REVIEWER: Pat Riley, Webmaster, Sandia Marketing.
BACKGROUND: Sandia Marketing sells imprinted advertising specialty items such as coffee mugs, pens, mouse pads and tote bags.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS: PicoSearch is a hosted Web-based application service provider (ASP) solution.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Sandia's Web sites needed a fast and accurate internal search function that had both strong indexing capabilities and could be visually integrated into its Web site for a seamless consumer experience.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: PicoSearch is an easy, effective and secure hosted search tool that adds value and professionalism to an e-commerce Web site. You get your own search engine and the ability to customize the search on your site with PicoSearch.
STRENGTHS: PicoSearch is consistently updating to accommodate the latest hosted search technology and is now XHTML compliant. Also, PicoSearch records every search that is executed, and the ability to start and stop codes for spidering narrows down each search. Since this tool is available in both free and paid versions, its cost-effectiveness for a business is a strength as well.
WEAKNESSES: The main weakness of PicoSearch is its inability to display the price on the results page, therefore, not allowing an e-consumer to sort products by price.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The ability to custom brand the search tool and make it look as if it were built by Sandia Marketing itself was the primary reason PicoSearch was chosen; it does not look as if a customer has left the Web site to conduct the search.
DELIVERABLES: The search results produced by PicoSearch are beneficial in discovering what people are looking for on our sites. It delivers data to Sandia about which products people are looking on our Web sites, and if we do not carry those products, which products we should consider carrying. For example, if several potential customers search for a red golf shirt on golfpromoproducts.com and that site does not carry that shirt, then this information would be produced in the PicoSearch data.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The best part about the vendor support is that we have not needed to call too often. Since PicoSearch was such a relatively easy product to install, there have not been many reasons to call their team with questions. At one time Sandia did have to call PicoSearch, and they were helpful, responsive and aware of our particular issues.
DOCUMENTATION: Because PicoSearch was easily installed and was set up with no problems or phone calls to their support team, there was no documentation or product manual needed. However, Sandia may benefit from a product manual in PDF form, and we've suggested this to PicoSearch support, which is building it.
10 Fawcett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
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