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LTK improves customer engagement and increases conversions with rich user experiences

The partnership with Algolia lets us leverage its feature set to achieve our goals. Algolia iterates and improves search, while we can focus on what truly differentiates our customer experience.

Kit Ulrich

General Manager @ LTK
Use case

B2C Ecommerce


Dallas, TX

Customer since

since 2019

Feature usage

Search API, Dynamic Re-Ranking, Insights API, Analytics, Rules, Personalization, Query Suggestions, Analytics, AB Testing, Instant Search

Key results
  • Increased customer engagement

  • Uptick in conversions

  • Faster implementation of new features

Key numbers
  • 18 million monthly shoppers

  • 200,000 creators

  • 6,000 brands

The challenges

  • 1.

    Difficult to iterate and improve search

  • 2.

    Unique data set for search and discovery

  • 3.

    Rapid growth in traffic drove a need to scale

The solution

  • 1.

    Easy-to-use API for quicker iterations

  • 2.

    Dynamic Re-ranking of top results

  • 3.

    AI-based synonyms for improved relevance

  • 4.

    Experienced, regular support

The result

  • 1.

    Increased customer engagement

  • 2.

    Uptick in conversions

  • 3.

    Ability to focus on core business

Founded as rewardStyle in 2011 by husband-and-wife team, Amber Venz Box and Baxter Box, to help lifestyle influencers — back then, primarily bloggers — capitalize on their creative efforts LTK, now drives more than $3 billion in annual sales with its three-sided approach of serving brands, creators, and shoppers alike. 

The company operates at the intersection between social media and online retail, providing influencers, or creators, with a way to find and tag brands they want to share, making their lives shoppable to their audiences across platforms, including the LTK app. This unique ecosystem provides shoppers with authentic, curated content while easing the online shopping experience. The company has grown to serve more than 6,000 brands globally, 200,000 creators (in over 150 countries), and millions of shoppers. 

The LTK app, which is short for “Like to Know It”, gives lifestyle content creators a central destination, known as their LTK Shop, to curate and share their favorite products and brands that's promoted across platforms. When followers click an item in a post from the creator, they are provided with details of the items pictured with the ability to link to the product page to purchase. Followers can also click the heart shaped icon on a post or individual item to save to their favorites page.

“The data and the content available within our ecosystem are what differentiates us from any other marketplace out there, so it’s important to be able to make it all searchable and put relevant results in front of users.” Matt Goorley, Engineering Manager, LTK 

Brands can use LTK to see historical, cross-channel retail performance data from which they can develop, price, and execute campaigns with the creators on the platform. 

“We have an amazing opportunity in the market and a really compelling offering that matters to shoppers — because shopping online is hard. I want people to realize that LTK is the platform to make online shopping easy, and we are scaling very rapidly by offering a fantastic shopper experience.” Kit Ulrich, General Manager, LTK 

With so many brands and content creators being followed by a huge number of consumers, it's vital for LTK to make it easy for influencers to discover brands, for shoppers to find the items shared by their favorite creators, and for those brands to find critical data for building successful full-funnel influencer marketing programs.

Improving search and discovery for app users

In 2019, LTK recognized a need to make the data in its ecosystem more discoverable for its rapidly increasing traffic. 

While their existing Search function was an in-house developed solution, based on an ElasticSearch cluster, was working well it couldn’t scale to the level that the growing company needed and was becoming difficult to quickly iterate on. 

LTK implemented Algolia on the content creator and brand side, making it easier for them to search for trusted products to put in their posts, then in 2020 migrated to Algolia for its consumer app, making it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for.

LTK image 1

“We decided to switch to Algolia because we wanted to provide a better experience for what differentiates us, which is the content and the data around the content that users search for on our platform,” says Matt Goorley, Engineering Manager at LTK. “We’re a unique marketplace, so we have a unique user interaction with Search. By using some of the features that Algolia was offering, we were able to move quickly and efficiently to implement a better experience for all of our users.” 

After approximately one month of planning and one month of implementation, the company deployed Algolia for Search, which it followed by adding AI-based Dynamic Re-ranking, AI Synonyms, A/B Testing and Analytics, and, most recently, Personalization. 

The company now leverages a wide breadth of Algolia’s feature stack. 

The company has deployed Algolia on its website search bar and mobile app, where it gets the most of its traffic. During implementation and ongoing iterations, Goorley’s team has relied on the assistance of Algolia support, which has sped up time to market. 

“We get support as we build, and the amount of effort it takes to implement is much less than it would be for us to build from scratch; it allows us to move faster.” – Matt Goorley, engineering manager at LTK

Improved customer engagement and increased conversion

The switch to Algolia, particularly the adoption of Dynamic Re-ranking (DRR), has improved the customer experience by returning better, more relevant results for global searches on the LTK app, Goorley says. 

Because of its key value to the company (and its users), LTK worked with Algolia to provide a special implementation of Dynamic Re-ranking that re-ranks the top 100 results rather than the top 20 offered out-of-the-box. 

“We’re a very visual app. When you search for something, because we’re re-ranking those top 100 results we’ve seen better engagement. It’s the way users are interacting with search and has led to them seeing a much more appealing top 100 results.” 

The result is that LTK has “seen an uplift in engagement and an uplift in conversion based on DRR,” Goorley says.

Easier iterations with Algolia Search API and support

As LTK has adopted new features and refined the search and discovery functions on its app, it has worked closely with Algolia. The team has a standing biweekly call with technical support which Goorley says has produced valuable information, and when needed they have been able to meet with engineers to walk through any challenges. 

Combined with the flexibility of the Algolia API, this has helped his team make changes quickly. “The API and SDK options are really great, and the ability to handle traffic at scale. We have a high volume and Algolia is very fast — able to keep up with our level of traffic,” Goorley says.

LTK image 2

“Algolia iterates and improves search and discovery, while we can focus on what truly differentiates our customer experience.” Kit Ulrich, General Manager, LTK 

With such a visual platform, Goorley says he appreciates the ability to populate Algolia indexes for testing and creating views using the UI demo tool. “We can build out mock-ups with real data before we go live, whether it’s the mobile app or the web.” 

For his internal team, Goorley notes that Algolia’s easy-to-use dashboard has made it simpler to onboard new members and give them a solid understanding of what is capable with Search. 

LTK’s General Manager Kit Ulrich suggests Algolia’s development roadmap and ongoing support allows her company to focus attention on achieving its goals and improving customer journeys. 

“The partnership with Algolia lets us leverage its feature set to achieve our goals,” Ulrich says.

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