The office supplies retailer say it sacrificed some sales to improve online profitability. It also redesigned its business-facing e-commerce site, StaplesAdvantage.com.
The regional retail chain launched an e-commerce site less than two years ago.
Since launching its first e-commerce transactional site in November 2009, Midwest mass merchant chain Shopko Stores hasn’t dallied in taking things up a level online. And it’s already benefitting from sharply rising conversion rates.
The 143-store chain came out with a redesign of Shopko.com in February 2011 that, among other things, offered a more effective site navigation that made shopping online by its regular customers more like shopping in its stores. The site, which has been on the SpeedFC e-commerce platform since 2009, planned its site redesign partially as the result of usability studies the Green Bay, WI-based retailer conducted with consumers in a lab at the University of Minnesota.
As a result, branding, color schemes, and the way products are presented in a pattern are making the site easier to navigate. “We’ve developed more consistency in what shoppers experience both in our stores and online,” says Mike Sidders, vice president of e-commerce. “Shopping online now is more consistent with customers walking into one of our stores and physically navigating the areas they want to shop.”
Shopko is now basking in the results of its decision to dive fully into e-commerce. “We have seen a huge improvement in conversion rates, up by well over 30% since February across all areas of the site,” Sidders says.
The retailer is continuing to upgrade Shopko.com in other ways to better engage with consumers on its redesigned site. The site is now partially optimized for mobile commerce, for example, and Shopko is still tweaking its product pages to make them easier to shop for a larger number of items through visually appealing displays.
“We had a lot of room to improve and have made some major improvements,” Sidders says. “But we don’t feel we’re there yet. We still have things to modify.”
In the coming months, he adds, Shopko will be looking into how to continue improving the online shopping experience it offers customers through more personalized content, improved site search and navigation, and a version of its site better optimized for mobile devices.