April 20, 2004, 12:00 AM

Improved navigation and configuration nets HPshopping.com higher sales

Improving navigation and product configuration nets HPshopping.com more custom-configuration sales and an 8% higher average basket size on such orders, the company reports. HP also made it easier for shoppers to compare customized and ready-made PCs.

Improving navigation and product configuration nets HPshopping.com more custom-configuration sales and an 8% higher average basket size on such orders, the company reports.


HPshopping.com analyzed clickstream data, current best practices and information gathered from multiple users to guide the improvements. Prior to re-doing its PC product navigation, for example, HPshopping.com had stacked its desktop and notebook computer series category pages vertically. But it found that the lengthy pages that resulted made product comparisons difficult, leaving some customers without the confidence they had enough information to move forward on purchasing either a custom-configured or a ready-made PC.

Changing desktop and notebook PC category pages to a column layout offered a more horizontal organization that afforded more ability to compare features and offers directly. Short series descriptors, such as “value” and “performance,” were added to further add to customers` ability to compare across each desktop or notebook series. An easy-to-view series description page was added, offering tabs with series overviews, specifications, and warranty and support options.

The online configuration tool for custom orders also got a makeover. Previously, it had listed all the series components and add-ons on a single page, placing component options and promotions in pull-down menus. That made it difficult for users to see all the options and the prices and promotions associated with each item, or to immediately understand the benefits of upgrading to a higher model.

In changing its PC configuration process, HPshopping.com created a two-step process that separated the configuration of PC components from the add-ons. To better delineate options and extras, the pull-down menus were replaced with a radio-button format gives customers clearer visibility. The trade-offs and price adjustments for each configuration and component selection also has been made more visually clear. Merchandising tags and promotions such as mail-in rebates appear under qualifying components, making them more apparent to customers.

One key enhancement was an automatic price adjustment and ship date tool that’s continuously displayed in a box on the left hand side of the screen. Total product prices and ship dates are automatically updated with every change the customer makes to a configuration or component, as the customer makes them.

Customers are now offered a link that provides information about any shipping delays that may be caused by specific component choices and lists faster shipping alternatives. A new review button allows customers to edit component choices after selection, which eliminates the need to reconfigure from scratch. Prior to the makeover, all the items from a completed PC configuration were automatically erased from the screen if a customer decided to change an option, requiring the customer to start the whole configuration process over.

In the last two years, the company notes, traffic at HPshopping.com has grown to 4 million unique users a month from 2 million per month. The site saw higher sales of custom-configured products and higher average basket sizes per custom order within four months of instituting the navigation and configuration process improvements.

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