June 26, 2003, 12:00 AM

Drugstore.com’s new motto: Keep It Simple

Drugstore.com is re-designing its pages to present fewer but better targeted and merchandised products to customers. One challenge is to convince customers that it is living up to its boast of offering way more products than a corner drugstore.

Drugstore.com is re-designing its pages to present fewer but better targeted and merchandised products to customers. "One of the directions we’re going is simplification," says Ramer Holtan, customer retention manager. "We want to present customers with fewer but clearer options. Our pages had become more and more crowded and confusing, so we decided to stop just adding things and start taking away."

Now, even though Holtan says Drugstore.com continues to live up to its boast that it offers way more products than a corner drugstore, it is presenting products in a more directed fashion. "We’re homing in on specific messages and value," he says.

Simpler pages, however, increase the burden on site navigation and search because there are more pages. One of the most time-consuming portions of improving navigation, Holtan says, was the naming of tabs. "We really had to understand the architecture of the site and make sure tabs took people where we wanted them to go," he says. "One of our biggest struggles was effective naming of the tabs."

Drugstore also stepped up its analysis of how customers use the site, especially looking at pages from which customers exited the site. "We wanted to know what is it about these pages that is confusing or un-enticing to the customer," Holtan says.

Drugstore experienced a 30% increase in sales in the first quarter.

 

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