customer experience

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.

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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Home Depot Shipping Issues | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 10, 2021

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Today’s post was not one I expected to write, because I have some basic expectations for large retailers in 2021, and I am sort of stunned when they miss the mark in such a strange way.

We’ve had a lot of snowfall this year, and it’s become very difficult to find salt to de-ice the sidewalks and driveway. My husband ordered some on HomeDepot.com as we couldn’t find any in stores.

We received only part of his order (and that’s probably a whole other post, because the other half of the order is still missing), and I took his order information to try and track the other half.

This is problematic in a few ways.

  • The first bit of this order arrived on February 18
  • There is no indication on this page (including the area outside of this screenshot) that the order is shipping in separate parts

In the meantime, I have higher hopes for that link to track my package, so I click it, expecting an embedded page on HomeDepot.com with tracking details. Instead…

You have to be kidding me. A quick Google indicates that HomeDepot.com is generating over $100 million in sales every year, and they don’t have a direct link for me to track my shipment?!?

At least they have a copy function so I don’t have to highlight the number.

I proceed to copy the number and click the Track Package button.

I am sent to the UPS homepage, which does NOT feature an easy-to-use box where I can simply paste the tracking number.

I had to click “track a package,” and then was taken to a world map to pick my area of service before I was able to paste the tracking number.

When I did so, I was failed again.

The tracking number is invalid.

This is brutal. The whole experience was clunky and has entirely too many steps, and I take all of those steps and end up with a failed tracking number.

It’s very simple. You visit your order page, and if there’s a tracking number, you click it and it takes you to a pop-up or a new window/tab with details on your shipment. Not 14 steps between seeing the number and seeing the tracking information.

I would like to also note that at no point did my husband receive a shipping confirmation email from HomeDepot.com. It is definitely possible that this went into spam (although he received his order confirmation email), but it is potentially another issue. Is HomeDepot.com not set up to send emails for partial shipments? If so, they need to fix it immediately.

The second half of the shipment showed up weeks later, and again, no shipping email was sent when it was on its way. I hope that HomeDepot.com can get it together and improve the order tracking experience for their customers.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I’ve become more acquainted with Wayfair since purchasing a house last year. Recently, I was drawn in by an email promising me deep discounts on area rugs.

It worked and within minutes, my husband and I had chosen a rug for the living room and I started the checkout process.

It wasn’t long before I got to entering my payment information. You’ll understand my surprise at seeing this choice of font in the space for me to choose the expiration dates for my credit card.

What is even happening. Every other font on their website is clear and easy to read. Why isn’t the font shown elsewhere in this screenshot also in these dropdown menus?

I was shocked by this and immediately took this screenshot.

Then I got my confirmation email…

It is unreadable. I work in e-commerce for a store that isn’t even close to being as big as Wayfair, and I find myself feeling lots of sympathy for what HAS to be a mistake. It is a mistake, right?

I don’t know if it is possible that my browser is using this font as a replacement for another one, I almost hope so, but still, this is massively frustrating.

I’ll be sure to send a tweet to Wayfair about this – and hope that someone else has already noticed this issue.

UPDATE – They might have had someone else already report this issue, as my shipping email looked much better! I hope this means that they got the news that the other font was a mess.

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Colourpop Product Photos | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 26, 2019

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I was recently shopping on Colourpop’s website, and was specifically looking at glitter gel, like you do. I got to this product called Trippin on Skies, and had an unfortunate experience with product photos. Let’s get into it.

Here’s my first view of this product page. I’m purposely leaving the bit of box at the bottom of this screenshot. The colors of this product make it a bit difficult to translate, but the photography is good. I found myself immediately wishing to see swatches of this product on actual humans.

I scrolled down a bit and I get to this second image of the product, this time with the box. This is great and I think more companies should show the packaging of items that they sell, but I’m immediately disappointed that there isn’t a swatch image. Many beauty brands have realized that product swatches on a variety of skin tones is the way to go, and with this product, I really wanted to see what it would look like swatched on skin.

I am now to the bottom of the photo area of the product listing, and so I think there are no more photos to see.

Unrelated to the main topic here, but what I would REALLY like to see with products like a glitter gel that probably builds as you apply more are images with one coat, 2 coats, and 3 coats of the product on each skin tone.

Luckily, I scroll down a bit more and see a slider of what may be customer images? Colourpop is using Yotpo to collect reviews and it appears that they are also collecting customer images. Clicking on these images shows me that the images above show the use of the Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels, and the center image shows the actual product that I was reviewing.

This is a huge miss by Colourpop:

  1. There should be some indication in the top images about more images, perhaps “scroll down to see this product in action!” or something similar?
  2. Better yet, find a way to incorporate images of this product from the feed into the actual product image area on the page. Tag the image with the creator’s name or handle. Ask them for permission to use the image in this way – perhaps feature on social channels or in a promotional email as well.
  3. Utilize the standardized layout of showing small versions of the available product images and letting the user use the thumbnails to work their way through the options. This would help to keep everything in a single screen – these screenshots are from a 24-inch monitor and so the way this content is spread out seems a bit unnecessary.

Colourpop has good products, and their business seems quite successful, but there are improvements to be made on these product pages.

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Sephora Play Box Packaging | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on October 4, 2017

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It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed order packaging, which was previously a symptom of not having ordered from new retailers. However, I recently signed up to receive the Sephora Play Box, and the packaging is so excellent that I felt compelled to share it.

Sephora packaging is mostly great to begin with, but they have taken advantage of the opportunity to create something that will be the same size every month, so it is highly customized. Let’s take a look.

Customized and striking!

OK, this is what REALLY sold me. The tape on the box is custom tape, so that you can barely see it. This wasn’t necessary but is AMAZING. I can’t tell you how happy this tape makes me as someone who is highly invested in commerce.

They are clearly committed to the black, white, and red color palette for the outer packaging. You receive this card to get 50 extra points if you go into the store, and the backing folds open to give you details on each product in the bag!

Not only is this super cute, but this is an item in the box that you can use again. (The premise of the box is that you receive a number of deluxe beauty product samples each month.)

Little touches like an extra mention of the Play URL are not necessary, but create a pop of color in the bottom of the box, and are informative. When this box is being reprinted, I would like to see something here prompting the customer to leave a review of the box online, including a URL of where to do that.

Here are the samples included in this month’s box. I was impressed by the size of the liquid lipstick and the brow gel. These will actually last a while, and I think that the box might be well worth the price.

However, for this inaugural box in my subscription, the packaging is what really made my day. Congratulations to Sephora for recognizing the value in impressive, customized packaging.

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