November 30, 2007, 12:00 AM

Hardware/Home Improvement The hardware and home improvement info express

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"We do testing on the home page to see what sells," says Scott Ekman, Rockler`s vice president of marketing. "We track conversion rates, and we always strive for incremental gains."

The company recently upgraded its site search with technology from Progress EasyAsk. Results are more comprehensive and relevant, and delivered five to 10 times faster, leading to a 30% improvement in conversion rate, Ekman says.

The web site emphasizes content and information over style and pizzazz. There are no rich media or videos. "We try to give customers really good information so they can build their projects," explains Ekman.

The site`s woodworking blog, for instance, includes short articles, product reviews, how-to information, and advice on esoteric techniques and projects. A recent post provided advice on making butterfly joints.

"They have all sorts of project ideas, articles and occasionally podcasts to help inspire customers with their home projects," says Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst with Boston-based Forrester Research Inc. "All of the content is with a very pointed objective to inspire customers and, hopefully, get them to embark upon a project."

A quick-order form on the home page lets visitors order up to three catalog items without flipping through other pages. Scrolling over top navigation bar tabs produces a list of sub-categories.

"We try to keep the site very straightforward and focus on the customer," says Ekman. Back to Top

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