Search, Sew and Sail
I had no idea there were so many items sailboat owners might need to maximize their sailing experience and keep their investment ship-shape (I guess I’d better get prepared for the day I’m living my dream on my 30-footer!).
I recently learned about our customer Sailrite — a second-generation business originally focused on sail-making — that now sells a full range of sailing products from foul weather gear, to sail repair, to rigging. Sailrite still specializes in products for the do-it-yourself racer types, boat builders and sailors “owning good old boats”, and now even has its own line of high-end sewing machines.
Today Sailrite’s eCommerce site accounts for nearly 50% of sales. With such a huge portion of revenue coming through their online channel, Sailrite knows it’s critical that the site easily connects shoppers with the right products. Given they offer over 900 different fabric choices and thousands of other products — plus how-to content and video resources — it’s pretty essential that they give shoppers the right tools to search and easily refine their selections.
Sailrite has obviously given a lot of thought to the unique ways their shoppers are likely to want to narrow their choices. For example, when I search on “sail repair” I get some very useful refinement options: ‘color’ (helpful when narrowing the repair tape choices I see at the top of my results); ‘type’ (offers me choices around different types of needles I might need); ‘material’ (which kind of material do I need to repair my sail?); and so on. Or if the shopper really doesn’t have a clue what to buy for his repair, he could consider a book or video purchase related to sail repair, or click on a related content link.
Matt Grant, Sailrite’s VP, says that if they show their customers the right product in as few clicks as possible, it usually results in a purchase. In fact, improving the ability to do this on Sailrite.com has helped fuel some pretty dramatic online growth.
I encourage you to download our Sailrite case study, and be sure to stay tuned for upcoming stories on how retailers with unique merchandising challenges are using site search and active navigation to connect shoppers with the right products.