Oreo’s Recipe For Online Search Optimization

Oreo cookie lovers appreciate a good milk dunk, and the company’s eCommerce Director says when it comes to online search capabilities, this cookie doesn’t crumble against the competition.

A Sweetened Search

When searching for customers, perhaps one of the simplest avenues to explore is to take a good look at your search capabilities. “On the internet, on e-commerce, it’s a one screen world and in a one screen world, he who wins the buy box wins the sale,” says Neil Ackerman, the Global e-Commerce Director for Mondelēz International.  Ackerman has helped companies like Oreos and Nabisco benefit from content optimization by using the right search terms, and even the right wrong search terms.

“Basically users should focus on common misspellings as well as some products that may be used with the product to encourage an impulse purchase. The search terms for Oreo were increased over a 6 month period from 9 to 500, including the addition of different spellings of words to account for typos and misspellings. If you want to be a company that caters to real people you must mimic different ways people look for things.”
He says 
Belvita saw a 200% increase in sales through increased search optimization alone.

So, say I’m searching for a new pair of sandals to give my coworkers a serious case of shoe envy.  I probably have a plethora of adjectives to describe the perfect pair that’ll do the trick. Sandals is the most obvious search word but I would also use “cute sandals”, “strappy sandals,” “suede sandals,” and dare I admit even “sexy sandals.”  But then again, I never did well with my Mavis Beacon typing lessons so my searches might also include “cute sandles” or “strapy sandals.”  Someone disabled autocorrect and ruined me.  But if a shoe company accounts for my keyboard faux pas, and also connects their shoes with another product I likely search for on a regular basis (like blister band aids since I am a shoe fetishist who believes pain is beauty), they still stand to benefit by winning that buy box.

The Flywheel

Ackerman spends a lot of time accounting for these spelling mistakes and search habits and makes them into money for Mondelez International.  Of course Ackerman says search optimization is just one part of the flywheel of business.  To attract the most customers at all turns then 5 pillars should be in focus, including selection, content, traffic and price.  But the value of optimizing this one particular aspect of your online presence is astounding.

“This change has been a factor in a double digit growth of customer reviews on Amazon,” says Ackerman, “and has allowed Oreo to become a #1 best seller flag in assorted snack cookies in Prime pantry.”

So next time that annoying grammar obsessed friend gets snarky and corrects your misspelled and typo laden texts, just send them that ridiculous flying money emoji.
It’s really the only logical time to use it.


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