Spreadshirt Optimizes to Get the Most Out of a Redesign with Optimizely

Using data to inform design choices grew orders by 4%

Spreadshirt is an online store and marketplace that lets visitors create and upload graphic designs that the user community can have printed on a variety of bags, t-shirts, and accessories. Since its founding in 2001, it has become an international marketplace for finding, sharing, and selling designs.

In January 2013, Spreadshirt welcomed a new creative director, Do Kil, to spearhead a complete rebrand of spreadshirt.com. Charged with giving the company’s online presence a facelift and a fresh message, Kil started on a website redesign that would focus on displaying the marketplace of designs more prominently.

At Spreadshirt, marketers, analysts, designers, copywriters, and developers have all used Optimizely since April 2012. With a strong optimization culture in place, the team tests all website changes before making anything permanent. The team shares results widely and data from previous tests helped them identify pain points to address in the redesign.


Kil hoped the new homepage would have a positive effect on overall user engagement, ultimately leading more visitors to buy or upload designs. They hypothesized that simplifying high impact areas of the page – like the “Start Selling” call-to-action – would achieve this.


Kil built a redirect from Spreadshirt’s original homepage and tested individual elements of the redesign to see how each would perform before deploying live changes.

One key test focused on the area displaying the “Start Selling” call-to-action (CTA) on Spreadshirt’s homepage. Kil tested the original section, which was text and graphic heavy, and included multiple CTAs, against a variation that was significantly pared down. She focused on making the CTA in the redesigned variation as clear and prominent as possible.

Kil tracked 25 individual goals to best understand how the redesigned homepage performed. She set up a click goal on the “Start Selling” button to track how successfully the new homepage drove visitors into the sign-up funnel, a metric that Spreadshirt wanted to increase with the redesign. She also set up a pageview goal on the order confirmation page to track the redesigned homepage’s direct impact on overall purchases.


The original “Start Selling” section was text and graphic heavy, and included multiple calls-to-action.


The variation removed much of the text and imagery, and increased the prominence of the primary call-to-action.


The redesigned homepage outperformed the original homepage across many of the team’s key goals – including a staggering 606% increase in conversions from the “Start Selling” CTA.

The redesigned homepage directly affected the company’s bottom line, with an 4% increase in total views of the order confirmation page. Overall, the redesign increased engagement by 8%. Kil’s hypothesis was correct – simplifying high impact areas of the homepage increased both conversions and engagement. As she continues to test elements of the website redesign, Kil plans to keep this learning in mind, building similar hypotheses across other pages on spreadshirt.com.


Tracking Conversion Events, Large and Small

The Spreadshirt team tracked 25 different types of conversions on the redesigned homepage. Some of these were macroconversions – actions that drove the business’s bottom line, like t-shirt purchases and seller sign-ups. Others were microconversions – actions that revealed more nuanced information about user behavior, like engagement. Tracking both macro- and micro- goals can paint a fuller picture of how users interact with your site and help inform future experiments.

Learn from Past Experiments

When planning tests for the redesign, Kil looked to the team’s previous A/B tests for inspiration. Analyzing learnings from past tests is a great way to draw inspiration for the future. For instance, if a particular variation worked well on your site’s homepage, try testing a similar change in paid search ads or on your product pages. Or try honing in on those results even further, testing a smaller aspect of a bigger win to boost conversions further.

Complement Great Design with Strong Data

Spreadshirt’s product and design teams worked closely together to test design variations before building them into the site. Testing first to understand what best resonated with users on Spreadshirt’s homepage informed decisions the design team made on other pages across the site. Optimizing the homepage helped the team save time and build a compelling user experience that increased business.


More Clicks on Homepage CTA


Increase in Orders


Improvement in Engagement

Optimizely was extremely important in our website redesign process. Instead of launching the new site and analyzing the results later, we could try different variations and see what worked during the design process.
Do Kil

Creative Director, Spreadshirt

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