The minimalists'

1800wheelchair makes it easy for phones and tablets
Monday, November 3, 2014

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – 1800wheelchair hasn’t just updated its website. The company has completely revamped the way the site functions and is reaping the rewards as small device users are making more online purchases.

1800wheelchair had seen a big change in the technology habits of its users—more were using phones and tablets, said Joseph Piekarski, founder and CEO. 

“Four years ago, it was 100% desktop,” he said. “Suddenly, 40% of our customers are visiting us through a different application.”

That kind of shift demanded a new tactic. The company decided to rebuild the website to automatically recognize phone and tablet users and decrease the amount of information and images they see for optimum loading and viewing. Piekarski called the process “the art of minimalizing things.”

The move has paid off: “Phone (visits) went from a .25% to 2% conversion rate, which is a huge bump,” he said, noting rates also rose among tablet users. 

The dynamics of website development have changed quite a bit since 1800wheelchair first launched online in 1997, Piekarski says.

“In the past, you thought about the website for the desktop and tried to stuff it into the phone,” he said. “As time was changing, it was becoming a very inflexible website.”

Websites, in general, are much smarter now, Piekarski says. 

“The platforms you have today give you browsing information about customers—whether someone’s in a wheelchair, an incontinence patient, male or female,” he said. “Learning information about your (customers), you can show them different products.”

The idea behind the new website is to make it easy for people to get DME products—whatever device they’re using.

“You do it on the go and that’s the goal of this whole project, to make it really easy and really seamless,” Piekarski said.