2/13/09

Redesigned web site is first step in NutriSystem’s new e-commerce strategy

NutriSystem Inc. relaunched its web site last month, the first step in a big e-commerce push that will unfold this year. “The site is just the beginning of it,” says Monica Woo, chief marketing officer.

Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research

NutriSystem Inc. relaunched its web site last month, the first step in a big e-commerce push that will unfold this year. The redesign takes the site from what NutriSystem senior vice president of e-commerce Chris Terrill terms an online pamphlet to a more modern site, with improved usability, flow and information architecture.

“The old site probably was not even a 1.0 site,” Terrill says. “We basically started from scratch and did a complete ground-up rebuild.”

One major challenge facing NutriSystem was how to make the site address the different needs of men and women. “We had to make a site that effectively gets men into their world, yet also preserve a good experience for our core female users,” Terrill says.

Men coming to the site can click on the “Men’s Plans” tab on the home page that takes them directly to male-oriented content, such as a testimonial from TV sportscaster Chris Berman on the virtues of the NutriSystem diet and a discussion of the “man food” available through the program. On the “Women’s Plans” page, visitors can read about Marie Osmond’s experience and other women’s experiences with NutriSystem.

The new site also was designed to improve usability for the two types of people who typically visit the site: buyers and those merely seeking information. Buyers often have viewed NutriSystem marketing on TV or in the print media. “They are sold, they know what they want coming in, they want to buy,” Terrill says. “I had to preserve that and make sure we kept those pathways in place and enhanced them so we could keep our conversions up.”

For information seekers, NutriSystem expanded sections of the site to provide more detail on the NutriSystem program, including an “Our Menu” section featuring all 170 menu items offered in the program, meal-customization information and delivery information, he says. Information seekers can access the menu through a tab on the home page.

The redesigned site also features a tab on the home page for an expanded “Tools and Community” section. Previously, there was no link from the home page to the community forum.

“We found that people like to use the community,” Terrill says. “When you’re dieting, you want to be with like-minded folks. We had this great community, the message boards, profiles and friend features, and we weren’t really letting people know.”

The section also includes features such as the “Mindset Makeover, a step-by-step guide for winning attitudes and behavior,” a meal planner, a food diary and body-assessment tools.

The next step in the site redesign will go live in the next seven days-a new log-in experience and an interactive behavior modification program, Terrill says. The new log-in is designed to create a uniform experience for visitors to the site, whether buyers or information seekers.

“We’ve bridged all those things together from a look-and-feel perspective, from a utility and tools perspective, from a user-interface perspective, which will give a better experience for the customer coming in,” he says.

NutriSystem is using the Art Technology Group Inc. e-commerce platform, which will enable it to personalize experiences for visitors to the site.

The interactive behavior modification program will include videos, interactive modules, and a 13-week program to help dieters learn how to maintain their weight through a healthy diet and lifestyle after they leave the NutriSystem program, Terrill says.

“It’s an important part of helping people understand, not just what to eat everyday but how that extends out to their whole life,” he says.

NutriSystem will be putting increased emphasis on e-commerce, says Monica Woo, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“We have significantly upgraded our e-commerce talent, and the site is just the beginning of it,” she says. The web site accounts for about 60% of NutriSystem sales.

Woo formerly was president of the consumer floral division at 1-800-Flowers.com, while Terrill launched and built Match.com, Chemistry.com and Blockbuster.com. NutriSystem CEO and chairman Joseph M. Redding served as chairman and CEO of AOL International and president of AOL paid services.

Topics:

Computing, Internet, Nutrisystems Diet, Technology Internet, Usability

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