Chemist Direct conversion rates soar following deployment of SLI Systems’ search technology

Chemist Direct, the UK’s leading online pure play healthcare and pharmacy store, has reported customers who use its search box are the most valuable thanks to SLI Systems, the company that helps online retailers increase sales by connecting shoppers with the products they’re most likely to buy. Search customers on the site are reported to generate 43% of the total value of the site with a 175% higher conversion rate than those who don’t use search.

Re-launching its site in January 2014, Chemist Direct said it wanted to put the right products in front of the right customers as quickly as possible. With a broad ranging 20,000 strong product catalogue, customers often took a while to find what they were looking for, so the business took a new strategic approach to its online search function.

To aid its ambitious growth plans and optimise the website, the company enlisted SLI Systems, a worldwide e-commerce acceleration provider for mid- to large-size e-commerce vendors and internet retailers worldwide. Chemist Direct said it saw an immediate sales impact with conversion rates improving dramatically, by 175%, and search customers’ average order values increasing by 196%.

Chemist Direct deployed SLI Systems’ search box offerings, Learning Search and Rich Auto Complete. SLI Learning Search is described as an advanced site search solution, based on patented technology that learns from visitors’ site search activity and click throughs to deliver the most relevant results. The technology also brings clients’ non-product information, such as user ratings, reviews, social content, blogs and videos, into search to deliver an impressive user experience that compels shoppers to buy. SLI’s Rich Auto Complete speeds the shoppers’ path to the right product by automatically presenting relevant products, images and other information as soon as visitors start typing letters into the search box.

By making search more of a feature in its redesign, customers on the Chemist Direct site, that use search, now have a bounce rate that is one tenth lower than those that don’t use search, the company reports. Customers using search find the products they want quicker, and thus they remain on the site to purchase desired products.

Chemist Direct chief information, Stephen Lovell, said: “With an online catalogue of over 20,000 products and processing between 70,000 and 80,000 transactions each month, putting the right products in front of customers as quickly as possible is critical. The only way to do it well is using intelligent search.

“SLI’s SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution allows us to integrate quickly. And, the smart analytics behind the system help us to control merchandising, understand what customers are seeking and see results from products we launch straightaway – all key to our growth strategy.”

Since launching in 2007, Chemist Direct has established itself as the U.K’s leading online pure play pharmacy business.  It offers an online catalogue from prescription medicines to fragrance, toilets and pet food. Shipping between 60,000 to 70,000 orders per month, Chemist Direct will continue its relationship with SLI in order to take its new site to the next level of customer relevance and experience.

Marcus Law, head of marketing EMEA at SLI Systems, said: “Search is undoubtedly a key factor in the success of any e-commerce website. Not only does it enhance the experience for customers, the sales and conversion figures continue to demonstrate the commercial benefits of enhanced search capabilities.

“We’re looking forward to the next phase of activity with Chemist Direct and reporting further successes.”