Archive for July, 2012


If you have an online transactional retail site, optimising sales will be one of your main priorities. You may be aware of the importance of online merchandising, or it could be an entirely new concept to you. Either way, keep reading to find out what one of the leading technological companies, Locayta, have in store to help you unlock the possibilities alongside some of their existing clients including boohoo.com, Tesco and Superdry.com.

Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® – What is it?

Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® is an online visual merchandising and site search solution, designed to allow you to take total control over your online sales performance. Driven by a real-time, highly configurable, advanced and unique platform, Freestyle Merchandising® is uniquely architected with complete online merchandising functionality all on one single platform.

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What’s on offer?

Behavioural Merchandising: This technology generates real-time customised product recommendations to your customers based intelligently on their online user behaviour. This is based on your customer’s actions, or a collective intelligence approach based on other past and present user behaviour. Employed by numerous clients including boohoo.com, this technology boosts your average order values and conversion rates.

Metrics Driven Merchandising: The aforementioned product recommendations are based on customised metrics to meet your objectives. This can be stock levels, most popular, newest product to name a few. The main advantage of this is that it puts you in control over your customer experience and increases your business management control and visibility.

Search and Search Driven Merchandising: This feature personalises your product page search results navigation to match the customers search query. Search is guided by filters that optimise search results, including product attribute data, page templates and similar product offers. This technology has proven results in increasing conversion rates.

Visual Merchandising: This organises the appearance of your online store; including driving the display of visual elements on your site, presenting banner ads based on a category search or it can be enhanced with metric drivers (see above), presenting the appropriate products based on search and pre-determined priorities chosen by you. For key clients including Superdry.com, this technology increases your average order values and conversion rates.

Personalisation and customisation : Using a collective intelligence approach, the system recognises your customer and personalises recommendations even further, including customised email recommendations to best target your online customers.

What now?

The above elements make up the full Locayta Merchandising solution and enables you to ‘build’ your solution to your needs. With an easy to implementing procedure and a flexible pricing model, Freestyle Merchandising is accessible to eCommerce businesses of all sizes and budgets. Want to find out more? To see it in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

 

 

Two days ago we came across this blog summarising the benefits of site search for conversions and 13 best practice tips to get it right. You might be forgiven for thinking that with eCommerce as massive as it now is our industry has site search all sewn up. Not so, according to EConsultancy blog Editor Graham Charlton who correctly recognises the benefits of getting your site search right. As well as the obvious wins (more conversions, higher sales) he also points out that effective search can improve customer retention, loyalty and brand presence.

Yet in the same blog he identifies some key branded sites whose search functionality isn’t up to the job. “If they can’t get it right I don’t stand a chance” is probably what you’re thinking. But in fact achieving smooth, productive searches every time for every customer isn’t as difficult – or as expensive – as you might think. A lot depends on understanding your technology choices and how they’re equipped to address different search scenarios. But if you don’t have time to do that – or if your world isn’t set on fire by tech-speak, here’s our simple guide to value adding search tools that can leverage better results.

Eliminate typos: the enemy of the effective search

 

Our research has shown that up to 50% of searches feature spelling or typing mistakes. If your search software isn’t capable of dealing with them you’re in a dangerous situation. You risk your customers giving up and looking elsewhere. These days users expect a level of search sophistication that means traditional dictionary software will leave you well behind the game. Why? Because of its limitations.

Dictionary software depends on its own database – which has to be maintained and kept up to date – and also works on the principle that mis-spellings only occur at the beginning of a word. Throw in a typo later on and the logic can’t cope. So we’ve developed Locayta Spell Correction, clever technology that can break words down, spin them round, and analyse and predict every mis-spelling eventuality that could conceivably occur. The result? Happy searching, which equals happy customers and more profit for you.

Drive more traffic with SEO Page Builder

For almost every ecommerce merchant a front page ranking is the holy grail – and the quest to get there can be fraught with costly errors and wasted time. SEO Page Builder has been developed by Locayta to optimise your online presence even as your users search.

