Like most e-tailers, overstock.com suffers from the 3% conversion infection. I don’t actually know their conversion rate but let’s just go with the industry-standard here.
We know everything about the 3% that transacted but very little about the 97% that didn’t. Yes, we could study their click trails but that’s indirect evidence.
Overstock’s solution- A big, prominent, inviting search box:
Now I don’t have access to their metrics but am willing to bet an impressive number use the search box. This might not improve conversion rates directly but now Overstock knows what a vast majority of visitors came looking for. They’ve extracted intent. Intent is not as valuable as a sale but definitely more valuable than $0.