July 31, 2003, 12:00 AM

CustomInk.com increases sales conversion rate 6% with cleaner design

CustomInk.com used to lose a lot of customers who were overwhelmed by the number of options for custom-printing T-shirts and other garments presented on its pages. But a redesign has increased sales.

CustomInk.com used to lose a lot of customers who were overwhelmed by the number of choices for custom-printing garments presented on its pages. But after redesigning its site to better organize options to custom-design and print graphics on T-shirts, caps, jogging outfits and other items, the e-retailer saw about a 6% increase in its sales conversion rate. It expects the redesign to help the site more than double sales this year, to about $7 million from $3 million last year, CEO Marc Katz says.

CustomInk provides several ways in which customers can choose from a library of graphic elements, including several print fonts for creating their own logos or scripts, then lets them draw these graphics onto an image of a T-shirt, cap or other garment. Once customers enter the site`s "lab" where they customize garments, they`ve taken the first step toward purchasing a product. CustomInk sells to individual consumers as well as to large businesses, who place orders ranging in size from $120 to $30,000 for products designed for parties, corporate outings, or sports teams.

But many shoppers never made it into the lab because they were apparently overwhelmed by some of the initial product category pages, which would list numerous images of varieties of products that could be customized, Katz says.

CustomInk redesigned the category pages to show fewer images, but with linked subtopics, which made it easier for customers to choose a product to customize, he adds. Using a site analytics reporting service from Coremetrics Inc., it found that shoppers on the redesigned category pages were more likely to choose a product and customize it. "We were surprised, because we had thought it would be the other way around, that pages that showed more product images would lead people to click through to our design lab," Katz says.


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