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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Crafty Arts finds better search

Tuesday August 16 2011

Online retailer updates e-commerce search functionality as part of improved customer experience

Online retailer updates e-commerce search functionality as part of improved customer experience


Multichannel retailer for arts and crafts enthusiasts, Crafty Arts, is reaping the benefits from updating its online search capabilities.


The company first opened its doors in 1991, and started selling through their online store in 2000. It offers a wide variety of crafts supplies, including jigsaw puzzles, mount cutters, sculptorís clay, paints, coloured paper, brushes and other arts and craft materials.


As its online business has grown in recent years, so have its customersí expectations for a smooth shopping experience. As part of its ongoing efforts to deliver an optimal online experience, Crafty Arts began looking for a better site search solution a couple years ago.


The retailerís previous site search, a standard feature of its e-commerce platform, generated a high abandonment rate and numerous complaints and calls to customer support. As such, Crafty Artsí web team knew they had a usability problem that was causing them to lose sales Ė and even worse, was compromising customer loyalty.


Finding a system for added control


Jay Necati, Crafty Arts website manager, said the previous search rarely displayed results that were relevant to visitorsí searches. Additionally, it would not account for misspellings, nor did it allow the company to do any sort of customisation or merchandising to prioritise the search results, offer promotional banners, display refinement options or include related search suggestions. Internal staff struggled with it, which was a key reason they knew their customers did as well.


Crafty Arts evaluated several site search solutions but the majority was priced beyond their budget. And on top of cost issues, most vendors didnít provide a full-service approach to assure Crafty Arts that its deployment would be successful. After an extensive search, Crafty Arts chose SLI Systems. Necati said that SLIís product was superior and also offered the strongest support service Ė a key factor in Crafty Artsí decision, as it needed to work with a company that would provide guidance and assistance in making the site search as powerful as possible.


As a result, Crafty Arts have seen a number of improvements: The percentage of visitors who use search is 31% and on the rise; visitors who search spend twice as long on the site as those who donít search, and the average order value for site search users is higher; site search users convert at a higher rate than other visitors; and the abandonment rate from site searches has dropped significantly.