Whenever a customer searches your site SEO Page Builder dynamically creates a new report on the search terms and results and presents them to the search engines for indexing. The clever bit is that your search terms aren’t based on guesswork – they’re based on what your customers are actually looking for and the terms they’re using to find it. That’s why Locayta clients using SEO Page Builder typically significant increases in organic traffic.

Translate your search functions to multi-channel

 

Most of us know the stats – Marketwatch‘s recent report confirms that 55% of shoppers now purchase online with their smartphones. More recently it seems that tablets are accounting for 4 out of 10 mobile searches. You need to be geared up for multi-channel or you’ll quickly frustrate potential customers and start to lag behind.

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Working within the online eCommerce field, staying on top of the game calls for openness to new technological developments and the consistent ability to update and innovate in the space. Unfortunately, these now must-do necessities can come with a cost attached, in terms of both money and time. If this sounds like a familiar story to you as an eCommerce vendor, there is a solution. The Software as a Service model from Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® .

If you’re reading this, you may well be familiar with the many advantages of using Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®; increased sales, conversion rates, average order values as well as general revenues to name a few, but what are the practicalities of actual implementation? And is this viable financially?

Why is Software as a Service a good idea?

Locayta deploy their technology as a Software as a Service, which means you can really build a personalised package to suit your individual needs, and in short, both parties benefit from your business’ success. So what are some of the overall benefits of this type of model?

1. A flexible tailored solution that works for YOU: Instead of accepting a generic package, why not get your online merchandising solution to work perfectly just for you? Every business has individual needs, and meeting yours is in the best interests of both yourself and Locayta; finding the way to best optimise your online sales is the ultimate goal and win situation for both parties.

2. Experience speaks volumes: Locayta have been in the retail and publishing space since for over ten years, which means that you can really benefit from their knowledge and experience of best practice within the eCommerce space.

3. Permanently Engaged: The Software as a Service model means that Locayta are permanently engaged in seeking to improve the effectiveness of your site and are looking to challenge the boundaries of what is achievable with their technology. The model means that you have someone whose job it is to get the best out of your site search and online merchandising.

4. Be in the know with on going developments: The Software as a Service model also means that you will benefit from Locayta’s on-going platform development with a team of highly skilled specialists. You can also benefit from learnings and other customer developments within the fast paced industry.

Client Experience

Locayta have many clients, including the likes of boohoo.com, Superdry, Paperchase, Tesco, Prezzybox, The British Museum who currently work on the Software as a Service model. Here are just a few reviews from key clients…

“You can really play with the technology. It’s totally adaptable to our product range and complex merchandising structure. We’re gearing up to tap into the system’s true potential with plans to roll out the full merchandising and search platform in the coming months. It’s an exciting time.”

Fabrice Druelle at The British Museum Company

“Freestyle Merchandising is easy to use and you receive full support. We’ve experienced some staff turnover in the past year and Locayta have been quick to respond to the training needs of new people. They take the time to meet with us once a week to look at potential new advances that will tighten our performance further.”

Mark Wakeley at Tesco Clothing

Want More?

There are many services available from Locayta, including Locayta Product recommendations , Locayta Visual Merchandising and Locayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation which all come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform on a Software as a Service basis. To see them in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

Today brings another article in our “How to…” series. This week we’re looking at online sales. As eCommerce vendors, increasing sales will be your overall aim being a key, instantly profitable and measurable element within your online business. So how do we do it? Read on to find out!

Online Sales

Here at Locayta, there are a number of different packages, software solutions and visual merchandising options that can help increase your online sales. As part of the full Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® service, increasing sales is a key area of speciality. Firstly, what are we talking about here? Increasing your online sales involves a few variables including improving your conversion rates and average order values.

Increasing Online Sales – how?

