QVC UK, the British arm of the multinational corporation specialising in television shopping, first approached FACT-Finder in 2005 after deciding that its current online search and navigation system was inflexible and difficult to maintain. The company was looking for a solution that could be implemented quickly, and that fitted all the criteria it required such as maintainability, scalability and flexibility.
The QVC website by its very nature, is one that requires a great deal of navigation and filtering: there are over 15,000 products on the UK site in very different categories that need to be sorted through every time there’s a query.
The core of FACT-Finder is built around its FACT “similarity technology”, which compares two items and returns a measure of similarity from 0% to 100%. The language from which the terms come is irrelevant, as is whether they are artificial or technical terms. In addition, it takes advantage of a special system of comparison developed by Omikron (its parent company based in Germany), which is used whenever two character sequences are different, but still pronounced similarly.
The implementation process proved to be simple and quick. Gina Deeble, director of interactive commerce at QVC commented, “It is a very easy tool to manage, very intuitive, from the beginning the results were extremely impressive.”
Deeble said of the results, “FACT-Finder has always been a very responsive supplier, their turn around times are very quick and don’t require a great deal of IT time on our side, which is a great benefit. As a company we see a huge amount of traffic going through the search function on our site, most retailers see 5-10% whereas at QVC in excess of 20% of traffic goes through the search box – it’s a core part of the customer journey on the QVC site.”
The tool has since been developed so that conversion is 30% more productive than via site navigation. Customers have reported feeling at ease with the technology and find the tool so useful that 24% of all site visits involve a search.
Last year QVC UK also launched the mobile version of FACT-Finder’s search tool on it’s iPhone app.
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