WebSideStory launches Active Browsing

October 5, 2006

WebSideStory announced the industry’s firstCommercially available Ajax-enabled site search solution. This capability, Called Active Browsing, is an extended service of WebSideStory Search and enables any e-commerce site to integrate one of Web 2.0’s enabling technologies, Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), into their product search results. The result is greatly enhanced speed and interactivity, and an improved customer shopping experience in which shoppers are able to engage in “clickless browsing” the ability to preview additional product facets and “more like this” categories just by rolling their mouse over specific search results.

Last year, The Gap received industry wide attention for spending a reported US$10 million to deliver this same type of “quick look”product functionality to its web site as part of a major Ajax-enabled redesign. Active Browsing is available from WebSideStory at a fraction of this cost and can deliver value for any online business model. Active Browsing is currently live on Jockey.com. “When you make online shopping faster, easier, you create a morepersuasive experience, that leads to better conversions and more loyalcustomers,” said Bryan Eisenberg, the co-founder of Future Now, Inc., a NewYork City marketing firm, and the author of two New York Times best-sellingbusiness books, Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? “ActiveBrowsing is demonstrably better than virtually every e-tailer’s currentoffering.”

Active Browsing works by transforming site search into a highlyinteractive application that accesses server data optimally, and allows foruser interface innovations such as “bubbles” that overlay the page to providemore information and navigation choices. This enables visitors to speedthrough product search results and related facets — color, size, gender,etc. — without having to reload the page every time. Active Browsing lays the foundation for additional product capabilities that will take sitesearch to whole new levels of interactivity, including more intuitiveinteraction conventions and user interfaces. Advanced Ajax implementations attravel sites like Kayak.com are credited with having positive impacts on bothuser experience and market share. Hitwise, an online competitive service,recently reported that Kayak.com’s market share has surged in the last sixmonths — an increase that one travel industry analyst attributed to the useof Ajax. Google Maps is another popular example of Ajax in action.”Active Browsing is incredible,” said Susan Aldrich, a senior vicepresident at Patricia Seybold Group and one of the top site search analystsin the industry. “With many e-commerce sites, I almost get motion sicknesshaving to click back and forth between different products and facets. Notwith Active Browsing. It enables you to get key merchandising informationwhile staying focused and engaged on the product. I think it’s fair to saythat a majority of shoppers will be clamoring for this type of experiencewithin the next year. With Active Browsing, WebSideStory adds yet anothervaluable innovation to its solutions.”

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