Dymocks entices bookworms with refined search

Dymocks has revamped its Web site with the inclusion of an advanced search engine from Endeca

Dymocks has launched a new Web site with advanced online search and ordering capabilities in an effort to curb the exodus of Australian consumers purchasing books off-shore.

The new Web site, which has been live for a week, allows users to browse Dymocks's 240,000 plus book database through an advanced search engine powered by Endeca.

Dymocks is the first retailer in Australia to feature the search engine which also powers more than 100 leading multi-channel retailers in Europe and North America, including Barnes & Noble, The Home Depot, Tesco and Wal-Mart, said Dymocks CEO, Don Grover.

The Endeca engine bolts on top of the site's .NET foundation and interrogates Dymocks's book repository through Microsoft SQL Server.

"Prior to the Web site overhaul, our book search engine was cumbersome and relied on very specific entries to achieve results," Grover said. "The new Endeca search engine allows users to refine long lists of results by specific criteria most relevant to them or explore related areas of interest."

For example, while Dymocks old site would have returned 388 results for a search on "cooking", the new site returns a over 3000, across 65 categories, within seconds, he said.

Aside from the increased intuitiveness of the search engine, the new site offers quicker delivery times of goods and consolidates the retailer's multi-channel sales in one e-shop location. Grover said the online capabilities complement Dymocks's physical store presence which serves as a hands-on destination for customers.

"We wanted a best of breed Web site because this is going to be a very important selling tool for us over the next five years," he said. "We are very well positioned to ride the evolution of Internet selling and Internet delivering of books."

Grover is hoping the new-look Web site and e-commerce additions will attract Australian customers back to Australian retailers.

"For a number of years, book stores have sat back and let Amazon take advantage in our space, but now it's time to change that," he said. "Our new site puts us in a very competitive position with Amazon. Our functionality is comparable and hopefully Australians will feel more compelled to shop with an Australian brand and an Australian Web site."

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