brand experience project

Bobbi Brown Checkout Issue | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on April 7, 2022

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First up, a general shopping tip. Sephora is currently having a sitewide sale, offering 10% off on everything. This sounds great, and I considered picking up some Bobbi Brown face base, a product I now see as one I cannot be without. However, it occurred to me that I should check to see if Bobbi Brown has their own e-commerce website, and I am so glad I did.

Bobbi Brown’s site is offering 25% off on everything during the Sephora sale! In addition, Rakuten will give you 4% cash back on purchases. Remember to check the manufacturer websites!

Having said that, I did run into a small issue during checkout on the Bobbi Brown site, and wanted to share it.

It was promoted prominently on the website that if you spent over $75 that you would get to create your own 4-piece set. I didn’t know what this meant exactly but I was excited to find out later that it would be 2 full-size makeup products from a selected group, a miniature skincare item and a makeup bag. How fun! (Also a great effort to increase the cart value and to make the shipping costs that have to be paid a bit less painful on the part of the brand.)

Let’s take a look at the page where you were sent to create your set.

The color names are unfortunately cut off. It’s very helpful that the colors are prominent in the product images, because I could find no way to reveal the color names peeking out underneath.

I also struggled with the select sample buttons over the covered text, which I suspect is related. Lower on the page (not shown here) where I was choosing the skincare, no color information was needed and the buttons worked immediately.

This is obviously a small issue, but I personally don’t like to see ANY issues. This added bonus set is such a great offer but is marred by the issues with choosing your items in checkout.

The rest of my Bobbi Brown shopping experience was quite good, so I look forward to continuing to shop there.

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I am a Vanity Fair subscriber. I’ve only become one in the past few years, but in addition to enjoying the magazine, I think their online content is great.

Cut to me being very confused at a recent Vanity Fair email. This is a regular email I receive to alert me to new content.

Let’s take a look.

What is happening with that top ad? I have a few questions.

  1. Is the VF email designer aware of how large that ad would be?
  2. Are they blindly using an ad generator without vetting the ads that are populating in that location?

Here’s the second half of the message.

So, it’s the same ad at the bottom, just bigger. I do not like this.

I think of Vanity Fair as a well-designed, high-end publication. These ads do NOT match my perception of what should be showing up in a Vanity Fair email. I understand business and I know that revenue generation is paramount, particularly when your business is content, but this is just not the way.

Suggestions:

  1. Offer ad packages that would include funding for ads to be pre-approved by a VF employee or potentially designed by VF (additional cost)
  2. Hire an advertising agency to manage the ad spots (I realize that there is likely a significant cost here)
  3. Use the email ad spots to advertise other content on VF, sending them to the website, where the ads may be less obtrusive to the content (potential reduction in email revenue but hopefully would increase site traffic and improve earnings there)

Not much else to say. The ad content isn’t offensive, it just doesn’t vibe with the content of the email and is jarring to the reader.

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As previously mentioned, I am a Frank Lloyd Wright person. (You likely know at least one of us but you might not find out until he gets brought up in some way and then we won’t shut up about it!)

Click here for all mentions of Frank Lloyd Wright in the history of this website. These range from a series of posts from when I visited Florida Southern College to see so many FLW buildings at once to random mentions of products I would like and more.

However, that’s not the point of today’s post. I previously reviewed a ShopWright.org email I received with suggestions on how I would edit it, and mentioned then that I would come back to write about the website itself. Here we go!

I’m not sure why, but all of the homepage banners on my screen appeared blurry, as if created at a smaller size than the window allows. This should be an easy enough fix.

I navigated to the tabletop sculptures page, and while I see the challenges with these items, I highly suggest that all of the product images be resized into a consistent size. This presentation is hard to shop and the overall scale of things is jarring.

The landing page for Office items is fairly straightforward, but I do struggle with the text presentation at the top. Great for SEO purposes, but I think the font could be bigger, especially for those on a desktop like I was using here. I checked this page on my phone and it is a better experience, but that should be able to be adjusted so that it is accessible and readable on multiple devices.

On to Garden Sculptures! My main issue here is the same as before, the inconsistent sizing of images making for a staggered look to the images and the text underneath them. I do think the inclusion of the garden journal here is nice, but the image is very blurry, which for an item that is presumably small is very strange. I am also reminded here of the product naming issue I was having in my post about the ShopWright.org email. Product names = page titles on this website, so either that needs to be addressed in the actual product names, or the page titles need to be created separately from the short-form product name.

I’ve pasted 2 screenshots here to show differences in how the text content looks on product pages. This is definitely another area that should be consistent and appear the same. A specific format for how this text is created and presented should be developed and used throughout the site.

Consistent pieces of information should certainly be placed underneath the descriptive text at the top of this content section. Measurements should be presented clearly and consistently throughout, as should information on where the item is produced.

I’ve added two views of the footer here as the first is a bit small. I had this same issue with the email content. The “about us” appears to be this and only this. I have a problem with the first sentence, as I think that starting with the word “trusted” is odd. It should probably say:

ShopWright.org is your trusted source for design-inspired and Frank Lloyd Wright licensed products.

I also believe that there are some incorrect capitalizations in that sentence, which I have edited in my rewritten version. I very much appreciate the next sentence about the proceeds and where they go, but there is no link to get more information on the Trust and what it does! There is a website for the trust, so this is possibly the easiest thing to fix on all of ShopWright.org.

Regardless of the issues as I see as a brand experience enthusiast and longtime e-commerce professional, I do love the items available on ShopWright.org. I am (unsurprisingly) partial to the bird feeders, but I also really love the idea of getting the house numbers as well.

I hope to see ShopWright.org updating their site content soon.

