SoundStage Direct Connects Audiophiles to Hard-to-Find Vinyl LPs Using Site Search from SLI Systems

Online Retailer of LPs and Stereo Equipment Increases Conversions and Revenue Per Visit with Site Search that Learns from Visitors’ Behavior

SAN JOSE, CA – July 2, 2012 SLI Systems ( today announced that SoundStage Direct( has seen its online conversions and revenue per visit increase more than five times since implementing the company’s full-service site search. SoundStage Direct, an online retailer with the largest selection of vinyl LP records and newly released vinyl LPs, has also improved the overall site search experience with more relevant search results, and the addition of related search suggestions, refinements, and Rich Auto Complete, all of which contribute to higher conversions and order values.

SoundStage Direct sells new and reissue vinyl LPs along with LP turntables and related stereo equipment, and caters to LP enthusiasts who believe sound quality of vinyl records greatly surpasses that of CDs. Seth Frank, CEO of SoundStage Direct and a vinyl record fan since childhood, founded the company eight years ago in his home, and now offers about 22,000 LP titles from the company’s headquarters in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

SoundStage Direct had been using site search from Nextopia but the solution did not allow for precise searching by customers, nor did it offer refinements or suggestions for similar searches, which encourage customers to browse selections from other bands or genres. “With our previous site search, our visitors would get results that were not specific to the keywords,” Frank said. “For instance, if they searched for Mick Jagger, they’d also get results for Mick Jones from the Clash. That’s just wrong.”

When he asked his previous provider to make improvements so the search results would be more relevant, Nextopia responded with options that would all incur additional expense. In contrast, Frank said he has found SLI’s full-service approach to be extremely responsive and accommodating without adding to the cost of the solution.
Improved Site Search Contributes to Successful Holiday Season

Before the start of the 2011 holiday shopping season, Frank looked into implementing SLI’s full-service SaaS-based Learning Search, on a recommendation from a friend. After a short deployment period, Learning Search was up and running on the SoundStage Direct site in time for the crucial Black Friday kick-off to the holiday shopping season.

“Right away, we could see that search results were much more closely related to keyword terms,” Frank said. “And because Learning Search learns from the way our customers search for LPs and applies that information to future searches, results become even more relevant over time. We also now offer search suggestions, which help customers find LPs from similar musicians – which can motivate them to buy more.”

In addition to Learning Search, SoundStage Direct is using SLI’s Rich Auto Complete feature, which provides keyword suggestions and product images as soon as site visitors begin typing a search term in the search box. Visitors who click on Rich Auto Complete suggestions are nearly twice as likely to convert than visitors who use the search box. The company will also soon use SLI Mobile to power the site search on its mobile commerce site and address the needs of its growing audience of mobile shoppers.

As SoundStage Direct’s search experience has become more robust, more shoppers are using site search, Frank said. “Instead of browsing on a category page, like jazz or hip hop, shoppers are going directly to the site search box,” Frank said. “That’s good news for our business, because we’ve found that customers who use search will spend more and buy more than people who don’t use search.”

“For online retailers with large product catalogues, site search offers a way to increase customer engagement, and guide customers to relevant product choices while helping them narrow down the options,” said Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems. “And tools like Rich Auto Complete and related search suggestions also lead customers to the products and content they need, encouraging them to browse and buy.”

SLI Systems’ full-service, customized site search, navigation and merchandising offerings helps businesses like SoundStage Direct meet customer expectations for relevant results and information, and also 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 site search, navigation, merchandising, and user-generated SEO, and is the top SaaS-based site search provider to IR500 retailers. Unlike traditional search software, SLI Systems’ patented technology continuously “learns” from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. This learning-based search and navigation technology empowers retailers and content sites to enhance customer satisfaction by helping site visitors find the products and information they seek as quickly and efficiently as possible, increasing site conversions and average order value. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in San Jose, CA; London; New York, NY; Melbourne, Australia; and Christchurch, New Zealand.

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