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Optimizing Site Search With Product Data   A&M Industrial Supply
Optimizing Site Search With Product Data   A&M Industrial Supply
Optimizing Site Search With Product Data   A&M Industrial Supply
Optimizing Site Search With Product Data   A&M Industrial Supply
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Optimizing Site Search With Product Data A&M Industrial Supply

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Demonstrates critical importance of product data to Site Search & Navigation

Demonstrates critical importance of product data to Site Search & Navigation

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  • 1. Optimizing Site Searchwith Product DataA&M Industrial Supply “FindWAtt has been an absolute breath of fresh air for our company” Case Study Tom Richards Senior Manager Information Technology A&M Industrial Supply
  • 2. OPTIMIZING SITE SEARCH WITH PRODUCT DATA A&M INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY Company Profile A&M (www.am-ind.com) started out in the early ‘50s as a small hardware CUSTOMER retailer but now serves commercial, industrial and government clients in a A&M Industrial Supply is a wide range of industries including chemicals & petro-chemicals, regional distributor of industrial manufacturing, mining and transportation. A&M’s customers vary from small and MRO products based in contractors to large municipalities and billion dollar corporations. Much of the Rahway, New Jersey. company’s work includes value-added services including emergency response. A&M was involved in restoring power to the New York Stock Exchange after the 9/11 attacks. CHALLENGE Site search and navigation on A&M‟s website did not work Ecommerce Initiative because product data was not Like many midsize companies A&M has only a few key individuals who structured and of poor quality. launch and manage strategic initiatives and they juggle many projects simultaneously. In 2008, Tom Richards – A&M’s Senior Manager of Information Technologies – took on what was anticipated to be another, SOLUTION short-term project, creating and launching A&M’s ecommerce site. FindWAtt applied its self- The Pain Point learning system to correct data errors, re-categorize products, New initiatives don’t always go smoothly but this one dragged on and on extract facets/attributes without a usable website and became a significant drain on management’s applicable to each category, time. The major stumbling block was poor product data. Although the and ensure each of A&M‟s ecommerce platform incorporated a site search capability, it was rendered 18,000 products had the inoperable by errors, inconsistencies, duplicates and the limitation of facets correct values for each facet. to generic ones such as Category, Manufacturer and Size. Additionally:  Attribute values were overloaded and poorly organized  Product names were abbreviated, poorly constructed and difficult to KEY BENEFITS read.  State of the art ecommerce site in several ways superior to majors such as W.W. Grainger.  Excellent site search and navigation.  Huge improvement in readability of product descriptions.  Foundation for further quantum level enhancements.1 A&M Before FINDWATT | SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA INFO@FINDWATT.COM | WWW.FINDWATT.COM | 707-237-9234
  • 3. OPTIMIZING SITE SEARCH WITH PRODUCT DATA A&M INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY Solution By early 2010, A&M had naturally become skeptical of easy solutions so asked FindWAtt to perform a pilot project for one category representing 4% of their products. The processed data was loaded onto A&M’s ecommerce platform and all facets functioned correctly. With this successful pilot A&M engaged FindWAtt to process all 18,000 products. Steps involved in processing the data included:  Rebuilding and optimizing the category taxonomy, reducing the number of drilldown levels from 3 to 2, and consolidating categories with too few products. “We had struggled  Cleaning the database of errors and standardizing terms (e.g. 1”, 1 in., 1 inch). for almost 3 years  Converting each product name to a set of attribute values. to develop user  Pooling these attribute values into related groups to identify attributes and create friendly content for category schemas. our web catalog A&M’s raw data feed from its ERP system lacked structured fields, containing only a long and did not see an product description and no delimiters (e.g. commas) on which to easily break into end to that separate components. FindWAtt’s self-learning technology was crucial in identifying the frustration in the attributes applicable to each category and the appropriate values for each product. Rules near foreseeable were identified and executed to add missing values and infer meaningful new attributes. future.” The newly structured attributes and values are now used as facets to assist users in easily refining their search on the most relevant product features. FindWAtt’s Product ™ Name Accounting™ and Attribute Accounting systems provided the rigor of ensuring Tom Richards every product had a value for each attribute, and no important information was overlooked. After successful completion of all 18,000 products A&M opted for a second phase to reconstruct product names for dramatically enhanced readability. The old names (see A&M Before above) were hard to read and did not emphasize the most important attributes. Quickly scanning through similar items to find the desired product was impossible. FindWAtt’s ™ Intelligent Name Construction system ranked attributes according to their importance in differentiating products and assembled each product’s attribute values into 3 lines (see A&M After below), putting the focus on the attributes critical to the sale. Scanning through similar items to find the product you want is now much easier. “We now have accurate, searchable, pertinent attributes that are easy to read and understand and very user friendly” Tom Richards2 A&M After FINDWATT | SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA INFO@FINDWATT.COM | WWW.FINDWATT.COM | 707-237-9234
  • 4. OPTIMIZING SITE SEARCH WITH PRODUCT DATA A&M INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY A&M’s website is now operational and is running on the same ecommerce platform as before, which A&M has supplemented with site search and navigation provided by SearchSpring. A&M’s new, highly structured dataset from FindWAtt coupled with site search and navigation means that customers can find products with just a few clicks. FindWAtt Technology Spotlight: Attribute Accounting A key element of FindWAtt‟s “The customer experience on our website technology is Attribute has been transformed into what we believe Accounting™, in which every will be one of the best in the industrial input product description is marketplace. We look forward to working reconciled to its output set of attributes. with FindWAtt in continuing to transform our web catalog content into „Best in Attribute accounting minimizes the Class‟!” possibility of errors and was also Tom Richards used in the second phase of FindWAtt‟s work with A&M to segment products names into 3 lines. Results & Benefits The enormous change of course is that A&M’s ecommerce site has gone Attribute accounting‟s potential from unusable to state of the art. In several respects A&M’s current site extends far beyond this, however. is now superior to those of best-in-class companies such as W.W. For example: Grainger, a Fortune 500 company with $7 billion in sales and an active ecommerce presence since the mid-1990s. A primary reason is attribute  With reliable attribute accounting (sidebar) which also provides a foundation for significant accounting and future enhancements. FindWAtt‟s understanding of how attributes are interrelated, it‟s possible to take granular text phrases and, based on sets of rules, automate the assembly of these phrases to populate page titles, descriptions, hovers or other content.  The ability to automatically generate and manage customized content is valuable for both site search and SEO; e.g. even if good manufacturer description data is available, its value Tom Richards and David Young, Executive for SEO is limited Vice President, outside A&M’s headquarters because everyone else3 in Rahway, New Jersey has the same content. FINDWATT | SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA INFO@FINDWATT.COM | WWW.FINDWATT.COM | 707-237-9234

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