October 14, 2011, 2:41 PM

Flexibility is the key to better site design at Cabela’s

A new e-commerce platform from Fry helps Cabelas.com more easily retool product pages.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

A year after a move to a new e-commerce platform outdoor gear and apparel retailer Cabela’s Inc. has a new component to its web site design strategy: flexibility.

In August 2010, Cabela’s, No. 40 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, switched its e-commerce platform from Oracle ATG to a system from Fry Inc.

Now with the ability to implement design changes more quickly and efficiently and create more universal page treatments, Cabela’s is in the process of fine-tuning its page navigation and product features, says Mark Thompson, senior director, Internet operations.

The retooled Cableas.com now features product pages with navigation that helps shoppers more quickly narrow their search. The updated product pages feature two boxes on the left side that allow visitors to view all product categories or narrow their search by type, brand, price, size and customer ratings.

Other online retailers have guided navigation and site search engines that enable visitors to filler a search by attributes. But instead of placing a site search box in an inconspicuous spot on a page, Cabela’s has redesigned its product pages to make site search much more prominent and the path to search by a specific metric such as by customer reviews very visible, says Thompson. “We have more flexibility in design now and that’s helping us to introduce richer navigation,” says Thompson.

Cabela’s has used customer feedback from call center conversations, surveys, comments posted on Cabelas.com and satisfaction surveys from Foresee to retool product pages. One new feature on a product page allows a visitor to increase text size for easier reading. “That improvement came about because one of our shoppers specifically asked for it,” says Thompson.

Going forward Cabela’s is close to adding new international shipping and payments options under a new arrangement with FiftyOne Global Ecommerce. Other upcoming initiatives include more work on mobile app development and further refining the guided navigation on product pages.

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