Target audience: Individual entrepreneurs and small- and midsize businesses
Key Web executive: Monica Luechtefeld, exec VP-e-commerce and direct marketing
No. of people working on the site: More than 100
Last major redesign: April 2009, with a minor refresh in June
No. of pages on the site: Hundreds of thousands
Web developer: In-house
The 100-plus-person team charged with updating and maintaining the OfficeDepot.com Web site had a single focus for its most recent work: Make buying office supplies easier, faster and more intuitive. The features they came up with do just that, said Monica Luechtefeld, exec VP-e-commerce and direct marketing at Office Depot.
Some of the site improvements include dedicated, product-specific microsites, such as Ink Depot, Paper Depot and Tech Depot, all of which give shoppers multiple ways to find what they want. “For ink, some people know the model number of the machine but not the cartridge number. Some people know the manufacturer,” Luechtefeld said. “We've tried to think of every conceivable way that someone would search to get them fast results.”
Luechtefeld and her team also improved the site's general search. Now it makes suggestions as a visitor uses the keyboard, so they don't have to type in the entire word or phrase. It also slices top-level product searches—pens, for example—into logical categories. Once people arrive on a product page, they can view how many stars a product has garnered, drill down into reviews and even add their own commentary to the site. (In the past reviews were available only for certain types of products.)
Product comparison is now easier, too, and once visitors add something to their cart, that cart follows them from page to page with numbers of items and costs clearly visible.
The changes come as a result of extensive pre-redesign research and ongoing testing via focus groups, online surveys and A/B tests, Luechtefeld said.
Although the new site debuted only a few months ago, OfficeDepot.com is already reaping rewards, she said. “We've improved our conversion by 50 basis points and improved bounce rates in the double-digit numbers,” she said. “It's a significant improvement for us.”
Expert commentary—Bill Rice, president, Web Marketing Association: The site is always kept fresh-looking. They have so many products, and yet it's easy to search and keep track of what you're buying. Search is especially strong. If you are on a page displaying computer printers and search “ink,” the first results are printer ink. It's about the customer rather than what the company is trying to sell that week. The site is also available in multiple languages and has a simple text menu, which is something that some companies forget to do.
|Smith & Fong Co.|