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.”

According to the article, “Many business decision-makers remain skeptical that the paybacks of adopting semantic technology will make up for the costs and risks.” Other companies like BestBuy.com see the value of semantic technologies but are currently unable to easily implement them.

The article insists, “Slowly but surely… semantic Web technology is catching on. Business users in industry sectors ranging from e-commerce, e-publishing and healthcare to marketing and financial services are reaping its benefits, even if they don’t always understand how it works and even though hard ROI numbers have been hard to come by.”

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ danielbroche