December 4, 2007, 12:00 AM

Technology upgrade helps lift conversions by 15% at

Investing in its platform to speed access to 130 million products and streamlining its shopping cart and product pages pays off for


With 130 million products on the site, it was sometimes a challenge for shoppers at to find their way to what they wanted quickly and easily. The retailer made a major investment this year in technology to speed up shoppers’ access to its entire catalog, also streamlining its shopping cart process and product pages; and conversions have risen 15% as a result, says Jill Ambrose, chief marketing officer.

In a further build on its improved shopping cart, the retailer this month launched a new Gift This Cart feature that uses e-mail to deliver a shopping cart containing images of products selected by the gift giver, which the recipient can click on to redeem or to swap out for something else.

Ambrose also notes that despite the exceptionally large number of products, since the technology upgrade, now ranks consistently among Gomez Inc.’s top 10 retail sites in response rate and availability

CafePress, which launched in 1999, lets consumers design products, either for sale or for their own use, and provides an online marketplace serving both product designers who want to sell and shoppers on the lookout for unique items. The reason there are so many items is that shoppers can add any of the images ever posted to the site to any item-such as t-shirt, mug or calendar.

CafePress provides either a free or a fee-based online shop at the site, produces on demand the items ordered by shoppers, and handles shipping and payment transactions, retaining a portion of sale. It also uses its production capacities to print and package books and CDs of original content uploaded by its members.

”Our concept is really user-generated commerce,” Ambrose says.


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