October 27, 2010, 3:06 PM

New Moosejaw site adds video and recommendations

The outdoor gear retailer simplified site structure to enhance creative content.

Lead Photo

Moosejaw's redesign

Moosejaw Mountaineering debuted a redesigned Moosejaw.com in August that added personalized recommendations, improved navigation and interactive tools. The retailer of outdoor gear says the site design and structure is simpler and cleaner.

“Our approach was that we know our creative content is good, but that the old site, while great, was very busy. This redesign takes the site structure down a notch so it exists as a frame for our creative,” says Gary Wohlfeill, Moosejaw Mountaineering creative director.

Moosejaw, No. 277 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, made the changes after studying how consumers interpreted features and navigated the old site, Wohlfeill says. The company videotaped consumers as they visited the site. “Through the research we were able to recognize those moments when the consumer was obviously confused about what was going on and improve that,” he says.

The redesign took about eight months to complete, and included modifications of product page navigation and the shopping cart. Often, Wohlfeill says, one product will have multiple prices based on color or size. The old navigation required consumers to use a drop-down menu that displayed all the sizes, colors and prices in one place. Now, the correct price displays when a consumer hovers her mouse over a size or color. “We think this makes the site more usable in a way that wasn’t there before,” he says.

Moosejaw also added a product comparison feature and a “save for later” tool that lets consumers keep a shopping cart of items they are considering separate from the shopping cart of items they intend to buy now. Consumers can share items in the secondary cart via e-mail. The company says it acts as a wish list and that consumers can move products from the saved cart to a current shopping cart when they are ready to purchase.

The new site design also uses video for the first time. Consumers can view 100 company-made videos about the site’s most-popular products. The videos adopt the company’s quirky attitude in a way that’s more entertaining than standard videos, Wohlfeill says. The videos feature a dog groomer doing her job while talking about Moosejaw products, a butcher talking about Moosejaw products while carving meat and a mechanic fixing a car as he comments on the retailer. The company is using e-commerce video firm Invodo Inc. to store and deliver the site’s video. Manufacturer-made videos also appear on the site.

Moosejaw also added personalized product recommendations to the site using MyBuys Inc.’s service. The service delivers recommendations to consumers based on what they do on Moosejaw.com and the behaviors of other consumers. Wohlfeill says Moosejaw provided MyBuys with customer purchase histories so that it could start providing recommendations immediately. Recommendations are present on every page on of the site and appear at the top of search results.

Wohlfeill says Moosejaw announced the new features to customers via company e-mails and that early feedback is positive. “They understand when they are looking at a page about what is on sale versus non-sale and they are playing with the new features. We think we definitely played it right with this version,” he says.

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