December 9, 2009, 12:00 AM

GourmetGiftBaskets.com delivers redesigned site

GourmetGiftBaskets.com launched a redesigned site on Friday with new features such as larger images, wider layout and new testimonials. The new site is registering 11% growth in conversion compared with the same time last year.

GourmetGiftBaskets.com’s advice to other retailers considering a web site redesign in the thick of holiday shopping season planning? Don’t. However, despite the difficult process-including postponing the launch a few times to work out quirks-CEO Ryan Abood says he is happy with the results.

“We went back to the drawing board and started all over again. We kept some of the white space and added borders to offer a more corporate feel,” says Abood.

GourmetGiftBaskets.com now has more real estate at 900 pixels wide and contains larger images of its gift baskets and boxes on category pages and product pages. The product pages went from 300 pixels by 300 pixels to 450 by 450.

“The larger images with less clicks should lead people to purchase decisions,” says Abood. So far, conversion is up 11% compared to the same time last year, but he declined to provide specific figures.

The merchant kept its top bar navigation, which contains most of the categories that appear on a right-hand side navigation bar with categories such as occasions, styles of gift baskets and most popular products. GourmetGiftBaskets.com is No. 446 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name.)

The redundant navigation offers a way to showcase the breadth of its selection, which includes 300 gift baskets, says Abood. About half the customers making purchases use the top bar and the rest use the right-hand category bar so there was no clear imperative to remove either one, he says.

In addition, the new site now includes customer testimonials that the company plans to update frequently.

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