February 14, 2011, 3:28 PM

Toolfetch.com renovates its mobile site

The tool retailer adds more robust site search and slims down the site.

Toolfetch.com LLC knows the value of a little renovation and it’s applying that principal to its mobile site. The retailer recently unveiled an updated version of its year-old mobile site.

The updates, which took about a month to enable, include more robust site search. The online retailer, which previously was using a general search tool from Google, replaced it with one from Nextopia, the site search vendor it uses for its e-commerce site, says Andrew Brown, co-founder and CEO of Toolfetch.com.

It also made some cuts to speed mobile site load time. The old mobile site homepage had 20-30 mobile categories. Toolfetch, No. 441 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, slimmed that down to six, Brown says.

The new site also lets consumers chat live with a ToolFetch.com associate. “This is very useful if a customer is at a big box store and wants to double-check stock and pricing with a ToolFetch.com agent before purchasing from us,” Brown says.

The updated site, which Toolfetch.com built with technology provider Covario Inc., also includes more information about shipping. For example, it tells visitors how long it will take before an item ships.

One thing that isn’t in this newest version of the mobile site, though, is the ability to complete a purchase. “The next project is incorporating a shopping cart into the site so a customer can purchase items,” Brown says. He explains that Toolfetch first wanted to focus on making sure the site loaded fast and performed on par with bigger competitors. He says now the site loads faster and renders well across a variety of devices, even older versions of BlackBerrys that pale in comparison to today’s most popular smartphones.

Now that his company’s mobile site performance has improved and consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping with their smartphones, mobile commerce is right around the corner, he says. During the past year since Toolfetch launched the mobile site, Brown says mobile visits have increased about 20%.

“People are calling us up saying they have been on our mobile site much more often,” Brown says. “It’s very interesting.”

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