With as much as 71% of a retailer’s original online product data feed containing inconsistencies or gaps, consumers often encounter irrelevant products when browsing their favorite e-Commerce site.
To ensure that this disconnect would not occur with its customers, Schuler Shoes has leveraged solutions from e-Commerce search optimization platform provider SLI Systems. With the SLI Systems suite, the footwear retailer has not only cut search page bounces 20%, but it has also increased average time spent on the site by 7.5%.
As Schuler Shoes increased the number of products it sold and moved its e-Commerce site to Magento, the retailer realized it needed a SaaS-based search and navigation solution that would work well with its new platform. Since the SLI Learning Search Connect plugin platform could be integrated with the Magento platform, Schuler Shoes has been able to improve its online shopping experience and simplify its merchandising process.
“SLI had obviously seen similar setups to ours in the shoes space, with attributes such as the filter,” said Michael Schuler, Director of E-Commerce at Schuler Shoes. “They also were able to work with us from a navigational standpoint, giving us the ability to display banners in conjunction with different categories. The other benefit was their ability to offload all that navigation traffic onto their own servers. The default category pages can tend to take some time to load, so there was initially some struggle with long page loads that just wouldn’t have been customer-friendly.”
Making Search Smarter
The SLI suite of learning-based search services is the first Magento Gold Partner to offer a site search extension for the Magento 2.0 platform. Schuler indicated that the SLI integration has enabled the retailer to “get smarter” at interpreting basic information when it came to generating relevant product results.
The integration with SLI enables the retailer to add to its search capabilities using features including:
A Rich Auto Complete menu;
A dynamic Learning Navigation search; and
Site Champion, a module that generates SEO key terms via user search terms.
“The functionality allows us to see if consumers are searching for a brand we don’t carry,” Schuler said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. And because shoppers may refer to a product they’re seeking using different terms than Schuler uses internally, the retailer can gain greater insights about how consumers are conducting their searches.
Speeding Up Navigation Through Improved Filtering
Upon onboarding the SLI Systems plugin, Schuler Shoes was better prepped to get its inventory up to speed with the Magento platform. Additionally, the retailer was able to streamline its filtering process to make it consistent across all pages.
“When we first switched over we had category pages that had some subset of filtering and we had search pages that had a different subset of filters,” Schuler stated. “Unifying that was huge because it just isn’t very sensible to have two different types of filtering when the pages are used similarly. We wanted to present the same option.”
The filtering improvements also helped the retailer narrow down the navigation process when it came to product descriptions and colors. On estimate there are about 4,000 to 5,000 different color names for the branded shoes within the Schuler offering, but the SLI search capabilities enable the retailer to narrow the options so all shades of red are searchable under the keyword “red,” and all shades of brown can be searched with “brown.”
“From a filtering perspective, you don’t need to filter by each little individual color name,” Schuler said. “Being able to map that to a standard list of 20 colors helps reduce that list so it’s not so overwhelming and ridiculously long.”