Jay Myers of BestBuy recently wrote, “Shortly before Black Friday, one of my colleagues approached me with a curious question. ‘Mr. SVP XYZ was talking today about us creating a promo page of ‘stocking stuffers’. Do you think you could produce a list of products that might be ‘stocking stuffers’?’. After some discussion, we agreed that these products would be under $20 and be 5”x5” or smaller to qualify as a stocking stuffer. In a couple hours time we had a SPARQL generated list of 190 products (thank you @bsletten) on a promo page for anyone who searched for the ‘stocking stuffers’ phrase. A classic last minute, rogue (skunkworks?) effort.” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘BestBuy’
A new resource has been announced on Best Buy’s BBYOpen blog: Metis Alpha. Like Best Buy’s earlier forays into Semantic Web use, this one started with a business problem. As the announcement states: “These days, consumers have a rich variety of products available at their fingertips. A massive product landscape has evolved, but sadly products in this enormous and rich landscape often get flattened to just a price tag. Over time, it seems the product value proposition, variety, descriptions, specifics, and details that make up products have all but disappeared. This presents consumers with a ‘paradox of choice’ where misinformed decisions can lead to poor product selections, and ultimately product returns and customer remorse.”
Are you wondering why your product pages don’t stand out in search results like those from Amazon (shown below) or other competing e-commerce websites? These expanded results are commonly known as Rich Snippets (as named by Google) and are the result of having your HTML structured correctly with semantic markup. Whether you’re savvy to HTML5 and the latest design trends, or you haven’t updated your website code in years, this is article will explain why it’s important you structure your data properly utilizing semantic standards.
There are a number of ways to structure your data to make it more relevant to search engines, as well as social media sites. As an e-commerce retailer it is important to understand which of these standards you should consider including in your website. You should take some time to ensure you are implementing semantic markup, and doing it correctly. It has the power to better inform potential customers with upfront knowledge prior to landing on your site. Customers can see product reviews, pricing and stock information, and even images before clicking through to your website. This can lead to increased click-through rates, improve conversions, and generally enhance your SEO objectives.
In 2005, I started learning about the so-called Semantic Web. It wasn’t till 2008, the same year I started my PhD, that I finally understood what the Semantic Web was really about. At the time, I made a $1000 bet with 3 college buddies that the Semantic Web would be mainstream by the time I finished my PhD. I know I’m going to win! In this post, I will argue why.
Jay Myers, Lead Web Development Engineer at BestBuy, has moved the proverbial ball forward yet again by creating an implementation of the schema.org vocabulary in BestBuy’s Black Friday web pages.
First, a bit of history…
Myers began incorporating structured data into BestBuy web pages in 2009. Starting initially with basic store information (hours of operation, location, contact information), Myers soon expanded the project to include product pages, music data, and the 600,000+ item product catalog. This work quickly became a widely cited use-case for semantic markup. In particular, it brought a lot of attention to the RDFa syntax and the GoodRelations vocabulary. The effort resulted in improved page rankings, richer display of BestBuy search listings in browsers, and — after putting user-friendly tools in the hands of store managers — enabled Myers to tackle the retail problem of Open Box returns.
The upcoming Semantic Technology Conference this June in San Francisco will feature a number of case studies that highlight real-world semantic technology applications. Here are just a few (Click session titles to view details):
Details on how the BBC sport site currently uses embedded Linked Data identifiers, ontologies and associated inference plus RDF semantics to improve navigation, content re-use, re-purposing, and search engine rankings.
How a team of developers using semantic technology and an expressive business language made a significant breakthrough to help business users create, extend and alter high level business concepts and create natural language rules. We recently had a webcast with Craig Hanson from Amdocs, the speaker on this session. Read more
The semantic web is extending its reach into more and more businesses with tremendous effect. Ebags.com, for example saw a 33% rise in holiday sales in 2010 over its 2009 holiday sales. The company’s co-founder credits much of that increase to their new semantic retail platform powered by Endeca Technologies.
The new Ebags.com platform analyzes “shoppers’ keyword choices and clicks, and then winnows down results from categories to subcategories and microcategories. The end result? ‘Guiding the shopper to the perfect bag very quickly,’ Cobb says.”
Martin Hepp, of Hepp Research, GmbH, announced today that Google now recommends using the GoodRelations vocabulary for product and price information in Web pages. This is significant news for broader adoption of the Semantic Web and Linked Data.
Why is this significant? Read more