Archive for month: May, 2012

by

Why It’s Cool to be a Cool Vendor

 

With EasyAsk being acknowledged as a Cool Vendor for 2012, I figured it would be a good idea to give you some insight into why it’s cool.  So let’s take a look at a couple of past winners.

In 2011, Bazaarvoice was acknowledged as a Cool Vendor.  Bazaarvoice is a multinational internet marketing company that specializes in user-generated content through customer reviews.  It has become one of the largest social marketing companies in the world, with over 500 customers including: Best Buy, Macy’s, Costco., and Home Depot.  Bazaarvoice recently went public in February of 2012, and their present market cap is just under $1 Billion! Pretty cool . . .

Also in 2011, Instagram was acknowledged as a Cool Vendor. Instagram is a free photo-sharing program for social networking services. You’ll find photos all over Twitter and Facebook that are launched through Instagram. In fact, this program, which was only launched in October of 2010, was recently (April of 2012) acquired by Facebook for $1 Billion in cash and stock. With over 30 million accounts, you can see why the social media giant wanted to snatch them up.  Very cool!

Previously Splunk was named a Cool Vender. Splunk, according to their site “makes machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone.” And as of April 2012, they are the first Big Data company to go public, with over 3,500 customers in more than 75 countries.  That’s cool on a global scale . . .

Another former recipient, SugarCRM, is the fastest growing CRM provider on the planet, and was selected in 2011 as an IBM Global Alliance Partner for Cloud Services. They launched their own convention, SugarCon in 2007, and it is a show that has garnered more and more attendance as the years go by.  They also happen to be a partner of EasyAsk.  Now that’s beyond Cool, it’s Ice Cold…

In 2010, Jigsaw was acknowledged as a Cool Vendor. Jigsaw is a prospecting tool used by sales professionals, marketers and recruiters to get fresh and accurate sales leads and business contact information.  With a directory of more than 30 million business contacts, Jigsaw has quickly proven to be a very useful asset.  So much so, that Salesforce.com acquired them for $142 million.  I’ve used it myself countless times to get accurate contact information. SalesForce, hmm? … cool.

And now it’s our turn.  EasyAsk, the leader in Natural Language technology, being acknowledged as 2012 Cool Vendor.

EasyAsk recognized that Natural Language goes beyond the limits of Keyword. (something Google is now discovering, by the way)  And we have used this technology to help over 300 customers, applying it to e-commerce, business data and have recently used it to design Quiri, a Voice-Enabled Natural Language mobile app for Corporate Data.  Imagine Apple’s Siri, but for business.  It’s that easy and that revolutionary.

So… Why is it cool to be a Cool Vendor?  Well, one of the best ways to predict the future is to look at the past. With companies like the ones mentioned above, EasyAsk has certainly found itself in some cool company. To read more about EasyAsk becoming a Cool Vendor, click here or here.

One thing is for sure.  We think Gartner has excellent vision and is pretty cool!

by

Travers Tool Mobile Site

EasyAsk customer, Travers Tool Company, has launched a new mobile commerce site. The mobile optimized site presents the search engine, category structure and products in a more friendly way for the smaller screen real estate of mobile devices.

The new mobile platform will be especially convenient for finding product attributes and specifications when a PC is not close by. Also, crews on construction sites, repair teams on the road, and others should find this new format especially convenient.

EasyAsk powers the search, navigation and merchandising for the new mobile site and has been used for years on the main Travers Tool Company e-commerce site, Travers.com. And best of all, the Travers.com mobile site is automatically “Siri-enabled” due to EasyAsk.

Go to the Travers site on your mobile phone (www.travers.com will recognize you are using a mobile browser and re-direct you to the mobile site).  On the home page, touch the search box, press the microphone button on your keypad and speak your request. Say, “solid carbide jobbers drill”, hit Go, and you will find the exact drill bits for that search. It works like a charm.

 

 

Also note how effectively Travers uses the screen real estate on the mobile site. It is very different from their main site and is optimized for FINDING PRODUCTS. The search box is prominent. Why? Because while search is important on an e-commerce site, search is CRITICAL on a mobile commerce site, as I spoke of in this blog post a few months back.

