November 26, 2003, 12:00 AM streamlines order path and sees conversions jump 20%

Holiday shopping plays a role in the dramatic increase, but “No question, simplification of the order path makes is easier for customers, especially new ones, to make a purchase,” says CEO Carl Rosendorf.

Among major enhancements rolled out last week at, the discount retail site has streamlined its order path, shrinking to three steps what had been a five-step process. Within a week, the site saw a 20% increase in conversions, much of which it attributes to the simplified ordering, CEO Carl Rosendorf tells Internet Retailer.

Given the time of year, the increase in shopping overall has played a role in the dramatic increase, but “There’s no question simplification of the order path has made it easier for customers, especially new customers, to make a purchase on the site,” Rosendorf says.

The new path removes steps but not any of the critical information asked of customers in the order process, he adds. Instead, the process changes the manner in which it asks consumers for information. It’s the result of extensive consumer testing in which SmartBargains created a usability lab, bringing in consumers who’d never purchased, those who’d purchased once from the site and multi-purchasers to get varying perspectives on how simple it was for different groups to make a purchase.

The streamlined order path launched last week was a build on earlier enhancements to ordering made on the site this spring, Rosendorf says, when initial results from those changes helped throw a spotlight on opportunities for further improvement. “We had changed the order path when we relaunched the site in April and at that time we saw a slight improvement in conversion. So we were looking for what we could do beyond what we had already accomplished to make the process even easier for consumers," he says. For first-timers especially, he says, “We wanted to make sure it`s very intuitive and that is where we focused a lot of our attention."


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