February 10, 2011, 12:17 PM

Smart spending on a site redesign boosts NutraOrigin’s traffic and conversion rate

Timothy Peterson will discuss at the design conference how a budget helped the site's redesign.

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Soon after NutraOrigin decided that its site need a major redesign, the vitamin and nutritional supplement retailer realized that it had to maintain a strict budget, about 15% of projected first-year revenue.

While some might question whether that’s too much for a smaller company to spend on a new web site, the budget was justified, says director of marketing Timothy Peterson, who will share how he arrived at the first-year spending cap on the site redesign and why that budget worked at the Internet Retailer 2011 Web Design & Usability Conference in a session entitled  “Costing out a web site redesign.”

 “It has to be high early on,” he says. “I’ve been with other businesses that came and went, and part of the reason was that there wasn’t necessarily smart investment, smart testing and good technology. If you have those things in place early, the expense of your first year will easily be recouped in years two, three, four and five.”

Moreover, those costs are defrayed because maintenance for a redesigned site should decrease substantially in subsequent years, he adds.

After determining how much to spend on a site redesign, they key to staying within that budget while developing a functional and effective site is prioritizing spending, says Peterson. With the help of web design firm Tellus, NutraOrigin accomplished that by focusing first on site elements that would deliver the greatest return in the shortest time. For example, functionality that would allow it to quickly change and target promotions was critical.

Disciplined spending also meant saying no to other attractive site elements and features until later on, according to Peterson. For example, NutraOrigin considered but decided against multi-tiered navigation tabs across the top of the home page.  

Thanks to smart spending on the redesign traffic on the new site has increased to more than 1,000 visitors per day from the old site’s average of fewer than 100 per day, and its conversion rate is up to more than 2.4% from 0.25%, Peterson says.

In the session Peterson will examine strategies for determining how much a retailer should spend on a web site redesign, what goes into making that decision, and how to estimate the costs and calculate the return.


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