How Searchanise Helped the Glen Loates Store Take User Experience to the Next Level

"Searchanise has been a game-changer! The app is very intuitive and allowed me to incorporate custom meta tags to enable keyword search for images on my website. My customers thoroughly enjoy that they can search artwork by thematic keywords, such as "nature", "relaxing", "lovely", and get relevant search results."

Michael Loates
Founder, The Glen Loates Store

About The Glen Loates Store

The Glen Loates Store is a family-run business founded by Michael Loates, the son of eminent Canadian wildlife artist Martin Glen Loates. The artist has been known for his naturalistic paintings depicting landscapes and wild species. The store features canvas and art prints of his paintings, as well as a collection of various souvenirs.

Michael, tell me about your business. How did you come up with the idea to start selling the prints of your father's paintings?

Michael: My dad has been a really well-known Canadian artist. He started his career at the age of 11 as a self-taught artist. He got quite popular through the 70s, 80s, and early 00s.

Then there was an unfortunate time in his life when he hurt his leg and was unable to go out and continue painting. A lot of his fans were wondering where he was and how come there was no new artwork.

Life went on. I went to work, doing something completely different. And then COVID happened. My employer had to let a lot of his team go because of the pandemic.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get my dad's work out into the market. He had the experience of doing prints many years ago. I had to explain to him that it is very different now: customers can order from the website, and we can print on demand without worrying about the warehouse and anything like that.

So, we ordered some samples, and my father was completely overwhelmed by the quality of the prints. It was so much better than the prints he did many years ago. The new prints were so amazing that he even cried.

After that, I started our website. I had to learn everything myself and overcame a lot of challenges.

Would you tell me more about the challenges you've faced and how you approached them?

Michael: Yeah, sure. I noticed that people often type in the search bar animal names, such as "lynx", looking for a particular artwork. But they couldn't find what they wanted because the product name was not "lynx", it was a "Close Call".
Glen Loates art print
The art print "Close Call"
I knew there was a technology that allows searching images by keywords, for example, when you search for stock images. But I didn't know how to implement it. I talked to Shopify support, and they suggested putting alt tags for all the images. But there was no way I could manually add alt tags for every image on my website.

I did some research and found a platform that uses AI to analyze images and create meta tags for them. Searchanise picks up these meta tags, allowing customers to search products by keywords. And the best part of it is that everything is done automatically, so I don't have to worry about tagging anything.

Now customers can find results using keywords, for example, if somebody types in "nature", or "relaxing", or "vacation", they will get relevant search results:
Search by keyword "vacation"
The search results for query "vacation"

Thank you for sharing your experience! Now, Michael, tell me please, how did you become our client?

Michael: When I was doing research, I noticed that Searchanise was probably the most popular search app on the Shopify app store. Other important aspects were flexibility, features, and integrations with other apps. When looking for an app, I always check how it works with other apps. And I really liked the fact that Searchanise is integrated with a lot of apps that I was already using.

What app features do you find most useful for your business?

Michael: Well, Searchanise has a lot of features that open up new opportunities for me as a store owner. I like to use upsell and cross-sell, synonyms, and analytics. For example, with the analytics, I can see customers' search inputs for certain periods of time, search queries with "no results", top products clicked, and more:
Site search analytics
Search analytics on
Synonyms are also very important. For example, customers may print in "catamount" when searching for a cougar, and synonyms help to display relevant search results instead of the "no results" page:
The work of synonyms
Search results displaying cougar art prints for "catamount" query
To conclude, I like that Searchanise is a very complex app, and you can do a lot with its help.

How did the app help you business-wise?

Michael: I got a lot of customers saying that they like the fact that they could just search all sorts of different words and get relevant search results. Also, they like the way product images show up once they start typing in the search bar:
Instant Search Widget
Products previews
It is very similar to Amazon, such a robust search. And my customers do like it very much.

How would you measure business success? Apart from sales, obviously. :)

Michael: First comes the ease of use of the site itself. I often get positive feedback from customers, saying, "I really, really like your site". Happy clients are one of the things that keep me going.

And, of course, I'm very happy to offer my dad's artwork to the world.

How does your dad feel about running this business?

Michael: Oh, he's very excited and honored that his son has taken an interest in his work and has decided to create the store and present his art to the world. And he likes that I know how to use complex tools to get the task done. I design all the products you can find on the website: silk scarves, bags, mugs, t-shirts, and phone cases:
Estelle scarf
The silk scarf designed by Michael Loates

What are your plans for the future?

Michael: I'm going to create a 3D gallery for original paintings. It is going to be built right into my store. Customers will be able to visit this virtual gallery and purchase original artwork right from it.

Also, I'm going to implement augmented reality, allowing customers to see how the painting would look on their walls. You just need to point your phone up to the wall and see how the painting fits in.

Thank you, Michael, for sharing your story with me!

It is such a pleasure to see a family business offering unique products to the world. The fine art print with your father's painting will decorate any living space. I even feel like purchasing one myself. :)

So, If you struggle to add that final touch to your living room, bedroom, or home office, check out the selection of great art prints at The Glen Loates Store.

And if you've been looking for ways to enhance search on your website and effectively boost user experience, take a closer look at Searchanise, a professional search app for ecommerce stores.
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Anastasiya Kupriyanova - Content creator
Anastasiya Kupriyanova
Anastasiya is a content creator at Searchanise. Her professional areas of interest are SaaS solutions and ecommerce. Anastasiya believes that quality content must be valuable for readers and achieve business goals. When she is not busy writing, which does not happen often, she reads passionately, both fiction and non-fiction literature.

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