Case Study

Life Extension

Life Extension Steps Up Their Ecommerce Game with AI

“With the understanding that ecommerce is and will be the fastest route to growth, we knew that we needed to make on-site search a priority.”
– Robert Strait, Digital Marketing Manager



Life Extension has been at the forefront of groundbreaking medical research for more than 35 years. With $175 million in funding for anti-aging and disease research, the market-leading dietary supplements brand has shared revolutionary formulas and breakthroughs time and time again.

Operating in a $37 billion-a-year industry in the U.S. is no easy feat. With more than 65 competitors including retail giants like Amazon in the mix, Life Extension was searching for an effective solution to stand out from the competition.

Looking to elevate the shopper experience and conversions

With the goal of educating prospects and customers about the unique benefits of their products, online and offline content initiatives have been at the core of Life Extension’s marketing strategy. Nurture campaigns helped generate traffic to their ecommerce site, making seamless and cohesive visitor journeys all the more important.

However, their content strategy could only deliver results if the accuracy of their on-site search was as flawless as the search engine that brought visitors there in the first place. For developers, this meant supporting the marketing team by programming synonym after synonym to ensure a smooth buyer journey – an extremely labor-intensive and manual process.

Furthermore, Life Extension needed the ability to try, test, and fine-tune its strategy. Without proper search usage analytics from which to pull insights, understand content performance, and pivot accordingly, it was impossible to provide a truly relevant and personalized experience for customers.

Still, Life Extension’s team had just enough information on web visitors to understand that search was key. “Most customers preferred to use the on-site search feature. Very few people actually browsed page-by-page to find what they were looking for,” says Digital Marketing Manager Robert Strait. Ultimately, this insight led to their decision to elevate their customers’ search experience to get ahead of the competition.

“With the understanding that ecommerce is and will be the fastest route to growth, we knew that we needed to make on-site search a priority,” says Strait. “With intelligent site search, we also hoped that more people would choose to self-serve using our online store, a much more economical channel for us.”

Personalizing search and experience with AI

“Personalization is a popular topic, but the real challenge is how we deliver it,” says Ben Berriz, System Architect. With Coveo’s AI, it was possible for Life Extension to create customer-driven experiences that would be constantly fine-tuned by an individual’s clicks and queries, without programming thousands of rules.

“Every day, I am more and more impressed by the precision of the query suggestion. It keeps getting better – it knows what to suggest to me.” Camilo Varon, Director of Business Systems

“The results have been striking: our search usage has been increasing, and on a recent analysis, we found out that about 27% of our visitors are using Coveo [search] on our website,” says Camilo Varon, Director of Business Systems.

Equipped with deeper analytics, Life Extension was able to find out that approximately 4 out of 5 search queries are meant for products vs. content. With this information, they’ve shifted their content strategy, identified the exact keywords used by their customers, and revised their SEO strategy accordingly. “The Coveo Usage Analytics tool is brilliant,” says Strait. “The data collected and analyzed are easy to pull and integrate into our developing strategies and tactics.” This new intelligence marks a new beginning for Life Extension.

Easy for customers, easy for business

Since implementing Coveo, Life Extension customers have been adding more and more products to their cart – 28 times more to be exact. This is in part due to the convenience of new features like “quick view” search results. But it’s not just easier for customers.

With an intuitive web console, Life Extension’s marketing team was trained in just 2 hours to be self-sufficient, meaning team members could review experience metrics and manage the website’s content relevance on their own. The solution was so user-friendly that Life Extension was able to eliminate one full day of developer troubleshooting work per week and cut indexing speed – from hours to less than 30 minutes.

“Not only was the marketing team empowered to build new features with Coveo, it’s no longer a single-person expertise.” Ben Berriz, System Architect

“We needed a solution to make marketers, merchandisers, and content authors self-sufficient, and Coveo has certainly delivered,” adds Berriz.

With machine learning, Life Extension has made great strides. They’re happy to report that the days of manually managing their extensive thesaurus are long gone. “The accuracy and speed at which the query suggestion and automatic relevance tuning work are truly amazing – it’s my favorite part of the solution,” says Varon.

What’s next for the dietary supplements brand? They plan on attracting more and more customers to their website by using insights from Coveo to build SEO-friendly landing pages. Plus, by adding the platform’s recommendation capabilities to these same pages, Life Extension will not only be able to respond to shoppers’ immediate needs, but also recommend compelling add-ons that are likely to bring value to their customers as well as the average value of the shopping cart.

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