Study Touts Specialized Search Software As Key Factor To Attract Repeat Business
Software programs such as those offered by EasyAsk, a leading e-commerce search and merchandising software company with offices in Massachusetts, Northern California and New Jersey, not only simplify shopping and internal analysis, they drive sales and encourage loyalty according to Aberdeen Group in a report released today.
The report emphasizes that the impetus for a more personalized search experience comes from the desire to rapidly respond to customer affinities, and the enhanced customer experience that results.
“The report essentially captures our value proposition,” said EasyAsk CEO Craig Bassin. “We’re in the business of creating the best online search experience for end users and helping our clients drive revenue. According to Aberdeen, that is a win-win for the industry and their customers.”
Aberdeen cited three characteristics as key factors towards determining what makes online retailers “Best-in-Class” companies:
- Increased year-over-year order value of 20 per cent, compared to eight per cent for average companies
- Net profit margin of 15 per cent, about three times industry average
- Average online conversion rate of six percent, compared to a four per cent industry average
“Best-in-Class e-commerce retailers are turning to advanced online search for increased marketing and merchandising accuracy so that customers are able to locate the right product, at the right place and time,” said Greg Belkin, a senior research fellow at Aberdeen. “In the highly competitive online retail market space, organizations know that consumers have high expectations when it comes to the time they invest in online product research.”
Research is nice, but real-life results matter most, and that is where EasyAsk has delivered for its customers. Its natural language site search and merchandising software connects customer requests with online inventory to generate sales.
Coldwater Creek, which offers women’s apparel, jewelry, gifts and home merchandise online, leverages EasyAsk’s ability to improve their customers’ shopping experience. This reinforces their philosophy of providing superior customer service in every selling channel. Their long-standing relationship with EasyAsk is part of why the company has been so successful.
“Online retailers are under constant pressure to build customer loyalty while at the same time reducing support costs,” Bassin said. “Our job is to simplify that process for our clients and make sure their customers have easy and immediate access to what they want when they want it.”
TruValue Hardware is another company that has entrusted its customers’ online shopping experience to EasyAsk. Because of EasyAsk’s superior linguistic processing and filtering capabilities, TruValue has eliminated null searches due to misspellings in queries or source databases. With EasyAsk, TruValue members offer real-time insight into product delivery, product backgrounds and, as needed, appropriate alternatives that meet customer needs.
“We are committed to providing the highest level of service to our members and their customers,” said TruValue Director of E-Business Eric Lane. “Our order processing is a key point of contact with our customers and, as such, an important component of our service commitment.”
According to Aberdeen, successful online retailers must address customer ease-of-use challenges and coordinate search and merchandising strategies to encourage cross-selling and increase up-selling opportunities. “With EasyAsk, those are fundamental steps that are easy to achieve. We take the merchandising out of the hands of IT and place it where it belongs – with the merchandisers. It’s intuitive, interactive and immediate. We don’t call it EasyAsk for nothing!” Bassin noted. This has dramatic impact in the SMB and SaaS market, as smaller online retail companies can very quickly launch EasyAsk without the need for an in-house IT organization.
EasyAsk was a sponsor of the research report, but Aberdeen says it had no substantive input into the report’s content or findings.
A complimentary online copy of the Aberdeen report is available at http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30411938&cid=6368
About EasyAsk EasyAsk is radically changing the speed and ease of how people find information through the company’s ground-breaking natural language search and query software. EasyAsk software products go far beyond traditional search, allowing users to simply ask questions in plain English and receive highly tuned results on demand. The EasyAsk eCommerce Edition uses this unique technology to deliver an industry leading website search, navigation and merchandising solutions that boosts online revenue through increased conversion rates, better customer experience and agile merchandising. EasyAsk Business Edition revolutionizes 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, EasyAsk has long been a leader in natural language information analysis and delivery software. Customers such as Gap, Coldwater Creek, Hewlett Packard, Lands End, Lillian Vernon, Aramark, BASF, Talbots, Nedbank, BNP Paribas, TruValue, Siemens, Hartford Hospital, Ceridian, JoAnn Fabrics and Harbor Freight Tools rely on the EasyAsk software products to run their business and e-commerce operations daily. For more information, please visit EasyAsk
Simplified Customer Experience Leads To Soaring Profits For Online Retailers
Anyone who has ever put the word “pumps” into a retail search engine expecting to find a tool to help them put air in a tire or a basketball but instead was forced to deal with an array of women’s shoes will understand the value proposition put forth by EasyAsk, a software company based in Burlington MA.
“What we do, quite simply, is equip search engines to communicate like adults instead of like a literal-minded toddler,” said EasyAsk CEO Craig Bassin. “Our proprietary software is the link between the human intelligence typing in the query and the back-end computer intelligence providing the response. Our customers tell us that this has profound impact on their ability to deliver what their customers want the very first time.”
