October 7, 2009, 12:00 AM

Eastern Mountain’s site redesign eases navigation

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer Eastern Mountain Sports has relaunched EMS.com with improved navigation, easier checkout and additional payment options.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer Eastern Mountain Sports aims to boost customer usability and experience with the launch of its redesigned web site. With top of the page navigation, improved site search and expanded product information, the new site offers a smoother shopping experience compared with the former version, according to the company.

“It was difficult for customers to find what they were looking for or feel confident that they were purchasing something that meets their need,” says Jeffrey Neville, chief information officer at Eastern Mountain Sports, No. 399 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “We’re seeing – in prelaunch customer feedback and post-launch customer feedback – customers saying it’s easier to shop.”

Additional improvements include higher resolution for images and more prominent product reviews as well as new payment options with Google Checkout, PayPal, Eastern Mountain Sports’ branded credit card, and online gift certificates.

In addition, the company’s in-store Quick Pick Up program, which Neville says was previously confusing for shoppers, is now clearer. EMS.com shows customers which stores have the desired items and then e-mails them when merchandise is available for pick-up.

In April, Eastern Mountain Sports signed an agreement with e-commerce technology and service provider GSI Commerce Inc. to help with the site overhaul, and finished the project in 159 days.

“Less than six months – a remarkably rapid launch,” says John O’Brien, vice president of business management at GSI Commerce. “A testimony to the partnership established between the EMS and GSI teams from day one.”

In addition to the e-commerce platform, GSI Commerce will provide Eastern Mountain Sports with order management, customer service software, web site hosting and performance monitoring.

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