October 7, 2011, 4:51 PM

Simple is better and faster for 1-800 Contacts

A new design makes it quicker for customers to order and reorder contact lenses.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

When it comes to web design it’s lean and mean at 1-800 Contacts.

Since May 1-800 Contacts Inc., No. 101 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has been redesigning 1800Contacts.com, which carries more than 10 million sets of contact lenses.

But instead of complicating its e-commerce site with many features and functions, 1-800 Contacts has an eight-step design initiative under way that reduces the time and steps it takes customers to place an order, says e-commerce marketing manager Amy Larson. “We are streamlining the process,” says Larson.

The newly redesigned home page features two prominent boxes: one that new shoppers use to purchase contact lenses and another for repeat customers. The new home page also features above the fold images of the most requested contact lens brands. Clicking on a particular brand takes shoppers directly to a revamped product page that contains larger images and links for a particular brand. If, for instance, a shopper clicks on the Acuvue image on the home page is immediately taken to a product page that lists all Acuvue contacts in alphabetical order.

With the old design it took shoppers as many as four clicks to get to the right contact lens page and place an order. Now that process in some cases has been reduced to two clicks, says Larson.

1-800 Contacts, which in June expanded into more eyewear categories with the launch of Glasses.com, is building better customer service features into its product pages based on a question and answer format. When new or repeat shoppers need to order a certain type of contact lens, the order might be written on the prescription form from the optometrist. New customer service features on 1800Contacts.com include a series of guided questions that tell customers step by step how to enter the correct information on the order form and where the numbers can be found on the prescription or the contact lens box.

“We are going to give the contact lens shopper a step-by-step way to order their lens or refill an order as quickly as possible,” says Larson. “There is a place on the contact lens box that has the correct information to enter, but customers may not know where it is. We will show them.”

1-800 Contacts says its new approach to design is meant to help first-time users effortlessly order contacts and simplify the process for repeat shoppers. “A lot of e-commerce sites want to be the destination of choice because of all the content and functionality they offer,” says Larson. “We want to be the destination of choice for contact lens shoppers by making easier and faster to order.”

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