Let’s look at a few of the options Locayta have on offer when it comes to increasing your online sales…

Locayta Product recommendations: Want to increase the number of products purchased by each customer that arrives at your site? An effective way of bumping up your average order values is with Locayta Product recommendations. This technology generates customer-to-customer personalised product suggestions which are placed strategically alongside other purchase options on screen to your customers. The recommendations are based upon the individual user’s behaviour on site, as well as previous users’ behaviour which makes for highly likely add on purchase suggestions for your consumers.

Locayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation: Helping your customers find what they are looking for easily and efficiently has the power to increase your sales. Locayta’s “Guided Navigation” framework works to do just this; it implements an easy to use drill down menu with relevant refinement allowing your users to drill-down using various options.

Locayta Visual Merchandising: Displaying your products in a visually appealing way encourages more sales. Locayta visual merchandising manipulates the display of products on your site to do just this. Determining the sequencing of products, the technology uses Locayta Balance Factor® to order the products according to set rules. This can be by popularity, profit margin, newness to site, highest rated or stock availability to name a few. This works to increase your average order values and conversion rates.

What they say?

For one of Locayta‘s key clients, Superdry.com the results speak for themselves, “Locayta offered the perfect combination of tools for the job. Our international ecommerce strategy has experienced four figure growth“. Another Locayta client, Prezzybox.com, have seen results beyond expectations, “It’s no exaggeration to say that we saw conversion rates increase overnight when we started using Locayta.”

Want More?

Amongst the many services available from Locayta, Locayta Product recommendations , Locayta Visual Merchandising and Locayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation all come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see them in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

If you’re looking for a quick run-down of the top ten must-know definitions to help you understand how to optimise your eCommerce platform, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re decoding the jargon surrounding online retail merchandising to help you increase sales and revenue gained from your eCommerce site.

1. Online Merchandising: The strategies involved in selling retail goods and services over the Internet ; merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer using a software framework, such as Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®, that enhances effective practice.
Interested? See more here >>

2. Guided Navigation: A framework applied to your web-page, displaying the relevant refinement options  available to the user and allowing them to drill-down using those refinement options within your site. Good for enhanced customer experience and sales.
Interested? See more here >>

3. Rules-based Merchandising: The ability to dynamically promote and adjust product positioning on your online retail site, based upon defined options and rules. Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® includes rules-based merchandising and helps many retailers, including boohoo,com, Tesco and Superdry improve their online success.
Interested? See more here >>

4. Conversion Rate Increase:  The increased percentage of on-site visitors who make an online purchase. The various merchandising options on offer from Locayta, all serve to increase coversion rates including Locayta Product recommendations Locayta Visual MerchandisingLocayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation and Locayta Behavioural Targeting.
Interested? See more here >>

5. Behavioural Merchandising: Behavioural merchandising is the process of using customer behaviour to place, promote and display products in order to maximize retail sales revenue. In an online retail context, examples include using data about where visitors come from, what they search for, what they click on and what they buy; to drive relevant product promotions to each visitor at every point of interaction as possible. This enhances your average order values.
Interested? See more here >>


6. Freestyle Merchandising®:
 Locayta’s merchandising platform frees you from the constraints of your underlying eCommerce system to merchandise products online the same way you would in stores – we call this Freestyle Merchandising.
Interested? See more here >>

7. Search Driven Merchandising: Also known as ‘Searchandising’, Search Driven Merchandising uses what the user has searched for or what has been discovered in the search results, to change the behaviour of the site. This allows for reactive and real-time updates on your site.
Interested? See more here >>

8. Metrics Driven Merchandising : A customised metrics capability to skew product recommendations and search results by rules set by you. For example, you can order the display of products by stock levels, profit margin, newness and popularity to name a few. This means you are really in control of your own sales.
Interested? See more here >>

9. Balance Factor: Balance Factor allows you to control the sequencing of search results and to boost certain products to the top of the search results list based on the metrics that are important to you. The advanced technology allows you to weight certain elements to your own criteria, giving you ultimate control.
Interested? See more here >>