An example of EasyAsk’s new SMB strategy, Schuler Shoes of Minneapolis is one company that reaped immediate rewards after installing EasyAsk software. According to Director of Ecommerce Mike Schuler, his company experienced a 28 percent increase in online revenue after installing EasyAsk.
“There was a 60 percent increase in the number of products purchased and a 34 percent increase in the number of transactions,” he said. “You can’t argue with that.” EasyAsk enables Schuler Shoes’ online customers to search for shoes as if they were speaking to a salesman in their brick and mortar shop. If you were looking for “men’s running shoes in size 10,” that’s exactly what you’d tell the sales man and it’s also exactly what you’d type in the search box.
Schuler also said that back-to-school sales this year with EasyAsk eclipsed 2009 holiday season sales before EasyAsk. For retailers, that is like adding a second Christmas to the calendar. Lillian Vernon, Lands End, Gap, and TrueValue Hardware are some of the retailers that attribute part of their growth to EasyAsk software.
Bassin says that EasyAsk also helps businesses analyze their performance by simplifying the process between what an employee is attempting to research and the response from the data system. “We convert business questions into back-end queries, retrieve the data, and return the results to the user. No technical skills or training are required on the part of the end user,” he said.
Companies like Siemens and Hartford Hospital are among those that have simplified the work day for their internal business analysts. “The payback on a system such as EasyAsk is clear and present,” said Jack Alberti, Director if IT Special Projects at Hartford Hospital. “Our end users in clinical and non-clinical areas don’t have to wait for critical information. And in our industry, secure access to the right information at the right time can mean a world of difference.”
Siemens Product Manager Monica Sharp sees EasyAsk’s value proposition in a more technical light. “Natural language is full of complexities, nuances and exceptions, and EasyAsk is able to handle all of these challenges, producing intelligent results with ease, accuracy and speed.”
EasyAsk opened its doors in 1994, and has grown as ecommerce and the need for deeper business analysis has grown. The privately held company has offices in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California.
“Unlike typical search engines, EasyAsk does not depend on inefficient and inaccurate text matching. Consequently, we do not return a laundry list of every document or product that contains words that were used in the search,” Bassin explained. “Instead, EasyAsk intelligently interprets a user’s question, employing advanced linguistic technologies understanding and domain expertise derived from the data source being searched. EasyAsk then generates a more precise search query that extracts a far more accurate answer.
“As a result we help our customers make more money and save more time,” he added. “We find that makes us popular with them and makes them more popular with their customers, with all that love transferring to the bottom line. And as Mike Schuler says, you can’t argue with that.”
EasyAsk is radically changing the speed and ease of how people find information through the company’s ground-breaking natural language search and query software. EasyAsk software products go far beyond traditional search, allowing users to simply ask questions in plain English and receive highly tuned results on demand. The EasyAsk eCommerce Edition uses this unique technology to deliver an industry leading website search, navigation and merchandising solutions that boosts online revenue through increased conversion rates, better customer experience and agile merchandising.
Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, EasyAsk has long been a leader in natural language information analysis and delivery software. Customers such as Gap, Coldwater Creek, Hewlett Packard, Lands End, Lillian Vernon, Aramark, BASF, Talbots, Nedbank, BNP Paribas, TruValue, Siemens, Hartford Hospital, Ceridian, JoAnn Fabrics and Harbor Freight Tools rely on the EasyAsk software products to run their business and e-commerce operations daily. For more information, please visit EasyAsk.
EasyAsk, an industry-leading provider of natural language search and analysis software for e-commerce Websites and corporate applications, today announced EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile Edition, a mobile web application platform that delivers a tailored e-commerce search experience for mobile online shoppers. EasyAsk Mobile Edition is powered by EasyAsk’s industry-leading e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising platform. With EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile Edition, e-commerce companies can cost-effectively expand into mobile commerce, while offering mobile-optimized search, cross-sell and up-sell merchandising capabilities that convert mobile prospects into buyers and bridge them to brick-and-mortar stores. The announcement is being made at the Internet Retailer 2010 Conference.
According to ABIresearch, a leading technology marketing intelligence provider, shoppers around the world are expected to spend about $119 billion on goods and services purchased via mobile phones by 2015 – a figure that will represent about 8% of the total e-commerce market. To be successful, a mobile e-commerce presence needs to be more than a re-purposed web site – it need to take advantage of the mobile ecosystem and services, while offering a seamless customer experience across all channels – web and mobile – including a common e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising platform.
