More baskets, more checkouts, more often.

Readings A/B trial using Srchy delivers impressive results

24th April 2023


Australian Book Retailer of the Year 2021, Readings is an independent book, music and film retailer with seven retail outlets operating in Australia. They are a core part of Australia’s literary community with their own literary prize, a charitable foundation, podcast, book club, workshops, events and more.

With the goal to improve the customer experience, and boost their search conversion rate, long tail conversion and size of carts, they partnered with Srchy to conduct an AB trial and take the Srchy Smart System through its paces.

Mark Rubbo the owner of Readings explained

“It’s always been important to me that customers have a good experience with Readings, and an intelligent one. Our problem was we had a huge database, and helping people navigate and get sensible results from it was problematic. Prior to Srchy people were getting really funny results, and it was just not a very great experience for our customers.”

Mark Rubbo, owner of Radings

The Challenge

Consumers shopping online are lazy – they want what they want… now.

When consumers hunt for a product on an eCommerce website, they often make the following mistakes:

  • They get product names wrong, or misspell them.
  • They rarely use specific enough search terms the first time.
  • They can’t easily identify what they want in a big list of results.

Having tools in place that support the customer with these challenges is a game-changer. It ultimately allows businesses to retain more of the traffic that normally exit their website too early.

Rosalind McClintock, Marketing Manager at Readings

“We’ve got over 30 million products on our website so for people to find what they’re looking for using keywords was pretty important to us – lot of people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, and they have a vague memory of a name or a subject.”

Rosalind McClintock, Marketing Manager at Readings

The Solution

For many online retailers it begins with clearly understanding the difference between SEO and catalog search.

Tom Hoskins, Implementation Manager, of Readings added

“Before integrating with Srchy the customer experience on our site was probably just a little primitive. There were certain aspects of search that were just completely unavailable to people – it was very much a pop in the keywords and cross your fingers situation.”

Tom Hoskins, Implementation Manager at Readings

SEO and Catalog Searches are very different. They both serve an important role in the eCommerce matrix but apply very different approaches. Whilst these are two independent activities, they can work together to create a really powerful and personalised experience for customers. Giving them more of what they want, sooner. Simply put:

The Journey

From navigation, product search, filtering, cart and checkout – every step of the eCommerce journey is dictated by data. Capturing proprietary data and using it to deliver customer-specific content will help drive sales, and using AI driven product search to deliver relevant search results to your customers, will result in more revenue to your business.

Srchy is a specialist website catalog search system for the sole purpose of creating an exceptional user experience for the customer – to simply help them find what they’re looking for within the first handful of search results.

We know that understanding customer intent is crucial. We need to not only be providing recommendations, but to deliver search results that are most likely to inspire our customers to buy.

The Readings Team:

“One of the unexpected delights was that Srchy were so receptive to ideas and willing to take things on, and they were really quick and responsive. It’s probably one of the best teams I’ve worked with, and we’ve been really surprised with just how well Srchy has fit our situation.”

The Outcome


Srchy reduces customer friction, helping them find what they want faster. Compared to Readings existing search, Srchy surfaced more relevant products which resulted in a 17% increase in customer checkouts, an 11% increase in order values placed, and over 28% increase in revenue.

User Experience

On the Srchy activated site, customers had a faster search experience, with an average results page load time reduced by more than 50%.

The Srchy enabled website also had 18.18% more add-to-carts within the first three products (top row) than the existing search.

The Technical

The Srchy Smart Systems generated over 240,000 search improvements over the period of the trial, ensuring that customers were regularly being showed the most appropriate products. This is borne out in the conversion rate as well as the click percentiles.

Pre-existing Search vs Srchy Comparison

Srchy reduces customer friction, helping them find what they want faster.

Top 6 search results for pre-existing search
Top 6 results for Srchy search

Srchy’s results were considered better and more relevant results for ‘obama’.

Rosalind McClintock, Marketing Manager at Readings

“Having Srchy be able to solve a lot of search result problems for us has been really great. It was very quick and easy – we had two sites going at the same time with the old search and with Srchy and it was very obvious straightaway that Srchy was a superior product. There were no teething issues it was very simple”

Rosa McClintock, Marketing Manager at Readings

Use Case 14 Weeks After Implementation

Srchy reduced customer friction, helping them find what they wanted faster.

Pre-existing v Srchy after 14 weeks

Facts & Figures

  • 16.9% increase in customer checkouts
  • 11.3% increase in average order value
  • 15.4% increase in cart size


“Srchy reduces customer friction, helping them find what they want faster. Compared to Readings existing search, Srchy surfaced more relevant products which resulted in a 17% increase in customer checkouts, an 11% increase in order values placed, and over 28% increase in revenue.”, said Jonathan Tan, Head of Product at Srchy.

“One of the best things about Srchy is actually how hands-off it is for us on a day-to-day basis, we don’t really need to do anything. A lot of the time the system adapts itself without us having to worry about boosting products, or trying to find ways of guiding people’s search artificially – instead it all happens quite naturally”, said Tom Hoskins.

“For me and my team in marketing we love the search dashboard which we didn’t have before. It’s a really good overview of what your customers are looking for and what we should be putting some marketing behind, and it really dictates what we have on our front page”, added Rosalind McLintock.

“It’s been such a fantastic upgrade for us that it’s very hard to think of anything that we want to change. We didn’t know what to expect from Srchy so the results have just been fantastic. I actually can’t wait until we do get our new website working together with Srchy and seeing what even more great things we can achieve”, concluded Mark Rubbo.

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