Archive for month: June, 2013

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EasyAsk eCommerce Edition Search-as-you-Type (SayT) Revolutionizes Instant Search

Burlington, MA – June 5, 2013 – EasyAsk, the Natural Language technology and solutions leader, today announced a major enhancement to its eCommerce Edition called Search-as-you-Type (SayT). SayT takes the concept of auto complete to the next level. In addition to offering word suggestions as the visitor is typing, EasyAsk SayT presents product results and targeted category and attribute suggestions that automatically update as a shopper scrolls through the search suggestions.

According to MarketingSherpa, 43% of website visitors will immediately go to the search box, making it a critical component to increasing revenue. EasyAsk SayT helps shoppers by putting the right product on the first page, quickly. In addition to providing a better search and navigation experience for customers, EasyAsk SayT provides an unprecedented level of styling controls, including layout and color, the types of suggestions returned, which navigation facets are offered and how many, the number of search suggestions and the number of product suggestions and the types of fields shown, for example, name, image, description, price and more.

“We found EasyAsk SayT very easy to implement,” said Michael Schuler, Director, eCommerce, Schuler Shoes.  “The new search box feature that offers word suggestions, but also shows products, categories and attributes is currently running on our development site. We are very excited to roll it out to our live site in the next few weeks.”

“On many e-commerce websites, visitors type keywords in the search box and receive too many pages of results that don’t include the item they are actually looking for,” said Craig Bassin, CEO of EasyAsk. “When this happens, e-commerce sites lose customers. EasyAsk SayT eliminates this problem. By helping shoppers find the products they want quickly, it decreases the time it takes to get products into the shopping cart and increases revenue.

Available now, SayT will be provided to all existing EasyAsk Cloud and on-premise customers at no additional charge. New customers that purchase EasyAsk eCommerce Edition by September 30, 2013 will also get SayT at no additional charge.

 

About EasyAsk

EasyAsk is radically changing the speed and ease of how people find information through ground-breaking Natural Language search software. EasyAsk software products go far beyond traditional search, allowing users to simply ask questions in plain English and receive highly tuned results. EasyAsk eCommerce Edition uses this unique technology to deliver industry-leading website search, navigation and merchandising solutions that boost online revenue through increased conversion rates, improved customer experience and agile merchandising. EasyAsk Quiri , mobile Siri-like CRM for smartphones and Business Edition revolutionize enterprise decision-making, moving beyond traditional business intelligence solutions with easy, low-cost deployment and a unique natural language interface that extends access to information anywhere in the organization.

Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices in Europe, EasyAsk has long been a leader in natural language information analysis and delivery software. Customers such as The North Face, Coldwater Creek, Lands’ End, Lillian Vernon, Aramark, TrueValue, Siemens, JoAnn Fabrics and Harbor Freight Tools rely on the EasyAsk software products to run their business and eCommerce operations daily.

For further information please visit www.easyask.com.

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Improve Your SEO with EasyAsk

SEO Perfect Company

SEO is the lifeblood of the online retailer. Most online shoppers begin looking for an item by using a well-known search engine such as Google or Bing, and how your products show up in those results is critical to your success. Making SEO additionally challenging for eCommerce businesses is the fact that their sites are constantly changing as inventory comes and goes. And the seemingly mysterious changes and updates to the algorithms used by the major search engines only add to the anxiety and confusion for anyone wanting to increase traffic to their site.  It can seem like a daunting (and never-ending) task.

As the leader in eCommerce site search, navigation and merchandising, Easy Ask has long enabled high performing, SEO-optimized online commerce sites. It is a core driver in our technology and an important feature in taking our eCommerce customers to the next level.

Here are a few suggestions from the EasyAsk experts for getting the most out of your SEO efforts:

High Quality URLs – This is a good idea, no matter what kind of technology you are using. URLs that make sense to a human also happen to look good to Bing and Google search engines. A long string of numbers and symbols in a URL is meaningless both to the customer and the search engine crawlers. Using the descriptors that your customer is looking for and that actually represent the product is always a smart move.

