Site Search: An Interview with Klevu CEO, Nilay Oza

By Troy Lambert, - In Marketing

Nilay Oza

Photo Credit: klevu

Why is site search so important? Well a search like Google gets you in the neighborhood. A good site search tool helps the site visitor (your potential customers) find the exact address they are looking for, even if they are not sure what that is.

Google does not actually search the live internet when you type in your search query. Instead, it searches Google’s nearly exhaustive index of the internet. Even though this is updated frequently, Google sees its job as getting the customer to the best site that will provide what they are looking for.

Once the site visitor arrives, it is your job to provide them with a great user experience that enables them to easily find what they’re looking for.

Having your own site search not only helps Google help your customer, it helps you target them based on how they behave when they are on your site. Good site search learns in real time, and provides you with information about this behavior, enabling you to take action and optimize search results.

I recently had an opportunity to ask a few questions of Nilay Oza, CEO and Co-Founder of Klevu Oy, a Finnish startup with a solid site search product. The software works on any platform, although Klevu works with several partners on development. It learns from shoppers online behavior in real time, helping generate sales.

Their plans range from $19 a month for a basic package up to $499 for a premium subscription that includes anything an enterprise level business might need.

Tell me a little bit about your education, and what role it has played in your career development to this point. What did you learn in college that you are still applying today?

I studied for a PhD in Computer Science, specially focusing on trust in global software development. I have been working in business along with my education since my school days. In college and especially during my PhD, I learned a great deal about understanding and exploring various topics and problems from different angles to find the right solution. The PhD focused more on industry problems, that even gave me more concrete opportunities to apply what I had learnt.

Excellent. Applying what you learned while you were still learning seems to have paid off for you in a big way. What accomplishments in your life so far are you most proud of?

My first startup when I was 15. My lecture notes turned into subscription tutorial service for fellow students! I didn’t know that I was doing a subscription license business 🙂

That is young! Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and how did your previous business experience help you accomplish that?

I love solving customer problems through technology based products and this was the driving influence behind wishing to be an entrepreneur. My long experience within fully immersed work scenarios in several countries has really helped me understand what customers want and how best to deliver it.

It seems that is how many startups begin: seeing a problem and devising a solution. Many of our readers run startups or small businesses. What is the one thing you would tell someone starting their own company to do? What is one thing they should avoid at all costs?

To do
– Learn from customers and turn your learning into applications

Not to do
– No need to make a big song and dance or spend money on paid marketing until you have validated your product and its ready to be shown off

Good advice on both counts. You have a great deal of experience working as a researcher, including at Universities. How did your previous background help you when you co-founded Klevu Oy?

The world’s best tech companies, many of them at least, have come out of universities. University expanded my horizons a great deal and helped me see how I wanted to work in the world of business.

Tell us a little bit about Klevu Oy. What makes it different than other on site search software? What makes your product stand out?

Klevu is a deep, self-learning search that understands human language for shopping. It stands out for its solid offering that not only provides very advanced search capabilities but helps retailers see clear business growth from the online search.

You partner with a number of companies, including Magneto. Rocket Web, Human Element, and others. Collaboration seems to be a key element to your success. How does this work for you and the companies you partner with. Would you recommend collaboration to other businesses, and if so, why?

Partnership is extremely important for Klevu. Our aim is to jointly add business value to the retailer. Developer agencies are critical to retailers and we work with developers to ensure great quality search at affordable price for our customers. I’d certainly recommend collaboration with other businesses as you can help drive one another towards the goals that you seek.

Excellent. What is next for Klevu?

A personal shopping assistant that will revolutionise our ecommerce offering.

If you want to learn more, head over to Klevu’s website. Whether you go with an on site search engine like Klevu or use some other method, optimizing your site search and integrating that with your e-commerce platform is sure to generate traffic and increase customer conversions and sales.*The author was not paid or incentivized in any way by Klevu to conduct this interview. The opinions and text contained in the article are his alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Klevu or this website.

*The author was not paid or incentivized in any way by Klevu to conduct this interview. The opinions and text contained in the article are his alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Klevu or this website.


Freelance writer, editor, author, and lover of all things tech.