 

 

Travers Tool is an amazing organization. They continue to grow and take market share due to a strong focus on serving their customers, and the delivery of e-commerce services that outclass their competitors, including their new mobile commerce site.

The Travers mobile site it another indication on how simple it is for small and medium businesses to deliver competitive advantages using EasyAsk natural language search, navigation and merchandising.

by

SKU Processing: Optimizing search results to maximize conversion

As much as we like to promote natural language long-tail searches here at EasyAsk, the unfortunate reality of the e-commerce market is that Google (and others) have taught us to search wrong. Many visitors go to a web store and do what I call SSTN – simple search then navigation.

But what if your site has many thousands of SKUs or Items? What if your site carries many of the same product, but in different sizes, composition, color or brand? A simple search could return hundreds of undifferentiated products that leave the visitor with the daunting task of sifting through those many results just to find the item they are looking for. How quickly will they abandon the site? I’d bet on 3 seconds or less.

Luckily there are techniques that can help you reduce the “search result overload” on your visitors. We call it SKU processing. Let’s show you how it works by looking at the e-commerce site for Travers Tools.  A very common search in their business is – “titanium drill bits.” So if we do this search on we get:

 

 

Travers only returns 23 products, even though they have thousands of different titanium drill bits. EasyAsk allowed Travers to group all the SKUs (or items) for each product into blocks. The blocks are organized such that the visitor can choose a particular drill bit style, drill down, and then select the specific SKU based on size, length, etc. (see below) This organization makes it easier for the visitor to choose the right product, providing a better customer experience.

 

 

If you go to many other hardware and tool retail sites, you will get hundreds of results for “titanium drill bits”, making it incredibly hard for the visitor to then find the ones they really want. And if we look at the products, many of them are the same. They are just different sizes and lengths.

But wait, there’s more. What if the search is more of a long tail search? In this case there might be a length – ¼” titanium drill bits. EasyAsk will produce similar first level results as the above example – product blocks or groupings (see the first image below).

 

 

But when you drill down to a product (look at the second image below), EasyAsk carries forward the length from the search, showing specific SKUs for ¼” bits.

 

 

In this case, EasyAsk remembered the “context” of the visitors search and carried that forward to the product drill down. This again simplifies the buying process for the visitor, leading the customer directly to the product they were seeking.

Carrying forward the context is one of the hidden beauties of EasyAsk natural language search. SKU processing, search result simplification and context carry-forward is something you can and should take advantage of to improve customer conversion and customer experience.

by

EasyAsk at SuiteWorld 2012

We at EasyAsk will be very busy at the upcoming NetSuite SuiteWorld 2012 event next week in San Francisco.  At this event we will be showing our eCommerce Edition for NetSuite and Business Edition for NetSuite.  In addition, we will be unveiling a new EasyAsk Quiri solution for NetSuite (look out for the news on that!).  Click here for more information on what we will be showing for e-commerce customers.

In the past year and a half, our e-commerce business on NetSuite has grown dramatically.  As our news note said, we now have dozens of customers in a variety of industries and retail sectors.  Each has seen substantial increases in customer conversion rates and order sizes after implementing EasyAsk.  And our team has worked hard to reduce our already fast implementation times.  EasyAsk has established itself as the 3rd party search, navigation and merchandising solution of choice for NetSuite Ecommerce customers.

Please be sure to visit us in Booth EX-111 where we will be able to demonstrate our innovative and game changing products for e-commerce, business intelligence and mobile solutions.

by

IBM Watson-like Natural Language Search, Navigation and Merchandising with Apple Siri-like Voice Enablement at SuiteWorld

Compatible with all types of e-commerce platforms, EasyAsk Improves conversion rates, virtually eliminates “no results” pages and improves average basket size

EasyAsk, named a “Cool Vendor” for 2012 by a leading analyst firm, and the leader in natural language technology and solutions, will be demonstrating its best-in-class search, navigation and merchandising tools at NetSuite SuiteWorld in May 14-17 in San Francisco.

