Tag Archive for: Natural Language search

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SemanticWeb – EasyAsk Helps DollarDays Boost Sales and Web Presence

EasyAsk reports that their client DollarDays has marked several milestones this back-to-school season thanks in part to EasyAsk’s natural language semantic search. The article states, “In 11 short years, Dollar Days is celebrating several milestones, including doubling the number of SKUs it offers to more than 225,000 and the number of suppliers to more than 500. Traffic on the DollarDays.com site has increased significantly, as have the number of memberships. All of this translates into revenue growth for DollarDays, even in a business environment where competitors are shrinking or going out of business.”

The article continues, “DollarDays CEO Marc Joseph attributes DollarDays’ continued success to many key variables, including a growing number of price-sensitive shoppers, dominant marketing as seen in the company’s back-to-school programs and an overall exceptional customer experience, led by strong site search, merchandising and analytic capabilities. ‘As the volume of traffic and the total number of items increases, the more important it is to present the right items to the visitor as quickly as possible,’ says Joseph. DollarDays originally used the open source search product, Solr as part of its open source e-commerce software stack. Solr is an open source search platform from the Apache Lucene project.”

For the full article, click here.

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DollarDays Delivers a Solid Back-to-School Season with EasyAsk Semantic Search

Move from Open Source Solr, to EasyAsk Improved Search, Navigation and Merchandising – Driving Business Forward

EasyAsk, the leading provider of natural language semantic technologies, and DollarDays International, the largest by-the-case online store for small businesses shared details of DollarDays recent Back-to-School season success.

In 11 short years, Dollar Days is celebrating several milestones, including doubling the number of SKUs it offers to more than 225,000 and the number of suppliers to more than 500. Traffic on the DollarDays.com site has increased significantly, as have the number of memberships. All of this translates into revenue growth for DollarDays, even in a business environment where competitors are shrinking or going out of business.

DollarDays CEO Marc Joseph attributes DollarDays’ continued success to many key variables, including a growing number of price-sensitive shoppers, dominant marketing as seen in the company’s back-to-school programs and an overall exceptional customer experience, led by strong site search, merchandising and analytic capabilities.

“As the volume of traffic and the total number of items increases, the more important it is to present the right items to the visitor as quickly as possible,” says Joseph.

DollarDays originally used the open source search product, Solr as part of its open source e-commerce software stack. Solr is an open source search platform from the Apache Lucene project.

Business Reasons DollarDays Upgraded to EasyAsk from Solr
• Highly descriptive search – Because of their explosive product catalogue growth, DollarDays needed to give shoppers more search functionality, and the ability to enter more detailed descriptions in the search box.
• Faceted navigation – most navigation systems define static categories. EasyAsk natural language automatically generates additional layers of product definitions that greatly improve faceted navigation.
• Agile merchandising – Merchandisers can leverage EasyAsk eCommerce to create banner ads, promotions and rapidly identify and adapt as shopper trends develop.
• Manageability – the scope of managing search terms over a product catalogue of 225,000 SKUs can be overwhelming. EasyAsk offers intuitive graphical tools and analytics to make the job easier.

“EasyAsk search dramatically reduced the time for customers to find products and get to that all important checkout stage,” said Joseph. “As our number of items and seasonal merchandising needs grew, EasyAsk’s superior faceted search enabled our shoppers to more explicitly explore items across multiple dimensions. We offer a number of niche products, and once the visitors get to our site, we need to make it easy to find the exact product they want. EasyAsk helps us do that.”

Kevin Ryan, VP of merchandising at DollarDays said, “wholesale sites are generally behind consumer sites when it comes to usability. Many sites only offer basic search and simple navigation by category. Imagine scrolling through 5000 different products in the same category, such as toys to find the one you’re looking for. People eventually get frustrated and leave. That is what sets us apart – we are way ahead of the competition.”

DollarDays recently redesigned its homepage (www.dollardays.com), leveraging EasyAsk’s analytics, natural language merchandising and faceted navigation to better guide visitors and present high priority items for the season in much less space. DollarDays also uses EasyAsk analytics to discover and actively promote the top items its customers are looking for at any given time. An example can be found in its “School Charity Drive” page (http://dollardays.com/easysearch.aspx?pg=1&q=bts2012) where EasyAsk Analytics identifies the 500 most popular items from last year, and promotes these in a blackboard-style category grid.

