Our Work – Kingpin Tattoo Supply

Kingpin Tattoo Supply Boosts Conversion Rate by 3% Through an Elevated Search Experience

Phone with Kingpin site displaying

The Challenge

Kingpin Tattoo Supply, part of the Nexus Brands Group, is a leading e-commerce destination for professional tattoo, piercing, and medical equipment. They needed a strong development partner and choose Nansen

Kingpin and Nansen, an international customer experience agency, shared a common vision for the work to be done. By taking a data-driven approach to website optimizations, rather than relying on guesswork, the partnership would focus on improving the conversion rate for high-intent customers using the search tool on Kingpin’s site. From the start, it was clear that even a 1% or 2% uptick in conversion would pay off Kingpin’s investment in this site improvement.

  • Industry
    Leading E-commerce Destination
  • Location
    Orange County, California
  • Employees
    738 employees
  • Site
Kingpin navigation

Nansen’s website data analysis revealed that Kingpin’s suspicions about its underperforming search tool were spot-on. With a conversion rate of 23.29 % among customers searching for products on the site, there was definitely room for improvement.

Nansen identified several key updates that would help the Kingpin website search experience meet its customers’ expectations:


When users engaged with the search tool, they should be able to see their previous search details. This enhancement would help give return customers a more seamless and enjoyable experience, rather than treating them like first-time shoppers. It would also increase the speed with which customers could get to product pages, a key goal of Nansen’s for the project.

Tattoo on hand
Tattoo on arm

Auto-Complete Suggestions

Once a customer started to enter their search terms, the Kingpin search tool should quickly suggest the most relevant and popular results. For example, for users who type “solid” into the form, the well-known brand “Solid Ink” should appear as a top option in the search bar. Auto-complete suggestions would be another way to get Kingpin customers to product pages more quickly.


Perhaps most important of all the improvements, Kingpin’s search tool should return highly relevant and optimized search results for all users’ search terms. Taking the “solid” example again, a user who searches for that word should see popular Solid Ink product pages appear in search results above other miscellaneous pages containing the word “solid.”

Arm getting tattoo work performed

The Solution

To elevate Kingpin’s website search functionality and provide a better digital customer experience, the team decided to implement Klevu on top of the Optimizely CMS. An AI-powered discovery engine, Klevu offered a number of benefits that made it a perfect fit for Kingpin and Nansen’s needs.

Photo of devices displaying Kingpin website

First, Klevu’s tools enable rapid speed to market by having a low barrier to entry. The time required to go from a hypothesis or idea about what would work best on a website to launching the tool with Klevu is much shorter than what the average CMS provider can deliver.

Taking advantage of this unique capability from Klevu, Nansen leveraged the JavaScript build option for Kingpin’s new search tool, essentially an out-of-the-box product requiring minimal manual work. As a result, it took less than a week to get the new search functionality set up for a test run. This was a huge win for Nansen and Kingpin, as it allowed the teams to validate their assumptions and address any reservations quickly.

Diagram of user flow using Klevu AI

The second significant benefit of Klevu was its powerful self-learning search engine. While other CMS providers have self-learning capabilities, Klevu’s engine made the process of increasing search-result relevance much faster and easier. Especially helpful was the way that Klevu allowed Nansen to pre-populate the engine with data to shape its recommendations and results.

Through its speed to market and self-learning capabilities, Klevu gave Nansen and Kingpin the tools to elevate Kingpin’s website search tool experience and connect customers to the products they were looking for more quickly—and this optimized CX would help boost Kingpin’s conversion rate, sales, and revenue.

The Results

At the outset of the project, Nansen and Kingpin determined that a 1% or 2% increase in conversion rate would offset Kingpin’s investment in this website optimization.

In fact, following the improvements made by Nansen and the implementation of Klevu for Kingpin’s search tool, the conversion rate for visitors who used the site search increased by nearly 3%, jumping to 23.92%.

So, what’s next? Nansen and Kingpin will look to build on the success of this conversion rate optimization (CRO) project by turning their focus to product recommendations. A new Recommendations Engine, powered by AI and informed by “shopper intent” data including search activity, will help decrease bounce rate and increase Kingpin’s ability to cross-sell to all website customers.

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