The first thing we did was snooped on the tech stack using one of our favorite tools, Built With. The site uses a lot of great marketing tools, but we noticed was that the ecommerce site appears to be homegrown. The problem with this strategy is that in order to maintain that, you have to have a dev team and it can be hard to attract and retain the right people. Your devs may not have the most up-to-date knowledge about technology strategies, and when they leave, they may leave you with tech debt or a hole in your organizational knowledge.
It’s great that the site makes it really clear what they do, no guesswork! The design is clean and the colors are understated, which really lets the product images take center stage. Adding a webinar on the home page is also great, but there’s too much descriptive text burying it. We loved that “Get a Quote” was right at the top of the home page – but oh dear – that webform it takes you to is WAY too long and cumbersome. You don’t need to data mine. This is a first date, not a pre-nup! Just ask the questions you have to in order to engage. There are way too many mandatory fields in the form. If we looked at analytics, it’s a good bet a lot of people bail out here.
We always like to check out the search function. It’s pretty fast, but it would be great to have predictive text searching. Customers really love that fast feedback. Also, thumbnails on the search results would really make it easier for the customer to scan and select what they want.
On to the product pages! It’s not bad, but there are a few areas that could be improved. Share and Print are nice features, but are they being used? It’s a good idea to track those kinds of features and remove what isn’t necessary. It would be a good idea to visually tighten up the unit price, quantity, and extended price fields. They’re too spread out, making the customer work too hard. Also, consider making Add to Cart an accent color and make sure there’s some white space around it. It should be easy for the customer to find and click that! When we add a product to cart, we get a nice little notification but we stay on the same page – which is a really GOOD experience. It’s bad to take the customer away from the page they were on. They might not be done here, or they might want to consider more products.
What we didn’t see anywhere in catalog or product pages were customer reviews. Customer reviews help establish your credibility. And since customers often come directly to the product pages, we have to build that credibility right on the product page.
Then we tried to go to our cart and OH NO. Error message. This is bad news. Right when the customer decides to buy, we let him down! And the error page doesn’t give us any help. It should at the least have a phone number so the customer can call to get help or complete their transaction. When this happens, you could lose not only the sale but the customer. This is one of the dangers of utilizing a homegrown ecommerce platform.
We wanted to check out this site on mobile too, but we ran out of time. We’ll focus on mobile in subsequent roasts.
Thanks to everyone who joined us! It was a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to dissecting more websites with you! If you’d like to submit your website head over to bluefishgroup.com/websiteroasts.
If you’d like to see the recording check it out below.