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I was obsessed with nail polish for a while. I had stopped biting my nails after a long time of doing so, and it became fun to paint my longer nails. However, over time, it started to feel less fun and more like work. I ended up disseminating most of the nail polish I had collected to friends and family and kept a small amount for me.

However, I have tried to keep in touch with Zoya (AKA Art of Beauty) because they have great nail polish and lots of lovely colors. I tend to buy nail polish for my mom at least once a year and Zoya is one of my go-to brands.

I ordered in November of 2020 in preparation for the holidays, and waited actual weeks for my items to arrive. This is not the first time that it seems that this company is a bit incapable of hiring additional staff during periods of higher sale volume, but I’m not actually here to talk about that today.

Instead, I want to address the insert that I received in the package with my items.

The first image is fine. They are asking for my input on the packaging of my items and helpfully letting me know that the peanuts are not Styrofoam. Great.

Then I turned it over and read what is a VERY UNFORTUNATE message about what my email provider is doing. The initial messaging about promotional emails being sorted into different folders is not terrible, but it really goes off the rails in the second paragraph. “Or is it maybe because they can’t generate advertising dollars because you’ll shop at Zoya.com instead of somewhere they can track or make money from your clicks. We’re not sure but the person that suffers is you!”

Whoa.

That middle paragraph is completely unnecessary and feels like it was written by a very angry marketer. The whole thing feels incredibly aggressive and ends up with Zoya looking very bad, at least to me.

Let’s rewrite this to get the message across without the rage.

Are you not seeing emails from Zoya? Let us help!

Many email providers have filters in place to assist in sorting your email inbox, which can send your Zoya emails to promotions folders or even the spam folder.

We have heard from Zoya customers that they miss our emails, and so we have created a guide for making sure that our emails will make it into your inbox! Please visit the link below and follow the instructions there so that we can continue to share information on new products, and of course, our special offers and sales!

www.zoya.com/whitelist

I’m sure I would perhaps edit what I’ve just written above, but I think it’s a much better presentation of the information. It just didn’t have to be SO negative and SO angry-sounding.

I haven’t ordered from Zoya since I received this insert because I’m not sure about them as a company. To allow for mass production of a message like this is a decision I find questionable.

Perhaps they will see this blog post and adjust this messaging in the future.

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Shop Wright Promo Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 19, 2021

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I am definitely a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright-ophile. I have visited a few of his most famous buildings, most recently having made the journey to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to see Taliesin, his personal home for many years. (Unrelated to this specific post—Frank had a bit of a scandalous existence, but also went through some unimaginable horrors. I really enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary about him, which clocks in at around two and a half hours.)

My interest in Frank Lloyd Wright has led to me being signed up for many different relevant mailing lists. One of them is the Frank Lloyd Wright e-commerce destination ShopWright.org.

I received an email from them recently and opened it to see what items were featured. Let’s get into it.

I have issues with a few things here.

  • I don’t like the names of the plates here. I would like to see the size name at the front, and then an actual measurement so that I can get a better idea of scale here in the email.
    • Small Ginkgo Leaves Plate, 4.25″
    • Large Ginkgo Leaves Plates, 8.75″
  • There is a lack of grammatical consistency, particularly with punctuation marks. There are variable amounts of spacing around dashes and an oddly-placed period after “origami chair.” Here’s how I would re-write these:
    • Barista 12-Hour Tree of Life Travel Mug
    • Limited-Edition Taliesin West Origami Chair
    • Ginkgo Leaves Napkin Rings, Set of 4

Right off the bat here, you can see a promo for “all face masks are 12.99” with a floating image of a mask, but it is behind the image of the mailbox? It’s possible that this is just an error with this email in Gmail, but something there is awry. Clicking the image of the mailbox takes you to the face mask page. Something isn’t right.

The mailbox is very lovely but I would prefer to see the “back in stock” messaging on the image instead of in the text. Additionally, the text is a different font and size than the other product names, and the mailbox listing doesn’t have a “buy now” button, which is inconsistent.

I also have similar issues with the product naming here. Here are my suggestions for these:

  • Beachy House Locking Steel Mailbox
  • Deluxe Patinated Copper and White Birdhouse
  • Floral Bird Feeder in Slate Blue
    • Although I struggle with the inclusion of the color here since a click through lets you see that this bird feeder is only available in that one color. (UPDATE: shopping later on this site led me to discover other color options, but they aren’t grouped onto one product page! That is something to be fixed as well.)

Finally, I discovered another issue here that bothered me – the images for these items don’t link to the item! I clicked the bird feeder and got this:

I am kind of obsessed with this feeder, but if I click the image, I want to go to the page where I can buy the item, not just a giant version of the image in the email.

Let’s continue.

I have similar issues here with the product naming, so let’s get those fixes out of the way.

  • Pagoda Lantern Sandstone Outdoor Sculpture
  • Healing Gong Wind Chime
  • Midway Gardens Sandstone Sprite with Scepter, 64″
    • This last one is a bit long but since the Midway Gardens was such an important project for FLW, it seems appropriate to mention it in the name. Another version may also want to include the word “reproduction” in the product name in this email, but I’m leaving it out for the time being since it is clearly indicated on the product page this information links to.

The link to shop all outdoor accessories is a smart choice, given that the subject line of this email refers to spring and it is prime time to buy outdoor decor.

I make it down to the footer message about what my purchases support, and I see it as a missed opportunity for links. I see below that I can link directly to flwright.org, but a direct link to the “education and preservation programs” that I would be supporting might really engage me to want to justify buying more things.

All in all, this email did do the basic job of showing me some things that I might want to purchase to get my home into the spring spirit. The issues I ran across are easily fixable.

This post is about the email, so I won’t go further than that for now, but I also definitely noticed some issues within the actual shopwright.org e-commerce shop as well, but that is for another day.

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