Monday, March 31, 2014
Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Joshua Moxon, marketing director for Prima Supply, a family-owned restaurant supply company based in Louisville, Kentucky. See what other organizations that use Google Search Appliance have to say.
Customers shopping online at Prima Supply – usually small business owners looking for great deals on restaurant and food service equipment – know what they want, and they’re price-conscious. To help them make choices, our goal is to provide accurate product information, including specifications and availability, and deliver it as quickly as possible. Google Search Appliance (GSA) has met our need for speed, and for better control over adding content to search.
In the past, our search product, Amazon Cloud Search, stymied our goals for fast results and helpful content. Visitors to our site had to wait as long as 15 seconds for results, especially if they used refinements for pricing, since that information wasn’t cached. Our bounce rate was higher than normal, which meant that shoppers were leaving our site because they didn’t want to wait around for results.
It wasn’t just customers that were unhappy. We weren’t pleased with our lack of ability to add synonyms or include misspellings, which would have improved our search accuracy. We’d have to bring in IT help if we wanted to add content to search or if we wanted to fine-tune results – for example, promoting certain products or brands within search results. Using outside help took extra time, which meant we couldn’t be agile in responding to customers.
We didn’t have to look hard for a new search product – GSA was the only one we considered. We knew that nobody does search like Google, and we wanted the same fast, easy search for our site that we get when we go to Google.com. Instead of bringing in a software developer when we needed to add synonyms or create landing pages for products or brands, GSA helps us do this work ourselves, with no delays or extra costs.
Three-compartment stainless steel sinks are a popular item on the Prima Supply website, and customers searching for a specific brand might not realize that there are other options from different manufacturers. Using Searchandiser, a third party tool powered by the GSA, we can build out webpages with similar products, at all price points, that show up whenever a customer does a relevant search.
Search times have been reduced and slowdowns have become a thing of the past. In our business, search that’s fast and on-target has a direct impact on customer loyalty. That means GSA will help keep our customers finding and buying products they need, and associating Prima Supply with easy searching and fast service.