CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
The custom men’s shirt maker rebrands with a new logo, look and pricing strategy.
A new look for custom shirt maker Blank Label is already bringing in positive results and it’s only been a month.
Blank Label, No. 995 and the fastest growing merchant in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, added several new features to its e-commerce site that have boosted the site’s conversion rate 25% to 30% over the previous month, says co-founder Fan Bi.
“We essentially discovered who our core customer was and tried to dig deep with them on what kind of experience they wanted online,” he says. “That was: a new brand, user interface and close-up photos.”
To help consumers picture what a shirt looks like the retailer added a 3-dimensional shirt model to its customization platform, whereas before it only showed flat, two-dimensional shots. It also added a zoom tool so shoppers can get a close-up view of fabrics, cuff shape, button material and other shirt features. All technology and design for the site is done in-house.
Along with a new logo and layout of the site, the retailer revamped its pricing strategy. Blank Label has raised the prices slightly on its shirts but no longer charges for customizing; previously it offered a lower price for its shirt but charged for each customized cuff style, collar shape and other individualized options. Custom shirts now start at $60.
Additionally, Blank Label now offers free shipping and returns and expedited shipping for $8. Until a month ago it charged $9 for standard shipping and $17 for expedited. Standard shipments usually arrive in four weeks and expedited orders take two weeks, Bi says. Blank Label’s expedited orders are drop shipped directly from manufacturers in China to customer’s homes, while standard orders are shipped from China to the company’s U.S. distribution center, then to customers.
The site’s changes stem from a shift in the company’s overall business model. When the company started up in 2009 Blank Label envisioned its customer base to be a younger male demographic that thought the idea of ordering a custom shirt online would be cool, Bi says. But after months of e-mails, live chats and phone calls with customers, the retailer learned that its most profitable customers were actually older, more professional men who use Blank Label as a less expensive alternative to a custom offline tailors.
Blank Label got a good look at its customer base with a tool called Rapportive, which when installed on its Gmail account enabled the retailer to view customers’ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. With this tool, Blank Label realized a healthy chunk of its customers were doctors, lawyers and accountants.