10. Brand Adjacency : Juggling every element of your online merchandising with different service providers can be a task in itself.  Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® is unique in being able to offer everything you need in one place making it the most time effective and economially viable option.Brand adjacency refers to the multi-brand retailer environment where there is often a requirement to manage the deployment of branded products on a retail site – e.g keeping products belonging to one brand together or keeping certain brands apart from each other.
Interested? See more here >>

iPad Search Engine

Many companies are looking to exploit the prevelance of mobile devices by building apps. Locayta has responded to this demand by providing one of the few full-text iPad search engines available for the iOS platform. Locayta Search Mobile is suitable for applications which come pre-loaded with data to be searched without requiring a Wi-Fi connection, or alternatively where the user needs to create data locally on the device that can be search-able on the fly.

The search engine provides full text search using a probabilistic model of document terms, along with clever features to improve search success such as automatic word stemming and spell correction based on what’s in your content rather than a predefined dictionary.

Applications that come bundled with a resource of information may include the pre-built search database along with the application. In this case the search database can be created on a desktop computer and added to the application resources in XCode. Some examples might be: digital magazine; story book app; technical reference manual; subscription-based reports access.

The software library is free to use for development. Thereafter, you will need to acquire a Software Distribution Licence, which is free of charge for non-commercial use or $1,000 one-time charge per published iOS application for commercial use applications.

For more information: http://www.locayta.com/iOS-search-engine/locayta-search-mobile/

As part of our “How to…” blog posts, we’ve been looking at some common key objectives many retailers want to achieve within their eCommerce platform. Previous articles have included, How to…increase your click through rates and How to…build revenue by bringing more traffic to your site, but this week we’ll be looking at Behavioural Merchandising; a key and instantly profitable way of localising your efforts and aims towards the correct customer. So how do we do it? Read on to find out!

Behavioural Merchandising

As part of the full Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® service, Behavioural Merchandising is one of Locayta‘s key areas of epertise and there are a number of different packages, software solutions and merchandising options that can help acheive the objectives you’re looking for.

Firstly, what are we talking about here? Behavioural Merchandising is, the process of using customer behaviour to place, promote and display products in order to maximize retail sales revenue. In online retail, this can be using data about where visitors come from, what they search for, what they click on or what they buy, with the aim of driving relevant product promotions to each visitor at every point of interaction.

Behavioural Merchandising – how?

Let’s look at a few of the options Locayta have on offer when it comes to helping you target the correct consumers…

Locayta’s Behavioural Targeting works by marketing to returning users who have previously abandoned your website without making a purchase. Using uniquely developed algorithms developed in house by Locayta, the technology analyses your users’ previous interactions on your site and makes relevant, tailored and highly personalised recommendations to your returning customers. This can involve sending your users direct to the product description of the page they looked at previously before leaving, to make promotional offers or to cross-sell / up-sell alternative products.

What they say?

Behavioural re-targeting enables you to re-engage effectively with your users; generating higher conversion rates, whilst at the same time lowering acquisition costs. For PrezzyboxLocayta has delivered results beyond expectations…

It’s been a revelation,” says Founder and Managing Director Zak Edwards, “We have total control. We use Locayta’s Balance Factor technology to adjust the weighting of search and category results, meaning that as well as responding to user behaviour we can add our own stock control and promotional strategies into the mix“.

Want More?

Amongst the many services available from LocaytaBehavioural Merchandising comes fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see it in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

Any ecommerce retailer knows just how difficult it can be to stay on top of a constant stream of emerging trends and new technology. But responding accurately to a fast paced market doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might seem.

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As part of our “How to…” series, we’re looking at the key objectives you may want to gain from your eCommerce platform, how to obtain them and the overall benefits. Previous articles included, How to…increase your average order values and How to…build revenue by bringing more traffic to your site, but this week we’ll be looking at Click through rates; a key, instantly profitable, measurable and highly beneficial element most eCommerce vendors will be looking to increase. So how do we do it? Read on to find out!

Click through Rates

As part of the full Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® service, increasing Click through Rates is one of Locayta‘s key areas of epertise and there are a number of different packages, software solutions and visual merchandising options that can help acheive the objectives you’re looking for.

