More NewsNutriSystem: Where E-commerce, Community Intersect

NutriSystem: Where E-commerce, Community Intersect

A business that sells pre-packaged food updates aims to build an online community for people interested in healthy living.

Offering the promise, “Lose Weight. Save Money,” NutriSystem executives showed off a redesigned Web site where people can buy NutriSystem pre-packaged food, participate in an online community, or use online tools such as a progress tracker and exercise log.

NutriSystem also announced the weight-loss program’s first ever frozen food line yesterday at Sea Grill Restaurant in New York City, adjacent to the Rockefeller Center’s ice skating rink. There, magazine writers and others were treated to lunch that included shrimp alfredo, roast turkey medallions, and other NutriSystem pre-packaged frozen food.

Chris Terill, SVP, e-commerce at NutriSystem, said the business worked with Huge, a Brooklyn-based Web site design and usability agency, to overhaul the site. After surveys and research about how people use the site, Web site changes were put through their paces using A/B and multivariate testing.

A challenge, Terill said, was developing a Web site used predominately by women — without alienating the men who diet on NutriSystem’s program. About 30 percent of NutriSystem’s customers are men, although women are more likely than men to contribute to NutriSystem’s online community.

Before the redesign, the site’s main colors were creme, red, and blue. Testing showed that visitors preferred orange and green against a background of light blue.

Terill, who previously worked at Match.com, said people seeking to lose weight prefer to share their experiences — triumphs and setbacks — in a “gated community” like NutriSystem than an open one like Facebook. However, NutriSystem doesn’t disclose the number of people who are active participants on its site.

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