You Call That a Site Search?

A friend works for Levi Strauss, so I always ask for her opinion when buying jeans. I was looking for skinny jeans; she recommended a pair of 503 jeans. So I went to Levi.com, typed “503” and got nothing. I tried “levis 503” and got nothing. I typed “skinny jeans” and finally got some results, but nothing for 503 jeans.

So I went to Amazon.com and typed “levis 503” and got a hit for 503 jeans, as well as other jeans. It turns out that 503 jeans are no longer being sold directly by Levis, but a few are still available from Amazon.

The Levis site search missed an opportunity to:

  • tell me that 503 jeans are no longer being made
  • suggest similar jeans or jeans that succeeded 503 in the product line

Contrast the site search on Levi.com to that on CarnegieEndowment.org. Type “Iran” and you get:

  • the Endowment’s experts on Iran as the first two results; this makes sense since the organization’s main resource is its experts
  • the Iran landing page next; this is terrific because nearly all information related to Iran is linked from this page
  • individual articles related to Iran next

Now that’s what I call a site search.

6 thoughts on “You Call That a Site Search?

  1. Joanna,
    I’m really impressed! All I can say is that you are an inspiration to me. I need to get off my duff and initiate regular thought leadership for my employees and for my customers/potential customers!

    Thank you for your wake-up call!

  2. I just posted a comment on your blog. I could not agree more with your comments.

    I ordered a pair of pants from Nordstrom last year. I love them and want another pair, but now I can’t find the pants. Heck, I can’t even access my order history to click back to the original product. All I can access is my last transaction, which is not useful to me in this case.

    What if I were able to go back to my original order, and reorder? And if the product wasn’t available, how about suggesting another pair? Given that women’s clothing changes every season, this only seems reasonable to me.

    Is that too much to ask? I want to buy another pair of skinny black pants!!!! Nordstrom, my favorite department store, are you listening?!

  3. i experienced the same problem locating a pair of skinny 503 jeans. i contacted levis.com who responded to my e-mail by sending me back to their home page. lack of communication on their part; alot of frustration for me.

  4. Oh god, Levis totally missed an opportunity to direct you to the model that succeeded the 503 jeans! Which is exactly my point. Site searches should not just tell you about content that exists on the site, they should direct you to related content or next generation content when the original content is no longer available. In this instance, how cool would it have been if the Levis site said something like, “503 jeans are no longer being made, but we think you’d like the 50x jeans.” You’d be all over it.

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