Norsk Standard provides a wide range of standards to public authorities, companies and organisations and has invested heavily in online sales in recent years through its subsidiary Standard Online AS. Comperio’s search engine solution is the core of Standard Online’s internet store and has made an annual sales growth of 25% possible. It has big ambitions for the future.
What if your bank card didn’t work in all ATMs? Or what if you bought a TV that didn’t operate on 230 volts? Standards surround us on all sides – often without our giving them a second thought.
Norwegian standards are primarily defined by Standard Norge, an organisation with roots dating back to 1923. The organisation supplies all types of standards, and an increasing number of sales are carried out via Norsk Standard’s web pages.
“We supply standards worth NOK 55 million a year, and our strategic growth target is for 25 percent of sales to be undertaken via the online store in 2013. The search engine on the website is extremely important in order for us to reach this strategic business objective. We are already well on our way,” says Standard Online’s IT manager Tomm Knudsen.
The search engine solution is built on the FAST platform and supplied by Comperio.
“We have had an online store for many years. We started by developing the search engine solution ourselves but found that we were wasting resources on making something that was not going to be as good as if we had bought the finished technology. We contacted FAST and were advised to get in touch with Comperio, which we did. In the autumn of 2005 they began to set up the first version of the online store search engine solution. Comperio’s solution worked fantastically well,” says Knudsen.
The search engine solution is of great commercial significance to Standard Online and has been subject to ongoing development throughout.
“Some of the functions Comperio has provided include cross-referencing between relevant materials, a terminology and synonym dictionary with more than 35,000 technical terms and search suggestions where the search technology finds words in documents so that we do not need to tag metadata. Users are also able to search within the actual eBooks we offer,” says Knudsen.
Extensive service provision
In addition to the technical architecture and the search engine solution, Comperio has also provided FAST licenses, initial implementation, further development and consultation within technology, user interaction and design, as well as administrative services. Comperio has also supplied the Comperio Front framework.
“Comperio Front makes the user experience more engaging and allows users to learn from each other when selecting products and additional products. In purely technical terms, it saves us a lot of logical work in the front interface. In commercial terms, Comperio Front gives us increased sales and an improved bottom line,” says Knudsen. “Our online stores have points of contact with our business partners, and many of them also use FAST. In this way we can search the documents and products they make available,” he explains, adding that he appreciates the fact that the search system does not suffer downtime when installing upgrades to FAST.
Knudsen has been a die-hard fan of the search system since the solution was launched in 2005.
“Cross-referencing between mutually relevant content is a major benefit for users of the online store. The search system does not merely find what the user knows to exist, but also topics related to those being searched for. A function will also soon be added to show what others have bought in addition to the product you are searching for.” Many people will be familiar with such cross-referencing to other related information from Amazon.com, but few companies have such functionality on their websites and online stores. “We are one of the first,” he says. “It is extremely important for the online store that we use FAST and have a supplier like Comperio. Comperio’s employees are highly competent and skilled. They also actively contribute with suggestions and advice throughout the process so that we can ensure that we get the best solutions, which is something we really appreciate,” he concludes.