February 17, 2010, 12:00 AM

When redesigning a web site, focus on targeted metrics, Diapers.com says

To get the most out of a web site redesign, retailers should identify and stick with changes that will support their intended goals, such as higher average order values, while avoiding unnecessary and costly extras, Diapers.com said at IRWD10 this week.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

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To get the most out of a web site redesign, retailers should identify and stick with changes that will support their intended goals, such as higher average order values, while avoiding unnecessary and costly extras, Josh Himwich, director of e-commerce solutions, Diapers.com, said at IRWD10 this week.

“Avoid scope creep and stick to key performance indicators,” Himwich said at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability 2010 Conference in Orlando, FL.

One way to do that, he added, is to analyze and improve a site’s hit ratio-or the share of clicks received by each individual display of content on a page. For example, when Diapers.com found that a particular page was getting 98% of its clicks on the top half of the page, it eliminated a promotional box at the bottom of the page.

Such tweaking not only supports finding a better location for underused content, but it also helps to reduce page clutter, providing for more attractive and potentially faster-loading pages.

Himwich also advised retailers to control project scope and cost by carefully planning data taxonomy structures, the strings of data used to describe products and support a framework for site navigation. Retailers should identify the products for which site visitors are likely to seek extensive information, then build an appropriately broad taxonomy for those products; for example, a taxonomy for such products might let shoppers navigate into multiple characteristics such as size, color, price and other features unique to those products.

Simple products for which customers are unlikely to search for extra details probably don’t warrant the time and cost it would take to build an elaborate taxonomy, Himwich said.

Himwich added that retailers should rely on customer feedback for what can bring the most value in a site redesign. “All the things you think are really important-you’re customers will let you know,” he said. “They’ll call customer service and ask, ‘Why can’t I do this?’”

 

 

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