“The ever increasing sophistication of smart phones presents a real and growing opportunity for our e-commerce customers,” said Craig Bassin, EasyAsk CEO. “With EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile we provide an optimized mobile delivery platform that leverages a unified set of e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising services for a consistent customer experience and cost-effective infrastructure.”
EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile is a mobile web application platform that enables e-commerce companies to deliver a complete mobile experience to their customers, not just a shrunken version of their current website. It includes mobile-optimized e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising services. EasyAsk Mobile Edition offers the following key features to deliver a superior mobile customer experience:
- EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile delivers customized mobile web pages, integrating powerful e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising directly into these pages. Mobile visitors are automatically detected and routed to the mobile version of the site, delivering a unique experience.
- EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile optimizes the experience to the specific handset by detecting the model of the phone, matching it with a database of thousands of handsets, and uniquely optimizing the user experience to the capability of the consumer handset.
- EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile is integrated with the services from the main website for cross promotions, such as finding specific items in the brick-and-mortar store where customers can touch and feel products. It also enables delivery of discount or cross-sell offers to the phone, enticing immediate, and even larger, in-store purchases.
- The EasyAsk Commerce Studio enables e-commerce companies to tailor product presentation, offers and other merchandising attributes for the mobile environment, and the EasyAsk Search Analytics enable marketers to monitor and adjust search characteristics specifically for the mobile web.
EasyAsk eCommerce Mobile Edition was developed in conjunction with Unbound Commerce, a leader in mobile e-commerce solutions, and an EasyAsk strategic partner.
EasyAsk eCommerce Edition’s website search, navigation, and merchandising software uses innovative natural language search technology to help companies boost e-commerce revenue and strengthen relationships with customers. According to Nielsen NetRatings, sites that use EasyAsk have the highest conversion rates in the industry, resulting in an increase in sales and higher revenue per customer. With EasyAsk eCommerce Edition, online customers can find what they are looking for up to 10 times faster. Marketers using EasyAsk have direct control to merchandise their products, and turn browsers into buyers. EasyAsk eCommerce Edition customers include The GAP, Coldwater Creek, Lands End, Rockler, Lillian Vernon, JJill, Smart Bargains and Travers Tool Co.
EasyAsk, an industry-leading provider of natural language search and analysis software for e-commerce Websites and corporate applications, announced the company has separated from Progress Software and will continue doing business as an independent, private company.
In May 2009, serial entrepreneur Craig Bassin, formerly of B2Systems and Geneva Group, acquired EasyAsk from Progress Software. Dr. Larry Harris, an internationally recognized expert on database systems and computerized natural language, who is the technical visionary for the company, founded EasyAsk in 1994 and sold it to Progress Software in 2005.
“EasyAsk has ground-breaking technology that is unrivalled, and continues to power industry-leading products,” said Bassin. “We’ll continue to innovate and provide world-class software, with a renewed entrepreneurial spirit. We recognize there are models other than Enterprise, Perpetual and annual licensing for software. EasyAsk will very aggressively pursue the Software-as-a-Service model and intends on partnering with the leading SaaS providers.”
EasyAsk eCommerce website search, navigation, and merchandising software uses innovative natural language search technology to help companies boost online commerce revenue and strengthen relationships with customers. According to Nielsen NetRatings, sites that use EasyAsk have the highest conversion rates in the industry, resulting in an increase in sales and higher revenue per customer. With EasyAsk eCommerce Edition, online customers can find what they are looking for up to 10 times faster. Marketers using EasyAsk have direct control to merchandise their products, and turn browsers into buyers. EasyAsk eCommerce Edition customers include The GAP, Coldwater Creek, Lands End, Rockler, Lillian Vernon, JJill, Smart Bargains and Travers Tool Co.
EasyAsk Business Edition’s intuitive natural language search interface enables everyday business users to search and find information from ERP, CRM, BI and other operational systems by by asking questions in plain English, and providing fast, accurate results so they can perform their jobs faster and more efficiently. EasyAsk Business Edition provides immediate impact and rapid return on investment by seamlessly connecting with enterprise data sources, business applications, and existing reports. EasyAsk requires no training and little on going IT support. EasyAsk Business Edition customers include BASF and Cardif, and leading ISVs such as Ceridian, Gensource, Siemens Medical Solution and VCG make EasyAsk Business Edition a core component of their business solutions.
EasyAsk will continue to enhance its technology platform and develop new product offerings to meet market trends, such as the increased use of Software-as-a-Service products and cloud computing. Through strategic partnerships with leading eCommerce ERP, CRM, BI and software application providers, EasyAsk will also reach new markets. EasyAsk recently announced a strategic partnership with NetSuite, to enable EasyAsk eCommerce for Netsuite.