Sports equipment retailer MonkeySports tames search jungle

A team sports equipment retailer ensures that products appear when and where they are supposed to appear in search results.

Founded in 1999, Allen, Texas-based MonkeySports started out as a small hockey store in California. After having first launched into e-commerce with a site dedicated to hockey equipment, the company now has several sites specializing in baseball, lacrosse and team sports; as well as a number of big box stores across North America.

The majority of products sold by MonkeySports are “durable goods” – the actual equipment used to participate in specific sports. The retailer started having issues with their online search feature when they migrated their e-commerce platform from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Specifically, the retailer was having issues getting their feed specifications and getting the product data where it was usable for research. These data problems were exacerbated by the response times of offshore technical support for its previous online research solution. MonkeySports developed workarounds in order to get live search results, but discovered front-end design issues as a result.

Following recommendations from other ecommerce retailers, MonkeySports decided to implement Searchspring to address their research and data challenges. During the four to six week implementation process, Searchspring created a Slack channel to enable real-time communication throughout its solution integration.

Previous design and control issues were also addressed as part of the integration. Searchspring is able to replicate the layout of MonkeySports categories and calculate where and when to avoid showing comparison prices. The retailer can now more closely align badges on their category pages.

In the first full month after Searchspring integration, an average of 8% of buyers on MonkeySports’ dedicated sites for hockey, baseball, goalie gear and lacrosse used search. During this period, 22% of orders were attributed to research, as was 23% of revenue.

With the Searchspring dashboard, MonkeySports can see exactly why different products are triggered to show up in search results and add merchandising rules to improve certain products, categories or brands as needed. While MonkeySports is currently focused on search, the retailer plans to leverage other Searchspring tools in its future campaigns, including landing page creation.

“We regularly got questions from our customer service team, asking why the products were showing in the wrong place or not showing at all. Since moving to Searchspring, I haven’t heard of this guy. complaints from customers, ”said Ki Song, director of e-commerce development, Searchspring.

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