Grizzly Industrial is a major on-line retailer of machines, accessories and supplies for wood and metal workers. When they first contacted Search.io, their challenge was that the product line had gotten so big that site visitors could not find what they wanted.
Their offerings spanned over 14,000 products and the data associated with their inventory had come from many diverse sources over the course of more than 3 decades.
The company’s “homegrown” website and supporting systems had evolved over time and were never built to merchandise so many products. The processes involved in creating on-line sales, landing pages, commercial email links, etc. were convoluted, time-consuming and difficult to manage.
In seeking to solve the challenge they reviewed their vendor (AWS) and decided that they needed an on-site search that was better focused on e-commerce and could best make sense of our product line.
“…we could net $2 million in additional sales in the first year of rollout while improving the customer shopping experience and reducing labor costs. The numbers were powerful….” — Stephen Kassnel, Vice President of Marketing, Grizzly Industrial
Grizzly needed something that could make sense out of often terribly similar product types (like Table saw, bandsaw, scroll saws, etc.) and provide accurate search results on consumables like bandsaw blades and dust collection filters that were often tied to individual machines they sold.
And, they wanted something that the marketing department could interact with in real-time to manage onsite merchandising like boosting sale products to the top of search and moving out of stock items to bottom of results. They wanted to be able to quickly identify searches that were not working well and improve results quickly to get customers to the products they wanted.
Implementation of Search.io was straightforward and moved quickly. Some tweaking was needed as it was rolled out because of data deficiencies that cropped up once it was in production. For example, there was a user error – they accidentally programmed a table saw search results to show the highest priced table saws first – but that turned out to be a “happy accident” as they experienced a boom in the sales of their $5000+ top line table saws that they never thought possible.
Like most high-traffic e-commerce sites, there are daily shifts in traffic based on everything from seasonality, supply change disruption from the pandemic, and the changing economics brought on by $5 gas and war in Europe. Nonetheless, they quickly sensed a change in their sales patterns as products they rarely sold started appearing in the daily orders.
Phone traffic to the call center ticked down and unassisted orders through the system improved. They found they were spending a lot less time moving products around on their website as products that were included in promotion rose to the top of results, and out of stock products moved to the back.
They reviewed the list of low-click-thru searches daily and created dozens of synonyms per day which was effortless to do and did not require IT time, Jira tickets, etc. [NOTE: Neuralsearch was released after this implementation and virtually eliminates the need for creating any synonyms].
“…since initial roll-out we have linked Search.io to our call center software (Zendesk) and we are continually using the site search to improve our customer experience while cutting costs. ….” — John Williams, Marketing Supervisor, Grizzly Industrial
It took less than 30 days to identify and fix poorly performing searches even with all the “noise” of a volatile market. Site exits after a search dropped by more than 20% and refinements of searches more than doubled. In other words, potential customers were leaving the site less often and finding what they wanted faster and without engaging their call center.
They quickly did the math and found that based on historical traffic, they could net another $2 million in sales in the first year of rollout while improving the customer shopping experience and reducing labor costs. And this was less than 2 months into the rollout.
Since initial roll-out, they have linked Search.io to their call center software (Zendesk) and are continually using the site search to improve customer experience while cutting costs. A recent implementation quickly enables customers to quickly find manuals, parts lists, and other replacement part information, and they hope to soon roll out new tools to help their customers find the right saw blade or sandpaper for their needs based only on their machine model number and a single additional question.
Search.io controls all of their onsite browsing and filtering data, too, and delivers the results off all of their site menu selections. The Grizzly team have reported that they are still learning new ways to use the tools every day to improve the shopping experience, improve sales and reduce call center, marketing and management time that used to be required to do site merchandising.
“We depend on Search.io and can count on it to help our site visitors become buyers," added John. "That is really the bottom line."