In addition, by leveraging the SLI Rich Auto Complete feature, the e-Commerce site automatically offers keyword suggestions and product images as shoppers begin to type search terms.
“Site search is critical to totes-ISOTONER’s site,” Reighley explained. “As a result of our work with SLI Systems, we are now seeing a larger number of visitors using the search box. Additionally, engagement with visitors who use the search box is higher, as they spend more time on the site and view more pages on average.”
Based on the results generated on the e-Commerce site, totes-ISOTONER also is collaborating with SLI to power the search feature for its mobile-optimized site. With approximately 13% of the retailer’s Black Friday 2011 sales deriving from mobile users, totes-ISOTONER is testing an array of mobile marketing strategies, including QR codes that shoppers find in search results and access while in stores.
“In the coming year, our two companies will continue to work very closely together to add new, innovative features to totes-ISOTONER’s e-Commerce and mobile site search,” Reighley said. “We’re also working with SLI to roll out a new site specifically for tablets and iPads.”
Currently, totes-ISOTONER is in the process of adding social content such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts and YouTube videos to its site search results. This strategy will allow web site visitors to receive a richer, engaging brand experience. Moreover, through this seamless integration of cross-channel content, the retailer now is able to create more consistent experiences across commerce platforms, according to Thierry Costa, VP of Marketing for SLI Systems.
“It’s important for retailers to deliver the same experience to customers, no matter what platform they’re on – traditional e-Commerce, mobile commerce, in-store or catalog,” Costa said. “By working with SLI to build its mobile search, and incorporate social content into search in both channels, totes-ISOTONER can ensure that the look and feel of the two sites are the same and that customers are familiar with how the search functions work.”
In the near future, totes-ISOTONER will include a pop-up questionnaire on its e-Commerce site to help determine whether site browsers intend to buy a product or are simply conducting research, and if they ultimately may purchase an item in-store, Costa added. “This allows totes-ISOTONER to deliver the right information and the right experience to match each shopper’s needs.”