Use an XML Sitemap – Because eCommerce sites have a large number of products and URLs, it is important to get those products indexed in such a way that search engines can find them.  An XML sitemap does just that, ensuring that Google and Bing don’t miss anything.  EasyAsk provides a rich, best-in-class XML sitemap generator right out-of-the-box, with no need to purchase an extra module. Crawler-friendly links are simple to build, so your site can include a virtually unlimited number of dynamically built landing pages for products, brands and more.

Facilitate the “Long Tail” – It’s great to rank highly for a popular general search term such as “dresses.” But a long-tail term such as “Michael Kors green halter dress” is far more likely to reach customers closer to making a purchase, and result in higher conversion. More traffic isn’t always better – quality over quantity translates to higher sales and better profits. Use long tail keywords and phrases to increase the chances of your website visitors converting into sales. And while you’re at it, keep in mind that product names should be created with search users in mind. Describing a product as “emerald” is unlikely to reflect the search terms used by a customer looking for a green dress.

EasyAsk allows you to understand how your prospects and customers are searching and adjust your results based on their terms, quickly and easily. When it comes to site search, the analytics power within EasyAsk is second to none. Ad hoc reporting distills out the terms of top value and gives you powerful insights into what drives your customer.

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3 Effective Ways to Make E-Commerce More Engaging

Published in Direct Marketing News
June 1, 2013
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It can be relatively easy to engage customers on e-commerce websites when marketers know who those customers are or the nature of their purchase histories. But what about customers who don’t sign in? Or first-time customers? The following are three ways companies are building engagement through incremental improvements to their e-commerce strategies:

Using location to optimize offers

Electronics retailer Crutchfield New Media may only have two physical locations in Virginia, but it has an e-commerce business across the United States—where customers on different coasts have different buying habits.

Crutchfield knew it needed to use customer location to push relevant deals and offers on its website. Yet, it also needed to do this seamlessly. “If you have to wait for someone to log a ZIP Code, you’ve lost a large percentage of your visitors,” says Zach Zimet, the company’s senior director of marketing. While it’s natural to ask for location information when a customer orders a product or signs up for a newsletter, it’s jarring to do so simply when a customer enters the website. Two years ago the company began using an IP targeting solution from Digital Element. The benefits have been twofold: First, the solution tells local searchers about product in stock at nearby branches.

Second, the shipping banner on the Crutchfield page changes its offer based on the customer’s location. “We’re shipping 100% of product out of one warehouse in Virginia,” Zimet says. “So there’s very relevant time and transit information depending on where you live.” It’s important for customers to get this information before the checkout process, Zimet says. “If someone is in California, we can say there’s free delivery but we can’t crow about [fast] delivery,” he says.

Making searches more natural

As recently as last year, hardware retailer Tacoma Screw Products had nothing more than a static online catalog with poor navigational and search functionalities. “We heard it day in and day out,” says Eric McGregor, Tacoma Screw’s e-commerce manager. Customers going to the website couldn’t even find a product based on its part number. In November 2012 the company went live with an e-commerce website, powered by NetSuite.

But Tacoma Screw still wanted to optimize its search capabilities. “In our industry there are a lot of different terms,” McGregor explains. “Products can be listed multiple different ways. To have people type the way they speak and still return [relevant] results was huge for us.” The company added a solution from NetSuite’s partner EasyAsk to provide natural language capabilities to its search function. Through this, the company has increased its search relevancy for more than 45,000 products—leading to improvements in conversion rates, average order values, and customer satisfaction.

Surfacing products

Many manufacturers sell through third-party retail websites, like Amazon or, in the case of juvenile products company Mobi Technologies Inc.Babies“R”Us. Mobi needed to generate customer engagement there—particularly tricky since its most popular products, baby monitors, are commoditized.

The answer was finding a way to optimize its organic search rankings. Partnering with a company called HookLogic, Mobi ensured that search variables included whether the product is actually in stock or whether the shopper’s previous behavior indicates that the product is relevant. If these variables check out, the search algorithms surface and highlight Mobi’s products on Babies“R”Us above such dominant competitors as Summer Infant.

“We’re not just seeing an increase of sales from Babies“R”Us, we’re seeing an increase of calls coming into Mobi and a huge increase in people going to our website to obtain more information,” says Andy Buckband, Mobi’s national sales manager. “That’s a plus for us. We’re increasing sales across the board.”

 

 

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