July 10, 2013, 4:36 PM

Toolfetch.com retools its e-commerce and m-commerce sites

New site search and one-step checkout are key for mobile shoppers.

Lead Photo

The e-retailer consolidated its numerous product lines into seven main categories to make it easier to navigate the m-commerce site.

Web-only retailer Toolfetch.com LLC has given its e-commerce and m-commerce sites a brand new look and added new features continues to focus on speedy mobile page loads.

The e-retailer’s sites feature a new design, colors, logo and branding slogan: “Search faster, done faster.” The merchant overhauled its mobile and desktop site search function with technology from Solr, which enables Toolfetch.com to tailor search results by weighting specific product attributes and breaking down results by facets such as category, price and brand.

“Weighting the search results gives us flexibility to rank the results either by description, title, specifications such as color or other attributes, and so much more,” says Andrew Brown, co-founder and CEO of Toolfetch.com, No. 248 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400. “Without weighting the keyword term results, a customer might assume we don’t have a tool or accessory, which might be on the second or third search results page. This can end up with a customer leaving our site even though we have the product, which wasn't prominent in search results. We keep an eye on what our big movers and trends are and adjust the results accordingly.”

Solr search is enabling faster searches; as a result, customers are spending more time searching and searching much deeper on both sites, Brown adds.

Also new to both sites are real-time inventory availability on most products, Checkout by Amazon for payments, Bongo Checkout for international customers, and a new volume pricing and freight quoting system.

Toolfetch.com consolidated its numerous product lines into seven main categories to make it easier to navigate the m-commerce site.

And it has added what it calls one-step checkout. This is especially important for mobile shoppers, Brown says.

“The one-step checkout consolidates the billing address, shipping address, shipping method and credit card payment all within one step on one page, instead of going through the normal three to four steps you see on many other sites,” Brown says. “We found that a higher percentage of customers would abandon the checkout process with an extra step or two. Allowing the customer to fill out only one page instead has a higher success rate.”

Overall, mobile commerce played a crucial part in the merchant’s redesign strategy, Brown says.

“Customers’ mobile device use has increased dramatically over the last two years, up 30%,” he says. “Although the desktop computer is still the No. 1 way our customers shop, tablets and smartphones are a strong second and third and continue to grow substantially. The end result was to keep the design simple as our customers want to find what they’re looking for quickly, receive a competitive price and easily checkout with different payment methods.”

As an early player in mobile commerce, Brown has always maintained a sharp eye on m-commerce site performance—page load times and site availability percentages. The slower the page loads, the lower the conversion rate, mobile commerce experts say. The new design is performing very well. For the week ending July 7, the Toolfetch.com m-commerce site home page loaded on average in 3.38 seconds and did so completely and successfully 99.90% of the time, according to the Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. The average page load time for all 30 retailers on the mobile index was 11.65 seconds and the average success rate was 95.44%.

Because of consistently high performance on the Keynote index during the last few years, the redesigned m-commerce site has a lot to live up to, Brown says.

“With this in mind we kept the mobile site very light on its feet,” he says. “Anything that is needed for our mobile home page—like images, JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets—we have saved locally on our servers so that we can serve those files up from our one, single domain. This excludes third-party tracking pixels that of course are served from other sources.”

Limiting the number of domains a site must pull content from reduces the number of server calls and boosts speed.

Both the desktop site and the m-commerce site were designed and built by a design firm, though Brown declines to name the firm.

15% of Toolfetch.com total traffic stems from smartphones, which access the m-commerce site, and 20% of traffic comes from tablets, which access the standard desktop site, though that is going to change.

“Given the explosion in growth of tablet users, we will be designing a user-friendly tablet site in the future,” Brown says.

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