October 30, 2017

eci increases revenue substantially with A.I. for Search

How do you make sure that you find the best results from a 730,000-product catalogue? This is the main question with which eci was struggling. They had reached the limits of manually tuning the onsite search engine, it was time for a more intelligent solution. eci has chosen 904Labs for its latest A.I. search technology, and its easy integration with their Intershop site. 904Labs' new search solutions increase revenue by more than 30% and improved conversion rate by 34%!

eci is one of the largest book specialists in the Netherlands and Belgium with a multimedia catalogue of over 730,000 products, ranging from CDs, DVDs, and games to (e-)books. The Dutch branch of eci has an estimated yearly revenue of 15m euro[1] and this makes them one of the largest e-shops in the country. The e-shop is built on Intershop and uses Apache Solr to provide search results.

Search struggle

As many other e-shops do, eci was struggling with the question how to further optimize the onsite search engine. They had already applied manual tweaks and boosts, like promoting bestselling items and adjusting field weights (like title and author). However, they had reached the limits to what one can do manually: optimizing a search engine manually is time consuming and it is difficult to measure the impact of small changes. Time had come to make search smart.

A.I. to the rescue

eci has implemented 904Labs A.I. for Search on top of the existing Apache Solr product index. A unique feature of 904Labs A.I. for Search is that data stays at the customer's side: There is no need to replace the product index, one only needs a connection between the webapp, search engine, and 904Labs' APIs. This also reduces implementation time and effort significantly.

eci has implemented 904Rank, in which the new 904Sense module plays an important role. 904Rank optimizes search results in real time by learning from visitors of eci's e-shop. With all of the visitors' interactions with the search results a signal is sent to 904Rank. This allows the system to automatically show those results that are relevant and that are most likely to convert. Besides that, 904Sense learns to recognize product attributes that matter for specific search queries and it matches those to the right products. It's like semantic search, but then smarter.

Putting it to the test

During a one-month free trial period, eci ran an A/B test comparing the current, manually-optimized Apache Solr to 904Labs' A.I. for Search. We've measured several KPIs during the three-weeks A/B test using Google Analytics. The most important KPIs are revenue per visitor and per session, and of course conversion rate.


During the A/B test, eci observed a 34% improvement in conversion rate. That is by itself a magnificent result, but also revenue per session (+38%) and revenue per visitor (+41%) went up substantially compared to the existing search engine. eci decided to go 100% live with A.I. for Search straight after the A/B test results came in on their Dutch website, and they are working on rolling out to Belgium too. Next steps include implementing 904Suggest and 904Browse.

You can benefit too!

Are you also looking for a revenue increase through your search engine? Get in touch with us to schedule a meeting. We love to tell you more about A.I. for Search, and how it can benefit your particular case and e-shop. And remember, you can try our products for free for one month, no strings attached!

free trail


[1] Twinkle100, 2017.