August 08, 2006 08:00 ET

Sales Bloom on Home and Garden Retail Sites With SLI Systems' Hosted Search Solutions

Learning Search™ and Site Champion™ Chosen by Some Over Similar Solutions From Mercado and Celebros for Their Ability to Increase Sales and Traffic Through More Relevant Results

CUPERTINO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 8, 2006 -- SLI Systems, Inc., a provider of on-demand search services for Internet and e-commerce sites, today announced that several specialty home and garden retailers have selected the company's hosted site search and automated search engine optimization (SEO) offerings as a way to attract more traffic and capture higher sales on their online storefronts. After undergoing SLI Systems' standard 30-day free trial, each of these companies encountered significant results that compelled them to sign the dotted line for full-scale deployments. Some of these retailers had already tested similar offerings from competing companies, but didn't find their results satisfactory or found their solutions too costly.

The list of home and garden merchants now using or soon to be using SLI's Learning Search™ and Site Champion™ offerings include: BedBathStore, Black Forest Decor, Chiasso, Carolina Rustica, Lone Star Western Decor, Mikasa and Company, Miles Kimball, Smith & Hawken, and Walter Drake, among others.

Based on SLI's patented "Learning Search" advanced analytics engine, the company's hosted site search 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.

"We see working with SLI Systems as a worthwhile investment. Their solution was less costly than others we looked at and the results have been very positive," said Jason Dupus, president of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Lone Star Western Décor and Black Forest Decor. "In addition, SLI's team is highly responsive and we couldn't be happier with the level of customization and support we've received, even during the free trial period. I'd say their customer service is probably the best I've ever encountered."

Dupus deployed SLI's Learning Search and Site Champion offerings in early 2006, after evaluating other site search solutions which didn't meet his needs and which were too costly. His decision to improve his businesses' site search functionality was made after he received numerous customer complaints about their previous site search, which often left site visitors frustrated when they couldn't find what they were looking for. "Site search is a powerful sales and marketing tool," said Dupus. "The trick was finding a solution that was customizable to our sites' look and feel, and that was self-maintaining. SLI Systems was the answer we were looking for."

Similar to Lone Star Western Décor and Black Forest Décor, Carolina Rustica, based in Concord, North Carolina, turned to SLI Systems in early 2006 in order to improve its own site search. The company previously relied on the site search that was part of its shopping cart solution, but found that it couldn't support the 10,000+ product SKUs in its inventory.

"Our previous site search was slow and didn't allow people to sort the results," said Richard Sexton, president of Carolina Rustica. "It drove me nuts every time I did a search on our site, so I knew it was producing unsatisfactory results for our customers. During our trial with SLI, we found the solution to be intuitive, user-friendly, and cost-effective. Choosing to work with them is one of the best business decisions we've made."

In the past six months Carolina Rustica's sales have increased about 30% and traffic has risen about 50%, which Sexton attributes partly to SLI Systems. Sexton says two big benefits of using Learning Search and Site Champion are that he's able to get better placement on natural search engines for keyword terms that he wouldn't normally consider. Additionally, because SLI's solutions are hosted, they offload the traffic on Carolina Rustica's site to SLI's servers, which makes his site perform more efficiently, since searches are memory-intensive.

About Learning Search and Site Champion

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 "pillow," 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 by category. Learning Search is supplemented with a new, 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

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.

"Whether it's home and garden, automotive, fashion or any other type of online retail outfit, SLI Systems' mission is to make improving site search and SEO a simple, painless process," said Dr. Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems. "With the right tools in place, retailers can see significant sales and traffic increases almost right away. Our goal is to help more and more companies realize how important an effective search solution can be in growing their business."

Other companies using SLI Systems' hosted offerings include NBC, Tupperware, Fright Catalog and NRS (Northwest River Supplies), among others.

About SLI Systems

SLI Systems is the developer of learning-based search 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 and SEM 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, NBC, Tupperware, ULTA, Chiasso and others. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Christchurch, New Zealand. For more information, visit

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