SOURCE: SLI Systems

November 05, 2007 08:00 ET

Republic of Tea Sees Greatest Online Per-Order Value From SLI Systems Site Search

Visitors to Tea Purveyor's E-Commerce Site Spend Nearly 50% More per Visit When Learning Search™ Is Used

CUPERTINO, CA--(Marketwire - November 5, 2007) - SLI Systems, Inc., a provider of on-demand search services for Internet and e-commerce sites, today announced that Republic of Tea (www.republicoftea.com) has adopted the company's hosted site search and automated search engine optimization (SEO) offerings to generate a bigger following for its Sip-by-Sip lifestyle of health, balance and well-being. Customers -- deemed "citizens" by the tea purveyor -- who purchase from its online retail site, spend, on average, 50% more per visit when the Learning Search™ site search tool is used than when it's not.

Additionally, citizen complaints about the site search functionality have mostly diminished since the SLI Systems solution was implemented in January of this year -- going from a few complaints per day to almost none for the past 10 months. And with the help of SLI's Site Champion automated SEO tool, traffic coming to RepublicofTea.com from Internet search engines has increased fourfold since the company began using it several months ago.

"This is the second company I've worked at as an SLI Systems customer, and as before, they have resolved the issues we faced quickly and cost-effectively, and are delivering bottom-line benefits that get better every day," said Scott Compton, minister of connectivity for Republic of Tea. "Everything's hosted by SLI which takes a huge load off our web server, and their handling of our search needs has been flawless. Implementing their search tools has helped us live up to our mission of promoting good health and well-being, as visitors to our online storefront have a much more positive experience than they did previously."

SLI Systems' Learning Search and Site Champion have also been deployed at other specialty beverage sites, including Boca Java (www.bocajava.com), Café Brit (www.cafebrit.com), Coffee for Less (www.coffeeforless.com) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (www.gmcr.com), all of which selected the hosted search solutions to enhance customers' online experience and generate higher conversions.

Learning Search Delivers Highest Customer Value

Compton joined Republic of Tea a little over a year ago and soon realized that the existing search tool was frustrating customers as evidenced by the numerous complaints they received each day. Recognizing that a negative online experience can turn customers to competitor sites, Compton knew a better site search product was needed right away.

"Our previous site search tool didn't account for misspellings, didn't allow us to do any customizing whatsoever and made it generally difficult for people to find products on our site," said Compton. "Having worked with SLI and seeing great results once before, it was simple for me to choose them again. Still, I was amazed at how much they delivered in such a short timeframe. I was limited in resources and unable to provide them with the data they needed to begin tailoring Learning Search to our site, so they crawled our site for a few weeks and got the data themselves."

As a result of the SLI implementation, Compton says Republic of Tea sees more dollars spent on average per order from people who use the site search tool than from any other area of the site -- including people who go directly to the retailer's site knowing exactly what they want to purchase.

"It's always assumed that traffic coming directly to a site with a specific product in mind brings the highest value. Not so with Learning Search. Thanks to the highly relevant results and the suggestions for similar products that SLI generates, people who use the search box on our site usually put more in their shopping cart than they originally intended," he said.

Site Champion Enlightens Those in Search of Tea

With SLI's hosted, automated SEO tool Site Champion, Republic of Tea has seen four times as much web traffic stemming from Site Champion-referred organic searches than it did previously. For example, when people search for "decaf iced tea" on Google or Yahoo!, a link directing them to the Site Champion-created landing page for that same search term on RepublicofTea.com is more likely to turn up in the first page of results. Rather than direct them to a generic landing page where further navigation is required, Site Champion delivers all the available decaf iced tea options in one click, which further increases the likelihood that the visitor will purchase.

"Search engine optimization can be a full-time job for one person," said Compton. "SLI's service automates a big chunk of this process -- knowing which keywords to optimize for and creating the appropriate landing pages -- which makes life easier for my team, and helps people who don't know about us find their way to our site."

"Having repeat customers like Scott is one of the best measures of our ability to deliver a solution that meets retailers' needs," said Dr. Shaun Ryan, president and CEO of SLI Systems. "We understand that for most e-commerce companies, there are limited resources for focusing on search and SEO, and they want a fast, affordable way to help more people online find their products. Our Learning Search products are designed to do just that."

About Learning Search and Site Champion

Based on SLI's patented "Learning Search" advanced analytics engine, the company's hosted site search, hosted navigation and automated SEO solutions "learn" from user behavior by tracking the search terms people use on a retailer's site and the resulting items they click on. The SLI solutions give retailers greater insight into what terms they should be both linking products to and including in product descriptions, and which products are the most popular for various keywords. As a result, retailers can ensure the products people are searching for show up in the right searches -- whether those searches are conducted on their own sites or on an Internet search engine like Google.

Learning Search is a hosted site search solution that continually tracks visitors' aggregate search terms and the corresponding items clicked on, and uses that data to deliver results based on popularity. For example, if someone searches on "green tea," Learning Search automatically ranks the items so that those with historically higher click-rates are listed at the top. Learning Search also shows how many products exist and in what categories, and gives visitors the option to sort the results by ascending or descending prices, or filter by category. Learning Search is supplemented with a free Site Search Feedback Tool, which is designed to help e-commerce and other Web sites better understand the quality of their site search functionality based on customer input. More information is available at http://www.sli-systems.com/feedback.

Site Champion is an automated search engine optimization service that integrates with Learning Search, tracking visitors' search terms and using them to automatically create related search links for each page of a retailer's site. When visitors click on these 'related search' links they are presented with site search results for that term, directing them to additional relevant content and commerce opportunities -- making it easier for a site's visitors to find what they want, and helping retailers generate more sales. The links also drive more natural search traffic to the retailer's site by giving the retailer's results pages links that are crawled by search engine spiders.

More than 200 sites use SLI Systems' hosted search offerings, including ULTA, Tupperware, Harry and David, Smith & Hawken, NRS (Northwest River Supplies), Fright Catalog, and eTronics.com, among others.

About SLI Systems

SLI Systems is the developer of learning-based search and navigation technology for corporate Internet sites, e-commerce destinations and consumer Internet portals that Searches, Learns and Improves the user experience. SLI Systems' hosted site search and automated SEO solutions empower businesses to enhance customer satisfaction while increasing sales, reducing costs and yielding valuable customer information. Unlike traditional search software, SLI Systems' patented technology continuously "learns" from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. Current customers include Etronics.com, NBC, Tupperware, and others. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Christchurch, New Zealand. For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com.

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