June 13, 2006, 12:00 AM

How Spiegel turned a new page in e-commerce

A complete re-design of Spiegel.com has boosted average order values by 13% while decreasing home page site departures by 19%, senior vice president of marketing Tony Chivari said at the Internet Retailer 2006 Conference last week.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

The 140-year-old Spiegel brand has revived itself over the last two years with a complete re-design of Spiegel.com that has boosted average order values by 13% while decreasing home page departures by 19%, senior vice president of marketing Tony Chivari said at last week’s Internet Retailer 2006 Conference in Chicago.

Spiegel, which underwent bankruptcy proceedings in 2003 under the former Spiegel Group, re-emerged in 2004 as part of the newly formed Spiegel Brands Inc., which includes Newport News as well as the Spiegel apparel brand. With a fresh start, Spiegel set out to completely re-design Spiegel.com, where the pre-existing design had made it difficult for shoppers to find products and resulted in low conversion rates and high abandonment rates. Spiegel is No. 51 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

“We sell outfits, but each item under the old design was purchased separately; there was no cross-selling,” Chivari said. By comparison, the new site offers one-click selection of complete outfits. So when a shopper adds an outfit to a shopping cart, she stays on the same product page, where she can also see alternate views and sizing charts.

Among other improvements, Spiegel removed clutter from its home page, deleted redundant links and re-organized its categories to let shoppers navigate further into separate product groups. It also set more of its product images against a white background to better highlight them, and it redesigned its “Idea Resource” shopping guide with more useful links to product pages.

Additions to shopping carts from product pages increased by 45%, even while the number of on-site search sessions decreased by 15%, Chivari said.

An overall main goal, he added, was to make shopping easy. “We follow the KISS rule, Chivari said. “Keep it simple, stupid.”

 

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