I recently came across a post written a few months ago called “The 5 Worst E-Commerce Sites”. The author had determined that they were the “worst” by the low percentage of positive reviews their customers had given them. None of the sites are manufacturers, but the principles of ecommerce are the same. So if you’re a manufacturer selling through your website there are some good lessons here…
On the naughty list is Urban Outfitters, Rakuten, FootLocker, Fanatics, and 1-800-Flowers. Thinking this was a pretty funny list for someone to publish, I couldn’t help but visit the sites to see what could be so terribly bad about them.
To make things more fun, I found this article about “5 areas of improvement for your ecommerce website” and set out to determine in which area each site did most poorly. The five areas of improvement are: call to action, keeping URLs readable, properly categorizing products, using appropriate images, and writing a good product description. Again, although this “Improvements” article is not written for manufacturers directly, the principles listed are just as important for selling your own manufactured goods.
When I visited the offending sites I was taken by surprise. They looked very good to me. In fact, with the exception of Rakuten, the sites performed strongly in all five categories. Perhaps they saw their poor review and updated their sites since the “Worst” article came out.
As a result, aside from assigning Rakuten a violation of “poor descriptions”, in this post I will be awarding the sites which performed the best in the 5 areas.
1. Call to Action: Footlocker
Footlocker’s homepage slides have clean and easy to see calls to action (CTAs). The CTA on the slide pictured is clearly the primary action Footlocker wants users to take. The button tells users what will happen when they click it: “Shop Now.”
2. Keeping URLs Readable: Fanatics
Fanatics is the URL winner because their urls show the user what they will see on that url, instilling trust in the users. The URL in this Fanatics screenshot reads:
From the URL users can see that they will be looking at a Washington Nationals Women’s Jersey By Majestic in White.
3. Properly Categorizing Products: 1-800-Flowers
1-800-Flowers wins for best categories as they have created categories that their users would be likely to use to search. They have included occasions, seasons, collections, flower types, and more.
4. Using Appropriate Images: Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters provides users photos from every angle of their product. Take for example the shoes shown above. Without having to even click or scroll, users can see many views of the shoes.
5. Poor Product Descriptions: Rakuten
Among other things, Rakuten sells expensive clothing. The $400 price tag on this sweatshirt makes the description that much funnier. Granted, they are a Japanese website and are more than likely using a translator, but I’d say $400 for a sweatshirt warrants a better translation job.
If you have an ecommerce site where you sell your manufacturing goods, I highly recommend reading “5 areas of improvement for your ecommerce website”. Most websites do struggle with these areas of improvement and they can cost you customers if done wrong.