EasyAsk, which has over 300 e-commerce customers, has acquired dozens of new NetSuite e-commerce customers in the past 18 months supporting B2C and B2B sales. These customers cross a broad set of industries from pet supplies, automotive parts, office supplies, hardware and apparel. EasyAsk eCommerce for NetSuite delivers enterprise-class website search, navigation and merchandising software in an affordable, integrated package for NetSuite Ecommerce websites. In the last 12 months, EasyAsk has further developed its eCommerce for NetSuite solution, improving platform speed by 100% and enabling much faster deployment – from weeks to days.

With EasyAsk, you’ll have access to easy-to-use merchandising tools to create promotion, cross-sell and up-sell promotions and Business Rules. More importantly, customers will find what they’re looking for faster, buy more and buy with you more often, leading to an increase in your e-commerce revenue.

EasyAsk eCommerce virtually eliminates “no results” page, increases conversion rates, lowers bounce rates, increases customer retention and increases average basket size. EasyAsk also automatically handles spell correction, improves navigation and puts navigation and merchandising tools in the hands of your merchandisers.

Multi-Channel & Mobile

EasyAsk eCommerce Edition offers a capability no other search, navigation and merchandising platform can offer – EasyAsk powered sites provide automatic extensibility to voice-enabled mobile commerce with natural language search. EasyAsk will be showing how it incorporates its Quiri-like functionality to allow visitors to mobile commerce site to speak complete natural language searches and find products faster, dramatically increasing mobile conversion rates. EasyAsk eCommerce customers have a rich natural language engine already in place that is ideally suited for multi-channel marketing. Multiple studies have shown that mobile e-commerce is best optimized for voice interaction and search – and only EasyAsk eCommerce automatically understands descriptive search requests from today’s voice-enabled smart phone users, and responds with the most relevant results.

“EasyAsk leads the industry with cutting-edge natural language technology for e-commerce,” said Craig Bassin, CEO of EasyAsk. “Not only are we the best at understanding shopper’s intention in the search box, we are now the first to provide voice-enabled natural language search for e-commerce. That means that we are the only vendor that can help ensure your mobile shoppers get the results they expect when they speak to their smart phones – Apple’s Siri is changing the way people interact with their phones. Don’t be left behind.”

Implementation Partners

EasyAsk has also built new partnerships with leading NetSuite integrators and resellers, including Explorer Consulting, GProxy and SuiteCommerce.

Please come visit us at booth EX111, where we can show you how to improve your e-commerce efforts.

by

EasyAsk Named Cool Vendor

It is always great to be considered Cool.  But that is usually a personal distinction.  Now Cool is an attribute given to software vendors such as EasyAsk.

EasyAsk is proud to announce that we have been included in the list of “Cool Vendors” in the ‘Cool Vendors in Analytics and Business Intelligence, 2012’* report by Gartner, Inc.  We feel this is an accomplishment due to our products, our team, and most of all our customers.

As we look at our market position today, EasyAsk has dramatically expanded its solution footprint and customer reach in the past 12 months.  Direct sales to customers have grown.  We’ve forged new solution partnerships with IBM Big Insights and SugarCRM while expanding our partnerships with Infor and NetSuite.  We have also more than doubled the number of channel partners we work with, including our distribution partnership with BrainSell in the SugarCRM market.

Our eCommerce edition product continues to be the clear solution leader in e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising.  No other vendor can come close to performing the long-tail natural language searches that EasyAsk does, nor can any vendor make merchandising as easy to use as EasyAsk.

And our new Quiri product is revolutionizing the way people use mobile devices and mobile corporate applications.  Quiri is the only solution on the market that provides Siri-like voice-enabled natural language tools that work with your corporate data and applications.

Thank you, Gartner.  And a special thank you to our customers and partners.

 

*  Gartner “Cool Vendors in Analytics and Business Intelligence, 2012” by Bill Gassman, Douglas Laney, Andreas Bitterer, David Newman, Rita L. Sallam, James Richardson, 27 April 2012

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

Ready to see how EasyAsk's eCommerce solution can help you? Request a demo!