Agency: SLI Systems

SLI Systems explain how they helped Boden improve its website functionality

Business growth

With SLI Systems’ advanced Learning Search, UK-based clothing retailer Boden has seen conversion rates for site search users that are nearly double the rate for non-site search users. Additionally, site search users spend 21 per cent more on average than non-site search users; and site search users are worth upwards of 215 per cent more per visit than non-site search users.

SLI’s full-service expert approach, combined with the fast and easy implementation of Learning Search, led Boden to deploy additional SLI site search products and features. For example, the company is using Rich Auto Complete, which automatically shows suggested search terms and related product images as soon as a visitor types the first few letters into the search box. “The product images give our customers an instant visual cue, guiding them to the best item for their search,” explained Paul Knutton, eCommerce Manager at Boden. The Rich Auto Complete feature has resulted in a 31.25 per cent increase in product page views, a 1.8 per cent increase in average order value, and 2.25 per cent more order confirmation page views. Paul Knutton added, “When site search works well, people who use it buy more, they stay on our sites longer, and they convert at a higher rate. Site search is as important to us as layout and design and shopping carts when it comes to crafting the online experience.”

Site search, mobile and merchandising fuel
Boden, the UK-based international clothing retailer known for its bold patterns and bright colours, was founded in 1991 as a mail-order company with just eight menswear products. Boden began selling online in 1999 in the United Kingdom and in the United States in 2002. Today the company is primarily an online and catalogue retailer, selling men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel in the UK, the US, France, Germany, and Austria. Boden has one standalone shop in London, and also operates pop-up storefronts around the UK. In 2006, Boden re-launched its UK website, and sought a temporary solution to power its site search while the site was being introduced. To fill its temporary needs, the Boden team chose Learning Search from SLI Systems simply as a stopgap measure until they could engineer their own solution. However, the team soon realised the power of Learning Search to deliver more accurate and relevant results for customers by ‘learning’ from past site search activity and tracking visitors’ search queries and click-throughs. Knutton recognised the solution wouldbe a better option than trying to design the search on their own – which would have been a complex and time-intensive task.

Intelligent search technology with expert guidance
“This wasn’t just a decision about technology, although Learning Search certainly had all of the essentials we needed, such as merchandising and customisability, as well as fast and easy implementation,” Knutton said. “The experts at SLI were also part of the package. We realised right away that they could respond to any request we had during implementation and beyond – nothing was impossible for them, and this has never changed in our seven years of working together.” Boden leveraged the power of Learning Search to deliver a wide array of search refinements to help people narrow down results and find exactly what they’re looking for. For example, visitors can click a number of boxes next to standard categories like age range, body shape, gender, style, size, colour, and type of clothing (e.g. knitwear, tops and T-shirts, accessories), and see only results that are a perfect match for all their selections. The retailer takes it even further, offering refinement options that integrate user ratings and reviews, such as top rated by age, height, shape and size.

“This type of deep refinement capability really makes the difference between a site that truly considers customers’ needs versus one that is hastily planned,” said Knutton. “With so many refinement options available, people can really have fun seeing the various choices available and narrowing down their choices.”

Utilising SLI’s on-demand solutions
With SLI’s expert assistance, Boden has integrated SLI site search on its Facebook page to allow customers to search for products directly from the social network. The company also uses Site Champion, SLI’s user-generated SEO solution, to create optimised landing pages that are indexed by search engines such as Google. Boden takes advantage of SLI’s organic search merchandising banners, which populate SEO product landing pages with site search-driven banners showcasing suggested popular items that match the search term. These banners significantly increase the value from organic search traffic to product pages, resulting in a nearly 11 per cent increase in orders and an almost 10 per cent increase in conversions.

Expanding site search to new markets
As Boden recognised the value of Learning Search, the company adopted SLI’s search for its new sites when it expanded into additional international markets. SLI now powers site search on Boden’s French, German, and Austrian sites, along with the UK and US sites. Boden also implemented SLI Mobile for its UK and US mobile commerce sites, allowing the company to deliver a seamless shopping experience to customers. With its continually evolving search strategy and the power of SLI’s solution, Boden is seeing its site search become an ever-increasing component of its online business.