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Little Nut Tree Toys, a UK-based online retailer that sells traditional wooden toys, recently made tweaks to its site search and layout that are starting to make an impact on its bottom line.
Little Nut Tree Toys, a UK-based online retailer that sells traditional wooden toys, recently made tweaks to its site search and layout that are starting to make an impact on its bottom line. Although the changes only went live about a month ago, founder Jo Nichlolson says she’s already noting a 10-15% increase in conversions.
Little Nut Tree was launched three years ago by Nicholson, a new mom looking to offer interactive, learning-orientated children’s toys sans batteries and electronic noises. Today, the site ships about 3,000 orders a year to about 2,500 customers. While business has grown each year, Nicholson says she knew early on the web site needed some changes, especially in site search.
“I would be on the phone helping a customer who was looking for wooden cars, and would type in ‘wooden car’ and they wouldn’t come up,” Nicholson. “You had to be specific about what you were looking for down to the ‘s.’”
The new site, designed by Fluid Creativity, uses a predictive search function that begins showing results as a consumer types. It then shows the four most relevant results with an option to view all results if the desired product is not listed.
Little Nut Tree also created sub -ategories to further help customers find items quickly. The original site offered about 10 broad categories, such as Boys, Girls and Outdoors which customers could click on to search within. Nicholson says the topics were too general and housed too many toys. Users would often have to scroll through 15 pages or more to view all the items in a category, she says. Now each main category brings up sub-categories to help whittle down a search. The Girls category, for example, offers such sub-categories as Dress up and Kitchen Play.
As a result of the new categories, Nicholson says customers are purchasing products that weren’t selling well before. Wooden Indian and cowboy pull-along toys manufactured by Italian toymaker Sevi, for example, are beautiful, high-quality items that customers weren’t purchasing because they had to scroll through several pages of search results before the toys came up, Nicholson says. Now, with more specific categories and more relevant results, sales for the two wooden toys have increased. Page views also have dropped dramatically, as visitors are finding what they are looking for faster, Nicholson adds.
As part of the redesign, Little Nut Tree toys also widened the web site’s screen presence. Before, the site would fit in the middle of a user’s computer screen with large gaps on either side. “It was wasted selling space, Nicholson says. “Now our page takes up the entire width of the screen.”