WebSideStory Launches Ajax-Enabled Site Search Solution

NEW YORK–The industry’s first commercially-available AJAX-enabled site search solution will be available Oct. 5 from WebSideStory Inc., the digital marketing and analytics solution provider.

The solution, called Active Browsing, is an extended service of WebSideStory Search, and enables e-commerce sites to integrate Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), a Web development technique for creating interactive Web applications into its 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-or the ability to preview additional product facets and “more like this” categories by rolling their mouse over specific search results.

“AJAX leads to a greater number of conversions because it enables people to find what they are looking for faster,” said Steve Kusmer, senior vice president and general manager of search and content solutions for San Diego-based WebSideStory.

Mr. Kusmer spoke about the technology at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel here at Active!Insights Fall 06, WebSideStory’s user forum.

Active Browsing allows “bubbles” to overlay on the Web page on which a user is searching that provide more information and navigation choices. This enables visitors to speed through product search results and related facets-such as color, size, gender, etc.-without having to reload the page every time.

Mr. Kusmer said Active Browsing is similar to a technology used by apparel retailer Gap last year to deliver the same type of “quick look” product functionality to its Web site as part of a major AJAX-enabled redesign. While it cost the gap $10 million, WebSideStory said Active Browsing is a fraction of the cost.

Active Browsing is currently being deployed on Jockey.com (www.jockey.com) and the sites of several other WebSidestory Search customers, Mr. Kusmer said.

In April, WebSideStory launched WebSideStory Search 4.0 with Active Ranking, a solution that drives site search results based on Web analytics data. Active Browsing continues on that track, allowing site owners to track applications such as AJAX, RSS feeds and streaming video, with Web analytics.

“Active Browsing is truly the next generation of site search,” said Mr. Kusmer. “You are moving from a very static, very click-heavy search experience to a highly interactive one.”

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