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Abe’s of Maine Integrates Customer Feedback with Site Search Using Full-Service Solution from SLI Systems

Twenty Percent of Site Search Users Choose to Search by Consumer Reviews and Ratings on Camera and Electronics Website

SAN JOSE, CA – June 27, 2011 – SLI Systems announced today that online camera and electronics retailer Abe’s of Maine has improved its e-commerce site usability by integrating customer feedback and user reviews with site search results. The new search capability, built with SLI Systems’ full-service site search offering, enables shoppers to browse search results by user-generated content including product reviews and customer feedback, and makes it easier for visitors to find relevant information before making a purchase.

As a result of these enhancements, Abe’s of Maine says that 20% of site search users are now choosing to browse user reviews, a number that is growing.

“Consumers have always based their buying choices on how their friends and other people rate products,” said Sarah Marcus, marketing director for Abe’s of Maine. “With the growing influence of social networks, the availability of this type of customer input online is critical. For electronics products in particular, customers want to thoroughly research their choices before they buy. Our work with SLI in bringing this content front and center in site search has benefited our customers greatly.”

To power the integration of user reviews and site search, Abe’s of Maine worked closely with its full-service site search provider SLI Systems, which performed much of the customization work needed to enable this capability. Additionally, Abe’s of Maine has deployed Review Champion, a joint solution from SLI Systems and PowerReviews that adds search and filtering capabilities to online user reviews, and also helps increase organic search traffic from reviews.

To help shoppers find relevant reviews about items of interest, Abe’s of Maine created a toolbar titled “Click to Browse by User Feedback” that appears at the top of site search results. The toolbar leverages PowerReviews’ structured reviews to help shoppers make more informed purchase decisions by grouping reviews based on key product and reviewer attributes. The embeddable menu allows them to refine searches by user ratings (one to five stars), type of user (such as pro photographer or hobbyist), best uses (for instance, wedding photography), and best product features.

By integrating reviews with site search, Abe’s of Maine can gain greater value from its user-generated content, Marcus said. “Research is very important to our shoppers – they rely on our site to help them identify which products are best suited to their needs. By bringing user reviews into search, we can encourage customers to spend more time on our site, which leads to improved conversions.”

“Now that consumer reviews have become a commonplace feature on e-tailing websites and social networks, site owners should take steps to incorporate reviews into search, as we have done with Abe’s of Maine,” said Ed Hoffman, vice president of global business and corporate development for SLI Systems. “User reviews have powerful credibility with online shoppers, and can improve the chances that a shopper will be convinced to make a purchase.”

Learning Search is part of SLI Systems’ full-service, customized site search, navigation and merchandising offerings. The solutions help online retailers like Abe’s of Maine meet customer expectations for relevant results and information, as well as promote particular products and brands, all based on previous visitors’ search and click-through activity. The solutions are dynamic, so results change as customer buying trends and search terms shift. Additionally, SLI’s offerings are backed by the company’s team of search and navigation experts, who oversee deployment of Learning Search and provide ongoing management and support.

About SLI Systems

SLI Systems provides full-service, customized, on-demand solutions for site-search, navigation, merchandising, and user-generated SEO. SLI Systems’ solutions empower businesses to enhance customer satisfaction while increasing sales, reducing costs and increasing site conversions. Unlike traditional search and merchandising software, SLI Systems’ patented technology continuously “learns” from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. SLI Systems is a privately held company with offices in San Jose, California; London; New Zealand and Australia. For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com, or read the company’s blog at http://blog.sli-systems.com, watch the SLI YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/SLISiteSearch, follow SLI on Twitter at http://twitter.com/slisystems or listen to SLI hosted ecommerce podcasts at http://www.ecommercepodcast.com.

About PowerReviews®

PowerReviews is the leading provider of social commerce software-as-a-service solutions to global retailers and brands. The company's unique structured data approach to collecting, organizing, and analyzing user-generated content significantly boosts product sales and customer engagement. PowerReviews is live on over 5,000 websites - across 13 languages in 21 countries - including Staples, Drugstore.com, Room & Board, ESPN, Neutrogena, Quicksilver, and Jockey.