July 20, 2010, 3:34 PM

When it comes to diapers, the consumers know best

Diapers.com uses web analytics to keep up conversion rates.

Lead Photo

Josh Himwich, director of e-commerce

When a major brand manufacturer introduced a new line of diapers earlier this year, employees at Diapers.com quickly noticed consumers were complaining about the product’s poor quality and the site experienced a 15% drop in new visitor conversions. With negative reviews continuing to stream in, the retailer, which sells all kind of baby-related products, switched into fix-it mode.

The main remedies? Promoting alternate items from the brand so shoppers could visit the retailer’s site and not leave empty handed, and passing along the negative reviews of the new line to the brand manufacturer so it could have a quick and full understanding of consumer concerns.

“We were able to triage this on many levels,” says Josh Himwich, director of e-commerce for Diapers.com, No. 85 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “In three days, we returned our conversion rates back to the old place.”

Himwich declines to name the manufacturer, but the incident illustrates the power of using web data to refine product and marketing strategies.

The retailer has a baseline level of how many new buyers it needs to attract every day. After two or three days of trends moving in the wrong direction, Diapers.com will change various aspects of its site to try to drum up sales. A promotion for a specific car seat, for instance, might send shoppers to a subcategory page that highlights those seats, he says. 

“If the promotion doesn’t do well we can change it on the fly by directing shoppers to the overall car seats pages,” Himwich says.

In a similar fashion, an e-mail marketing blast typically will have links that send shoppers to specific product pages. A day or two of less than enthusiastic interest in that page will lead the retailer to change the link so that shoppers are directed to more general product pages.

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