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Yeti Coolers packs up sales with revamped mobile shopping experience

Yeti Coolers is seeing 66 percent of online sales stem from smartphones after redesigning its digital platform to enable seamless integration for users of its mobile and desktop sites.

The company, which has been creating high-end, industrial-strength coolers since 2006, teamed up with Rackspace to roll out a new ecommerce platform with responsive Web design that allows for more streamlined shopping experiences. Yeti now sees two-thirds of its traffic come from mobile users, further highlighting the importance of offering a layout and checkout experience optimized for all digital customers.

“We want to always make sure we are skating to where the puck is going,” said Sara Kenton, director of ecommerce at Yeti Coolers, Austin, TX. “While mobile was only 20 percent of our traffic at the time, it was quickly rising.

“That trend, coupled with the fact our core fan base is active outdoors, made it a no-brainer.”

Mobile outlook
The bear-proof cooler brand initially began working with managing cloud computing company Rackspace in 2012 to roll out a full revamping of the ecommerce platform that allows for seamless user integration between the Web and mobile sites.

Three years later, Yeti Coolers has seen its online sales grow by more than 750 percent, with mobile commerce accounting for 66 percent of that amount.

The responsive site for mobile and Web platforms optimizes the display across all personal devices, enabling Yeti to keep an ecommerce team ready to handle any sudden spikes in visitor traffic as a result of retail sales or major holidays.

“Yeti’s mobile-optimized experience has been positive for customers and a great way for our target audience to reach us on-the-go,” Ms. Kenton said. “We’re currently working on additional mobile-optimized features that we’re excited to share with customers in the future.”

Yeti Coolers attributes its sudden growth of sales to the enthusiasm of outdoor and camping fans, who are likely attracted to the industrial-strength coolers over cheap ones that may fall apart after a single use.

Ultimately, the new platform has allowed the brand to more than double the amount of consumers it reaches via mobile devices, a tactic which may resonate positively with outdoor enthusiasts who favor spur-of-the-moment plans and find themselves in need of last-minute items for their trips.

Customers who visit the mobile site can toggle between the brand’s products, such as accessories, gear, drinkware and its eponymous coolers, for easy searching and filtering. The Yeti Field Notes blog is also optimized for mobile readers who may want to gather inspiration for outdoor activities and meals while on-the-go.

Additionally, a size guide is available for any customer who prefers to know the exact size specifications of the cooler he or she may purchase, including the amount of cans it holds.

Responsive design’s importance
Specialty retailers must understand the importance of offering responsive design across all of their digital platforms. If consumers are not able to have an optimized experience from their mobile or tablet devices, they will be much more likely to abandon their shopping process and head to a competitor’s site or application.

Yeti Coolers is not the only brand making a strong move toward responsive design after seeing digital sales skyrocket.

Zulily, a flash sales site that is at the forefront of Facebook’s leveraging of its Messenger service for one-to-one business-customer relations, has relaunched its Web site with a responsive design to repair a customer experience disrupted by explosive growth on mobile (see story).

“Mobile has changed our world,” Ms. Kenton said. “Step one was ensuring Yeti was accessible in a mobile environment, step two is figuring out how we leverage mobile to grow and engage them proactively.

“We are testing a number of different tactics within step two.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York