Lands' End Makes Online Shopping?and Conversion?Look Easy
When Nielsen//NetRatings released its Internet retail report card in April, it came as no surprise that Lands' End ranked second in visitor-to-customer conversion. With a Web site that focuses on how customers interact with, shop for and purchase its products, Lands' End has been able to realize conversion rates well above the industry norm—14.8 percent versus 4.9 percent, according to Nielsen's report. The cataloger's director of Internet marketing, Lisa Dyson, spoke with Target Marketing recently about how its behind-the-screen research is leading to on-screen results.
Target Marketing: What are some of the tactics Lands' End uses to optimize the online shopping experience?
Lisa Dyson: At LandsEnd.com, our focus is really on the customer. We try to design the site for how customers shop and what we know about our customers. We know a lot of them are coming from the catalog, so we try to design the site to be fast and easy to check out. There's also a segment that comes in and needs more assistance, so we've designed shopping tools to really help the customer find the items that fit her needs.
For example, it's swim season right now at Lands' End, that's what our last big catalog promoted, so our site reflects that as well. What's new for us this year is really expanding our systems for swim. We've added [more functions] to our Swim Finder Tool, which … helps her shop by her body shape, her anxiety zones, styles she's looking for, and really search all of that product [line] to find the right solution. This year, we've added a mix-and-match tool because we know more and more customers want more choices. So we built a tool to help her visualize that … adding to a family of tools that includes a virtual model and live customer service.
TM: How do you develop and test these programs?
LD: We do a lot of testing before they go live on the site. We get information from our call centers, and we get a lot of good insight from customers who e-mail us feedback. When we get an idea for a tool, we do usability testing, online panels and other kinds of marketing research to see if it's something that will help customers the way we anticipate it will.
We analyze after the fact, as well, to see if these tools are being used, adding value and increasing conversion.
—Tracy A. Gill