December 20, 2005, 12:00 AM

New boot configurator kicks up sales at Timberland.com

A new boot configurator at Timberland.com has led to a surge in conversion rates, even though the retailer charges a $30 premium for customized boots, senior director of e-commerce Troy Brown says.

A new boot configurator at The Timberland Co.’s Timberland.com has led to a surge in conversion rates, even though the retailer charges a $30 premium for customized boots, senior director of e-commerce Troy Brown tells Internet Retailer

The new configurator replaces an earlier one launched last year, which let shoppers customize the popular men’s six-inch leather boot with special treatments like different colored laces and imprinted initials.

Customer response to the first configurator was so strong that demand quickly amassed for it to handle more sizes and styles, especially for women and children, Brown says. But the configurator, built by an outside design firm for a new Timberland e-commerce platform hosted by GSI Commerce Inc., was too difficult to expand. “Then we also realized the consumer experience was too clunky, it took too long to see the results,” Brown says.

So in 2005 Timberland launched a new configurator built on the latest version of Macromedia Flash and designed by Fluid Inc. for the same GSI platform. Brown says he couldn’t be happier. Not only does the new configurator handle seven boot styles, but six of them are routinely among Timberland.com’s top 10 sellers.

Launched in August, the configurator was on pace to earn a complete return on investment by Christmas. “We’re getting a huge return on this, and it has gone through the roof in terms of sales,” Brown says, adding that Timberland plans to apply the configurator to several more products, including backpacks. Timberland is No. 252 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

Brown attributes the configurator’s success partly to the fact that 90-95% of Timberland’s customers use broadband web access and can benefit from optimal speed in designing products. Also crucial, he says, was the collaboration among Timberland, Fluid and GSI throughout the configurator’s design process.

 

 

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