October 20, 2004, 12:00 AM

A simpler design boosts conversion rates at AllAboardToys.com

AllAboardToys.com has found simplicity and speed work when it comes to increasing sales at its web store. Since the toy retailer debuted a new web site that executives say makes searches easier and speeds up results, conversion rates have doubled.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

All Aboard Toys LLC, which operates the toy site AllAboardToys.com, has found simplicity and speed work when it comes to increasing sales at its web store. Since the Colorado-based retailer debuted a new web site that executives say makes searches easier and speeds up results, conversion rates have doubled.

All Aboard Toys has been selling online since 1999 and has a specialty in educational and family-friendly toys for preschoolers. But while the new web site didn’t try a lot of fancy features or technology, it did focus on making product searches easier and faster, says Josh Toney, director of operations. “We made it easier for customers to get to the products they want whether they are using specific terms or generic terms,” Toney says. “We’ve also simplified our pages by making them less busy and easier for customers to search through to find what they want.”

The changes paid off as the company has doubled conversion rates since the new site went live, he says. He declines to reveal specific numbers. The site has not done any additional marketing.

As part of this simplification, the company has focused on displaying a wide range of products based on specific book or television characters, such as Thomas the Tank Engine. In that case, customers can click on the character logo where they find an array not only of toys and books, but also a line of bed sheets, clothing, backpacks, dinnerware, party supplies, games and videos based on the Thomas character. There are similar sections for a number of other characters popular with preschoolers.

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