Magellan’s Goes for Harder Sell Online

With its newly redesigned Website, travel accessories cataloger Magellan’s makes it clear that selling product is its primary purpose. “In the past we did not want to look like a hard sell,” explains Eric Petersen, manager of Web development for the Santa Barbara, CA-based mailer. Rather than featuring product on the home page, Magellan’s played up its editorial content instead.

Not anymore. Since mid-June, when the company debuted its redesigned site, merchandise is front and center on the home page. “We want visitors to understand us at a glance, so we pushed the supplemental information below the fold on the new site,” Petersen says.

Magellan’s also reformatted each product shot to the same aspect ratio, so that each is the same height and width. This took about two months, but the result is more visual balance on the site, says Petersen. The company also added a “more views” functionality to show the product from various angles and added sample swatches for products available in multiple colors and fabrics. Visitors to the site will also see more-consistent—and fewer— type fonts.

Even before the redesign, the Website has performed strongly for Magellan’s. Having accounted for 24% of the company’s sales in 2001, the site last year brought in 35% of its sales.

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