A Case Study On Successfully Relaunching An Ecommerce Site

Just over a couple months ago, we witnessed the successful relaunch of the Simply Hammocks ecommerce website – which has already experienced a massive increase in its number of online conversions. This is thanks to a few key changes that we will explore in this blog post.

In 2015, the Simply Hammocks brand (along with a number of other brands from the same stable), was acquired by Scott Woodhead – an entrepreneur who has already achieved notable success with his own ecommerce sites including Loving Outdoors and the My Glasses website.

It was clear from the outset that the previous incarnation of the Simply Hammocks site was in serious need of a major overhaul and here are some of the key changes that have been highly influential in terms of gaining more search traffic and achieving more sales.

Mobile Friendliness

When accessed on a mobile browser, the earlier version of Simply Hammocks was discouraging at the best of times. The act of making an online purchase was extraordinarily difficult for mobile users so it was clear that the relaunch needed to be mobile friendly if it was to serve as a useful avenue for sales conversions. Since making the required adjustments – Simply Hammocks has increased the number of monthly sales to mobile users to 2.3% from a previous average of just 0.06%.

Faster Page Loading Times

If an online shopper has to wait an eternity for a site to load then the chances are that they will look elsewhere. Optimising for speed can play a vital role in terms of achieving those all important sales. In fact, it has been estimated that every second shaved from a page’s loading time can lead to a 2% increase in online conversion rates. Google themselves take page speed seriously and this is about to be incorporated as a major ranking factor in the next mobile search algorithm update.

So how were these faster page loading times achieved?

In the words of Scott Woodhead himself:

“We ran all images through minify which saved us 1.4GB in file size. We moved over to Shopify which utilises Content Delivery Network and load balancing servers so the website was faster under traffic.”

“We also removed unnecessary apps. One in particular was from an installed module that wasn’t being used but was loading JavaScript for each page from a company that didn’t exist. This added 3 seconds load to every page!”

On the old site, the main homepage banner itself was a considerable 16 megabyte download! This has also been significantly compressed for faster loading.

Social Proof

When it comes to purchasing things online, shoppers want to know that other people are happy with a particular product or service and this increases their confidence to buy. Social proof can be an incredibly effective tool when it comes to encouraging people to commit to buying something.

On the Simply Hammocks website, this is achieved by means of unobtrusive pop-ups which are displayed at frequent intervals, showing potential customers what other people have just bought.

This creates confidence and trust in visitors to your website that will convert to further sales.

By adding these gentle pop-ups to their ecommerce site, Simply Hammocks has achieved an estimated 40% increase in monthly turnover!

Enhanced Product Images

The original Simply Hammock website was awash with run-of-the-mill photographs of hammocks suspended between trees in people’s gardens. This meant that the person viewing the website was inundated with green pixels and predictable images which were difficult to tell apart.

On the new site, the images are much more creative with a combination of some more unusual and artistic shots alongside an improved range of close-up images with pictures of relevant accessories such as storage bags. This helps the products to stand out and capture the imagination of potential buyers.

Delivery Times

Over the last two years alone, the number of people expecting faster delivery times with greater control over the delivery slots themselves has increased by a factor of over 40%. Buying a product online is only part of the ecommerce experience and the emphasis now is equally focused on services such as next day delivery.

When you visit the Simply Hammocks website, you will see that all items are shipped with free express delivery – with 97% of all orders being delivered within 24 hours of ordering. This is made clearly visible and serves as a highly effective marketing tool.

Detailed Product Pages

If you are trying to sell a hammock costing between £70 and £250, the chances are that the person buying that hammock will expect a highly detailed description of the product that they are about to purchase before they even think about actually buying it. The Simply Hammocks product pages are packed with useful information on every single product and potential customers are also provided with an additional range of informative extras such as online buyer’s guides, product videos and in depth information on the size of each hammock and the type of materials used for construction.

You can also download product manuals from the Simply Hammocks website and these are highly useful in SEO terms in that they attract additional search traffic including people who have lost their own manuals who may even end up buying a new hammock once they see something they like on the site!

Improvements in Content Strategy

Providing useful content for customers in the form of blogs and user guides can add a tremendous amount of value to the worth of a commerce website. By giving people the information they want about a product or service, you are gaining their trust and encouraging them to buy.

A simple blog entitled “Can I Leave My Hammock Outside In The Rain?” could prove to be significantly effective in terms of attracting traffic to a website that specialises in online hammock sales and this kind of marketing can prove to be highly valuable to any niche site.

By targeting a specific audience who are likely to make a purchase via your site in the future you are ensuring further success down the road.

Streamlined Checkout Facility

When making a purchase on the relaunched Simply Hammocks website, the customer is no longer required to register their details, there are no annoying hindrances and the forms themselves provide flawless functionality. Buying a hammock is a smooth and effortless experience which makes the checkout process an absolute breeze. Perfect!

To Summarise

The improvements detailed above have proven to be highly beneficial and enormously effective in terms of boosting online sales for Simply Hammocks, although there are still a number of features which are yet to be implemented. The website design itself is now much more efficient and it now works brilliantly for mobile users. The pages load much more quickly and require less valuable bandwidth and the product pages and checkout facility have been completely redesigned in order to create a much slicker buying experience for all online customers. There is something here that everybody can learn from and we hope you have found this article to be as useful as we have.