IBM, Seed Retailer and Search: Turning Browsers Into Buyers


There are so many challenges one can face in building an online retail store. You have to worry about fraud, make sure you have good navigation, market the web site and so many other things.
One big challenge is to ensure that people at your web site can find what they are looking for. Beyond good navigation and clear links to your online store selections is a good search engine.
IBM’s content discovery software helps online retail and catalog companies convert shoppers into buyers by making it easy for people to find the products and services that best match their specific needs. It also provides intuitive tools that help retailers monitor and enhance the online shopping experience.
IBM’s well written press release reads – Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a $12 million mail-order seed producer offering a wide variety of vegetable and flower seeds, plants and bulbs on their website, as well as specialty tools, equipment and gardening supplies. IBM’s content discovery software is delivering greater insight and information availability to Johnny’s customers, improving their online shopping experience and driving sales growth for the company.
Within just months of launching a new website powered by IBM OmniFind Discovery Edition Commerce Module, the company exceeded the previous fiscal year’s online sales; experienced a nearly 32 percent increase in online sales overall and a 17 percent increase in average order value. They also fulfilled more than 4,300 additional online orders from both commercial growers and home gardeners.
Whether helping a home gardener select among 15 types of green beans, or guiding a commercial grower in purchasing the right variety of pretreated organic corn, by providing customers with the exact information they are looking for online and guiding website navigation, Johnny’s Selected Seeds has seen its online sales thrive.
IBM’s content discovery software helps online retail and catalog companies convert shoppers into buyers by making it easy for people to find the products and services that best match their specific needs. It also provides intuitive tools that help retailers monitor and enhance the online shopping experience.
Using the software’s reporting and analytic capabilities, staff can view what search terms shoppers use, what paths they take as they search for products, and how image location affects a product’s sales. Managers can then adjust online marketing efforts to drive greater customer interest. It has also provided Johnny’s Selected Seeds the ability to cross-sell and up-sell products during the online search process, resulting in an increased average order value of almost 17 percent. The company is also using it to provide greater insight into customers’ shopping experience online and to optimize product promotions and placements.
IBM OmniFind Discovery Edition combines technology from IBM and iPhrase, one of the company’s strategic software acquisitions in November 2005. The software features search, content integration, and contextual information delivery capabilities that provide the right information to the right people at the right time.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ future plans include delivering information based on customer zip code which will help buyers quickly locate products for their particular growing zones; and allow customers to narrow searches based on growing parameters, such as soil type, amount of sun, moisture level, maintenance requirements, which will help identify plants appropriate for a specific garden or farm.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook