LeftLane Sports made two changes to its shopping cart page and watched its conversion rate increase 50% in four weeks.
The members-only, outdoor and action sports gear retailer wanted to enable shoppers to check out more quickly, and updating its shopping cart page allows them to do just that, says Erik Fialho, chief operating officer.
The first change involved flipping the order of items listed on the shopping cart page to have the cart total and checkout button listed first, followed by the list of products in the shopper’s cart. Previously, the shopper saw her products first and had to scroll down to see the order total and then click checkout.
The second change was adding plus and minus buttons next to a product so a shopper could easily add a unit by tapping the plus sign, ordering, for example, two pairs of socks instead of one, and then see the cart total update in real time. Previously, a shopper had to type in the number to change it, hit update, and wait for the page to refresh to see an updated cart total, Fialho says.
On average a LeftLane Sports shopper purchases 2.41 units per order, and the retailer’s goal is to increase that to more than 2.5 units, Fialho says. LeftLane Sports has experienced an uptick in average units per order, but Fiahlo declines to provide details.
He says it took about two and a half months to make the checkout changes, which went live March 30. Fialho
would not say what LeftLane Sports’ conversion rate increased to, only that it now is “slightly higher than the industry standard.” In 2016, the average conversion rate was 3.22% for the 1,000 online retailers in the just-released Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000, and it was 2.35% for the 69 retailers in the sporting goods category, according to Top500Guide.com.
The whopping 50% increase in LeftLane Sports’ conversion rate in a month comes on top of a 500% year-over-year conversion rate jump after the retailer completed its website redesign in November 2016. Fialho declines to state the rates for LeftLane Sports, but an example of a 500% increase would be if a retailer had a 0.75% conversion rate and increased it to 4.50%.
LeftLane Sports’ 500% increase is an average across all devices, he says. Some devices had a much higher increase, such as an 820% conversion rate increase for LeftLane Sports shoppers using Apple iPhones.
The goal of the site redesign was to have a top-notch customer experience on mobile, Fialho says. Previously, LeftLane Sports had a separate mobile site. As part of the redesign, the retailer updated its site to use responsive web design, a technique that enables a website to automatically format to the consumer’s screen size. That allows a retailer to operate a single website that can easily be viewed on a desktop, smartphone or tablet, rather than operating separate sites for each device.
“We wanted to get better functionality because we had to constantly be updating two different websites,” Fiahlo says. “We wanted to make sure the customer had the exact same experience no matter what device they chose.” For example, as LeftLane Sports adds features to its desktop site, such as site search, it no longer has to separately build that change for its mobile site.
Another aspect to the site redesign is that the retailer sells about 50 adventure travel trips to all seven continents. Each trip has an active component to it, such as hiking the base camp of Mount Everest, that requires the kind of apparel LeftLane Sports sells. The retailer works with local travel operators and lists their trips on its site.
Another addition to the retailer’s site is a color-tagging feature for the retailer’s inventory management system. The tool automatically determines the color of each product, instead of the retailer having to manually tag it. That helps when, a product arrives from a manufacturer labeled with a nonstandard color, such as “crimson,” requiring LeftLane to manually tag the product as “red” so it would show up when shoppers search for red products on the site. Automating the color tagging saves LeftLane about 30 seconds per SKU, which adds up to a considerable amount time, Fiahlo says.
It took six months for the retailer and its e-commerce technology provider, Auspient Inc., to complete the responsive redesign, Fiahlo says. LeftLane Sports has five employees who are dedicated to increasing conversion and developing new features, and they worked with Auspient, which provides hosting and powers LeftLane’s back-end infrastructure, Fiahlo says. The responsive design update cost $225,000, and it paid for itself in less than a month because of the conversion increase, he says.
The retailer will continue to tweak and update each section of its website, Fiahlo says. For example, now that LeftLane Sports has improved its shopping cart page, it plans to make similar changes to streamline its checkout page, Fialho says. Product pages are also up for revisions.
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