Firstly, what are we talking about here? Click through Rate, commonly known as CTR, is “a way of measuring the success of online placements for a particular website. The clickthrough rate of an placement is defined as the number of clicks on the placement divided by the number of times it is shown (impressions), expressed as a percentage”.

Increasing Click through Rates – how?

Let’s look at a few of the options Locayta have on offer when it comes to increasing your click through rates…

Locayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation provides sites with a “Guided Navigation” framework which displays relevant refinement options allowing your users to drill-down using various options. This ease of usability and effectiveness of site search significantly increases your customers likeliness to click through to product pages, and in turn click through to purchase. Locayta Search connects customers to the right products, quickly and accurately, increasing customer satisfaction and site click- through rates.

Locayta Product recommendations  generate highly relevant and personalised product suggestions alongside other purchase options on screen to your customers. The recommendations are based upon the individual user’s behaviour on site, as well as previous users’ behaviour in real time. The ability to dynamically generate personalised products to your customers, sustains a much increased click through rate and is currently active in the market place with clients such as Tesco and boohoo.com.

Locayta Visual Merchandising works to manipulate the display of products on your site to increase clicks through to product pages and to purchase. Both in search results and on category pages, the technology determines the sequencing of products displayed using the unique Locayta Balance Factor® technology, whether it be by popularity and profit margin, newness to site, highest rated, stock availability or sale velocity, to enhance the number of sales you are making. The ability to sequence your products at different times of the day and according to your own variables has seen sales increase by between 19% – 30% for the likes of Superdry.com and Paperchase.

What they say?

Locayta client, Mark Wakeley, change manager at Tesco Clothing says; “The ability to control product and accessory recommendations makes sure that customers have fast, convenient access to the products they are looking for, ultimately increasing conversion rates and order values. We’re now moving to the full Locayta system”.

Want More?

Amongst the many services available from LocaytaLocayta Product recommendations ,  Locayta Visual Merchandising and Locayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation all come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see them in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

In this day and age, anyone that’s serious about driving their eCommerce business forwards, has to embrace, stick their head into and welcome with open arms new and innovative platforms for their online offering. Although this can be a scary space for many retailers, big or small, it’s best to get on board quickly rather than risk falling behind the curve and have a missed opportunity fall at your feet.

Want to embrace it but don’t know how? Keep reading to see how Locayta is making sure you don’t fall out of step with your competitors when it comes to mobile and tablet developments.

Locayta Search Mobile

The Problem…

Apple’s latest products, especially the iPad / iPhone, are a game-changer for publishers and retailers a like. The devices are built for ease of consumption, accessibility and adaptable use and they are widening the consumer market on all levels. One of the challenges for online business’ is how to support their users in finding the content that they are looking for.

The Solution…

Locayta Search Mobile solves this problem by providing highly accurate and relevant search results, enabling users to find exactly what they’re looking for; the technology is one of the most advanced search engines on the market and is now available for the iOS platform. The unique technology is creating a real buzz in the market and exciting many online business worldwide.

The Techy bit…

Unlike your traditional search, Locayta Search Mobile enables a static library in a Framework bundle so that iPhone & iPad apps can provide fast local full text search. The search engine provides full text search using a probabilistic model of document terms, along with clever features to improve search success such as automatic word stemming and spell correction based on what’s in your content.

Is it for me…?

If you’re developing an app which contains data you’d like your users to be able to search, Locayta Search Mobile is for you. The technology is suitable for applications which can come preloaded with data to be searched, or alternatively where the user needs to create data locally on the device that can be search-able on the go.

The next steps…

Uniquely, the software is free to use for development. Thereafter, you will need to acquire a Software Distribution Licence, which is free of charge for non-commercial use or $1,000 one-time charge per published iOS application for commercial use applications. Find out more about what you are eligable for here.

Amongst the many services available from LocaytaLocayta Search Mobile comes fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see it in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.