e-commerce

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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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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. However, you can pop over here if you wish to have the best order-fulfillment service for your start-up business.

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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ASOS Breaking Up With Paper Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 26, 2020

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I have blogged about ASOS before, where I really loved the content within their product descriptions. I am so happy to be back again to talk about this excellent email that I just received from them.

Let’s take a look.

How cute is this email!?

I also love that this email came into my inbox on the day my latest order is arriving. This adds another level of excellence to this email—forethought! If this messaging had been hidden in the original order confirmation, it is incredibly unlikely that I would have seen it. The subject line for this was “Missing something from your ASOS order?” which is also a strong choice, because I opened it immediately, expecting that they were going to tell me that something had not been shipped. I was pleasantly surprised to find this friendly email with a positive, Earth-friendly update. As a company that uses multiple forms of transportation to move product, I appreciate that reducing their footprint cannot be easy, and any efforts are valuable.

In addition, I know that ASOS has the data on the return rate that comes along with their customer orders. I’m sure there is an expected balance between savings on paper and printer ink and perhaps additional customer service time for any shoppers who struggle with the return process becoming more customer-driven.

All in all, a winning move by ASOS, combined with an impressive communication strategy.

——

The only thing I do take issue with is the math. (If you aren’t interested in nitpicky stuff, you can move on. All of the marketing stuff is over.)

According to the encyclopedia, the biggest measured blue whale came in at approximately 200,000 pounds. (A blue whale is a baleen whale so the image above could represent a blue whale.)

320,000 kg = 705,479 pounds, so I’m guessing that we are talking about a currently-unconfirmed GIANT blue whale?

Please note that the average weight of either an Asian or African elephant fits into the appropriate range for ASOS’ math, so I don’t take issue with not identifying the specific type of elephant.

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I know, anyone who has visited this website before knows that I am no stranger to bringing up my issues with Sephora and their website. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am back again.

I recently received an email from Sephora, promoting new additions to their Rewards Bazaar, where shoppers can use points they have earned to purchase items.

You see how that says “1,000 available now?” I have been waiting for an opportunity to try out Biossance products, so I clicked this right away.

…only to find out that the product in the email was not actually available. You can see sold-out items in this screenshot, so it seems that they aren’t simply out of stock, but haven’t actually activated this item before sending an email about it to potentially thousands of people.

I reached out to Sephora on Twitter and it went like this:

 

Yikes. This is not the response I would expect, and certainly not one that I would want anyone in my organization to give to a customer experiencing an error on our part.

The first response I received certainly seems either pre-written and automated for any tweets to them mentioning the Rewards Bazaar, or, they have a customer service team trained to use automated responses as often as possible. I understand the interest in maintaining consistent messaging, but a human reading my tweet to them should have realized that I had received an email from Sephora with incorrect information, and responded in a way that made sense.

You can see that at NO POINT was the fact that I received an email promoting something that wasn’t actually available addressed. Not even a “we will let our email team know about this issue” message.

Sephora is a really large company, presumably with a large customer service team to match. I would recommend that they develop a system to sort and perhaps elevate customer messages based on the content of said message.

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I am a new homeowner, and planning to move into said house comes along with a LOT of shopping. It sounds fun, and mostly is, but I have seen some unfortunate e-commerce shopping experiences. One of them is a quick one that I saw recently on AllModern.com.

Look at this beautiful area rug! I am into it, and I just had some hardwood floors refinished so I need to find a beautiful way to protect them a bit. However, then I clicked “select rug size” and saw this menu:

There are no sizes. There are no sizes on the size menu!

This appears to be an issue on the site in general, because this rug’s page also has the same problem.

I can’t imagine I am the first person to run into this issue! I truly love that rug and would like to purchase it, but I do need to know more about the size options. Luckily, it should be a fairly quick fix for AllModern.com to implement.

*UPDATE*

Within one day of sharing this blog post with AllModern.com on Twitter, they have fixed this issue on their website! I love how responsive they were.

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