Joseph is an active contributor to the Huffington Post on economic and business issues. According to Joseph, “Despite the fact that many US consumers believe we are still in a recession, DollarDays is well into our best back-to-school season yet, which is the biggest season for our company. EasyAsk is a big part of our success.”

About EasyAsk
EasyAsk is radically changing the speed and ease of how people find information through the company’s ground-breaking natural language search software. EasyAsk has long been a leader in natural language information analysis and delivery software and its customers include Coldwater Creek, Lands End, Lillian Vernon, Aramark, TruValue, Siemens, Hartford Hospital, Ceridian, JoAnn Fabrics and Harbor Freight Tools. For more information, go to www.easyask.com.

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EasyAsk Products – Excerpt from Sync-Up Interview on the Pulse Network

Sync-Up host Tyler Pyburn asks CEO Craig Bassin about EasyAsk’s products – EasyAsk eCommerce, Business Edition and Quiri.

 

 

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EasyAsk Quiri – Interview Excerpt on Pulse Network Sync-Up">Voice Recognition & EasyAsk Quiri – Interview Excerpt on Pulse Network Sync-Up

EasyAsk CEO Craig Bassin talks about the differences between “voice-recognition” and “natural language search” – without understanding intent, you can’t accurately answer questions. Craig also notes that even Google is evolving from traditional keyword search.

 

 

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Google joining IBM, Apple and EasyAsk? Pigs fly! News at 11…

 

(Message from the CEO of EasyAsk, Craig Bassin)

Looks like this is the beginning of the end for keyword search.  You’ve probably seen a number of articles discussing Google’s shift to ‘semantic search’.  Anyone understand what that REALLY means?  First, the definition of ‘semantic search’ is an understanding of the ‘intent’, or meaning, of the search, rather than just matching the keywords.

Now why would the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of keyword search, change course at this late date?  Conventional wisdom says they were forced to take a hard look after Apple launched Siri.  The timing sure seems to reinforce the fact that they’ve been playing with semantic search for some time, but needed to make a marketing splash now.

So, why change?  Well, obviously it’s a BETTER way to search and they had to, or they wouldn’t have!  I mean, really, Google acknowledging the limitations of keyword search?

Quoting from Paul Demery’s recent article (to read it, click here) about Google’s adoption of semantic search in Internet Retailer, ‘“Semantic search should allow Google as well as other search engines to better understand the true user intent of a search query,” says Kevin Lee, CEO of search marketing firm Didit.

Also, quoting from the same article: “Every day, we’re improving our ability to give you the best answers to your questions as quickly as possible,” Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search technology, said in a blog post. “In doing so, we convert raw data into knowledge for millions of users around the world. But our ability to deliver this experience is a function of our understanding your question and also truly understanding all the data that’s out there. And right now, our understanding is pretty darn limited. Ask us for ‘the 10 deepest lakes in the U.S,’ and we’ll give you decent results based on those keywords, but not necessarily because we understand what depth is or what a lake is.”

Now, understanding ‘intent’ AND ‘content’ is something that is at the very core of who EasyAsk is and how EasyAsk searches.  It’s the idea that, in an e-commerce setting, you can search for ‘men’s dress shirts under $30’ or ‘ladies red pumps size 6’ and get EXACTLY what you’re looking for.  Natural language understands the semantics involved in the search.  We understand the ‘intent’ of the question, we understand the ‘content’ of the data.  In adopting a new ‘semantic’ architecture Google will start to understand the ‘intent’ piece as well.

Now, who else searches this way?  How about Microsoft’s Bing, IBM’s Watson, obviously Apple’s Siri.

Now which of these companies can help you improve your e-commerce site?

None of them.

OK, but what about the other e-commerce search providers.  You probably know a few of them.  Endeca, SLI, Adobe, SOLR.

No, no, no and no.  Strictly keyword search.  Old news. Yesterday’s tech.

So we want to be the first to welcome Google.  We like them, use them all the time for internet search, along with Bing.  But when it comes to e-commerce search, folks, EasyAsk is leading the way.  Let us show you how.

It’s what we do.

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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!

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