February 17, 2010, 12:00 AM

Web site design is all about making it easy to shop, WeatherTech.com says

With automotive accessories retailer WeatherTech.com’s new site redesign, the focus is on making it easier for shoppers to buy its products.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

Anthony Svanascini

With its 2007 redesign, automotive accessories retailer WeatherTech.com added a “Start” button where shoppers enter their car’s make, model and year so that the site can pull up applicable customized products. The button sought to make it easier for shoppers to find the products that fit their needs.

A new redesign set to launch in April will push the idea of simplified shopping even further, said Anthony Svanascini, president of Americaneagle.com Inc., at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability 2010 Conference in Orlando in a session entitled "Case study: Preparing for the new ways consumers shop."

For instance, Americaneagle.com added cookies that store the vehicles that visitors search for most often. “That allows us to throw relevant products at you,” he said.

Because WeatherTech’s products are customized to fit specific makes and models of cars, the retailer invested in a photo studio where it shoots high-resolution photos, displayed on its site, that show a specific product in a specific car. “It’s not a cheap investment-in terms of time and money-and it’s hard to measure the ROI on it, but we think shoppers want to see how the products fit in their particular car,” said Brian Evans, MacNeil Automotive director of e-commerce and Internet marketing

It also added a page that allows shoppers to mouse over a car’s part to see how various products, such as a cargo liner, fit in the car’s trunk. Doing so not only bolstered WeatherTech’s search engine optimization, it also helped the company’s shoppers understand its unique products, said Evans. That’s particularly important because WeatherTech’s customer base used to be dominated by car aficionados, but recently that’s changed as soccer moms and others are interested in keeping mud, sand and snow from staining the car’s interior, he said.

It introduced promotions-such as discounts-in its drop-down shopping cart. And it added one-page checkout. “The easier you make it complete an order, the less you see abandoned shopping carts,” said Svanascini.

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