SLI: The Prescription for a Better Search. Chemist Direct

Chemist Direct is the UK’s leading pure play healthcare and pharmacy store.  Originally founded in 2008, the online pharmacy is home to more than 20,000 products. Customers can order prescriptions, purchase vitamins and cosmetics or even shop for gifts. In January 2014, the company rebranded and re-launched its website with the goal of optimising usability through innovative search.

Its previous site was falling short of expectations and not achieving the desired conversion rates from on-site search customers. The search product Chemist Direct had in place was not providing relevant results. Online shoppers were finding the pharmacy’s website but not the products they wanted to buy. Chemist Direct needed a search solution that would put the right products in front of the right customers as quickly as possible.

As Stephen Lovell, Chief Information office, Chemist Direct says, “With an online catalogue of over 20,000 products and nearly 80,000 transactions processed each month, putting the most relevant products in front of customers as quickly as possible is a constant challenge. Intelligent search is key.”

Case Study

A proven approach was the key to improving its online search function. Chemist Direct focused on finding a tailored off-the-shelf solution. After researching the market, the online pharmacy enlisted search specialist SLI Systems as a strategic partner to  meet its ambitious growth plans.

Search Solution with Built-in Consultancy

Through an in-depth audit, SLI Systems assessed the underlying issues causing poor conversion rates on the Chemist Direct website. SLI Learning Search™ and SLI Rich Auto Complete™ were prescribed to cure the ailing site.

With Learning Search™, Chemist Direct customers can now find the products they seek. The patented technology learns from visitors’ site search activity and clickthroughs to deliver the most relevant results. Chemist Direct worked closely with SLI customer success managers for a speedy implementation.

To enhance the user experience, Rich Auto Complete™ was also integrated into the website. This tailored technology continues to improve the search function of the website by allowing customers to see results while typing in the search box.

Improving Conversions and Customer Experience

Chemist Direct saw an immediate and dramatic impact on sales with conversion rates soaring by 175 per cent for customers using site search. The online pharmacy also saw search customers’ average order value rise to 196 per cent more than a non-search customer. The website now attributes 43 per cent  — nearly half — of its site revenue to search customers.

By showcasing search in its redesign, search customers on the Chemist Direct site now have a ten times lower bounce rate.

Instead of abandoning the site without making a purchase, customers are finding the products they want to buy. Building on the best-practice suggestions SLI provides, Chemist Direct continues to maximise the advanced site search technology.