Argos is a British catalogue retailer operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and a subsidiary of Home Retail Group. The company trades both through physical stores and online, with over 750 stores and 800 million website visits a year, making it one of the largest high street retailers online in the United Kingdom.
In 2008 Argos approached Datalynx for help in creating a Multi Media Database of their printed and website catalogue. The goal was to improve the product search capability as their website had high usage rates and they wanted to improve the user experience. The data was originally stored in freetext and required entity extraction and categorisation to create the structured multi media database. The goal was to create a database they could use for creating all media channels including printed catalogue and website. Using our data migration product LynxETL we created an entity extraction and standardisation solution that processed the freetext creating the structured database including, product category, descriptions and phrases.
Datalynx hosted the framework and data on behalf of Argos providing enhanced security and faster access with no additional Argos infrastructure. Argos staff executed the framework to process the catalogue reviewing and publishing to the database.
The challenge for Datalynx was to provide keywords which could be searched against. This entailed profiling the data to fully understand the available data, identify ‘wrong’, duplicate or missing data and capture unnecessary data. The data was cleansed to provide a consistent and accurate dataset. The data was then scanned to identify keywords and phrases that could be used in the search menu. Datalynx did this by developing scripts which transformed the process from a slow, manual set of activities to an automated faster, more reliable and overall slick process. Datalynx also hosted the data on behalf of Argos which increased data security and provided faster access to the data.
As a result of this work the Argos website search capability was significantly improved. Searches for products were quicker and easier thereby improving the overall customer experience and helping Argos on its impressive journey as one of the UK’s most successful retailers.