Site Revamp Cuts Costs, Boosts Sales for Personal Creations

Personalized-gifts cataloger Personal Creations has cut its Web hosting costs in half since revamping its Website in September. The Burr Ridge, IL-based company was able to reduce the number of servers it was on from five to two while increasing the site’s speed and functionality.

Even better, order conversion rates since the relaunch have increased more than 25% from the previous year, says Geoff Smith, the cataloger’s president of e-commerce and new business development. And the average order size for Web-placed orders has risen 10%.

Smith credits much of the Website’s improved performance to its new platform, the Fry Flagship e-commerce solution from Ann Arbor, MI-based services provider Fry. Personal Creations was considering several other options, including hiring an inhouse engineer. The marketer’s decision to go with Flagship was in part due to its existing relationship with Fry, which had designed and hosted the previous site. (Fry continues to host the Personal Creations site.) The new site, which cost $250,000 including Fry Flagship, will pay for itself in two years, Smith says.

The new platform enables Personal Creations to cross-sell and upsell products. “We have an improved browse structure, so when you come into different categories, you can navigate much more easily,” Smith says. “You can see the breadcrumb trail that shows where you’ve been and where you’re going, and you can click to go back from a category to category. In the past, you’d need to scroll all the way through pages.” In addition, the site can now “rank a large portion of our best-selling products in categories,” he notes.

Once the site was up and running, Personal Creations in October created a gifts personalization Website for retailer Toys ‘R’ Us. “We’re getting a lot of interest from other gift retailers with a Web presence who want to get into the personalized gift arena,” Smith adds, “but don’t have the technology, or back-end manufacturing capabilities that we have.”

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