February 22, 2010, 12:00 AM

A design overhaul boosts sales by 35% at Deanscards.com

Since launching its redesigned web site, sports trading card retailer Dean’s Cards has increased traffic 100% and grown sales 35% through December, January and February to date over the same period last year.

Since launching its redesigned web site, sports trading card retailer Dean’s Cards has increased traffic 100% and grown sales 35% through December, January and February to date over the same period last year, president Dean Hanley told attendees in a session last week at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability 2010 Conference.

Key to achieving those results was the selection of a design firm that helped him identify specific goals for the redesign and worked with him to develop a step-by-step plan for achieving those goals, said Hanley.

The retailer redesigned its site in 2008, but the effort failed to deliver results because it lacked detailed goals and an implementation plan, he said.

Hanley’s selection of web design firm Tellus Web for a subsequent redesign-the site’s third in eight years-succeeded by looking deeply into site performance very early in the redesign process. Tellus conducted some of its investigation at the proposal stage and then used that research to craft specific performance targets to support those end goals after its selection.

A step-by-step breakdown on exactly how a retailer will achieve its redesign goals is critical, said Betsy Emery, CEO of Tellus Web, which will be exhibiting at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2010. For example, rather than simply setting a goal such as “better sales,” retailers should set targets for specific actions that support the larger goal, such as “increase sales by 25%, by increasing traffic by 35% and increasing checkout completion by 15%,” she said.

For Dean’s Cards, Tellus determined a number of ways to improve sales, including assisting the retailer with its online strategy and branding. It also sought to boost Deanscards.com’s search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media efforts. That extended engagement with Tellus lined up with Hanley’s objectives. “I was looking for a business partner,” Hanley said.

But not every retailer is looking for the same thing, said Emery. That’s why retailers considering hiring a design firm for a redesign should ask themselves, “Are we looking to complete a project or do we want ongoing support?”

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