By emphasizing product expertise to first-time and repeat buyers, eCommerce Outdoors’ TackleDirect.com competes against mass merchandisers like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, as well as more than 6,000 brick and mortar fishing gear retailers in the USA. According to company co-founder and marketing chief Patrick Gill, the fast growing Yahoo! Stores retailer targets “mid-market guys with a 30 ft. boat who want quality gear.”
While phone sales have historically driven upwards of 20% of TackleDirect.com’s revenue, customers’ growing familiarity with online browsing and buying have made self-service shopping increasingly important. Shoppers either quickly find what they’re looking or go elsewhere. Dedicated site search technology has been one of the ways the site has been able to deliver relevant product information at the right time to shoppers.
Gill’s site search experience dates to an early experience with Yahoo!’s own site search product and something similar that one of his Yahoo! Stores developers developed. Finding their functionality and reporting options both limited, he migrated in 2006 to a big name vendor with more sophisticated technology and higher pricing. Although the new technology proved effective and site search revenue grew, customer service problems and the unexplained tripling of his monthly fees in late-2007 left him pursuing alternatives.
His Yahoo! Stores account manager recommended he look at Nextopia Software and its eCommerce Search application.