Natural Language Search Tools Make EasyAsk An Easy Sell

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.”

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.

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.


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