Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Dale Edman, Vice President of E-Commerce and Online Marketing for The Wasserstrom Company, a supplier and distributor of restaurant and food service supplies based in Columbus, Ohio. See what other organizations that use Google Search Appliance have to say.
When our customers in the restaurant and foodservice industries visit our website, they don’t have time for leisurely browsing – they know what they need and they want to find it fast. The same goes for consumers who don’t want to waste time hunting for that perfect cast-iron skillet or chef’s knife from among our 100,000 products. Search results on our website used to take as long as 10 seconds to show up, which was frustrating for shoppers and would drive them away. We needed to bring speed to our search, as well as more user-friendly ways to promote our products in our search tools without calling in IT help. We knew we had to go Google. It made sense to choose the people who know search the best.
One of the things slowing searches down was the way our IBM search product managed our customized catalogues, which is how our business customers shop for their own hand-picked products. Even if a catalogue contained only a couple of hundred products, every search request looked for matches within the entire product database – an unnecessary process that created delays.
For both the business and consumer sides of the business, we chose the Google Search Appliance (GSA), an improved search product targeted at online retailers like us. We also used the Searchandiser, a third party tool powered by the GSA, that gave us more control over how we promote products in search pages – for example, we can add synonyms and refinements that help customers search more accurately.
Search speed improved for businesses and consumers, with results delivered in .003 seconds instead of 10 seconds. The GSA searches only the products within a business customer’s catalogue, which means results turn around faster. In the near future, we’ll use GSA to add even more custom touches to business customers’ catalogues – like detailed descriptions of products, and special search landing pages built around brands or product types. With the GSA, our customers find what they need faster, which means less time spent searching and more time for making their kitchens run smoothly.