ecommerce

Bobbi Brown Checkout Issue | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on April 7, 2022

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

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 back again, unfortunately having had another issue with a Colourpop promotional email. Their products are generally really great, so I don’t want to dump all over this brand. However, this issue I have today is a real miss and would be very simple to fix.

Let’s look at the email.

The rest of the email talks about other products in the Xtra Celestial collection, but the look is the same. Lots of product images like what you see here, showing the products in their packaging.

None of these images show me anything about “holographic hues” or “multi-dimensional looks.” I scrolled through the whole email looking for images of these products on a real human, and there weren’t any!

I clicked through to the website to see if I would find some. There they are!

In the eyeshadow products, you get to see this image (apparently from @emmas__eye).

SIDE NOTE: The image notes “emmas_eye” with what appears to be a single underscore. The actual person responsible for these images is “emmas__eye” with 2 underscores. Did no one check this?

Anyway, all 3 shadow palettes have an image showing the product on Emma’s eye, and they are great.

I really get to see the sparkle and color in these images. This content should be in the email somewhere! I find myself much more interested now that I can see the shadow on actual skin. I’m sure that someone at Colourpop is analyzing their emails and perhaps just showing products in packaging gets more people to the website, hoping like myself to see images of the product in use. Maybe I am fretting about this being a fail when it is actually a HUGE win for them. I would absolutely love to find out.

It is a miss that there is not more skin tone representation here. They do have swatches of shadows on multiple skin tones, which is great (and should be the standard), but I find it hard to believe they could not have partnered with a few other makeup/beauty influencers with a variety of skin tones. If they know enough to create the images of swatches on arms, they should know enough to present looks on more skin tones as well.

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Universal Standard is a brand that I do like, but don’t LOVE. I appreciate their mission to dress all bodies in size 0-40, because that isn’t happening enough, but I do wish that there were more items available and that they had a bit more variety in style.

A further exploration of that is for another time. For now, I wanted to briefly explore the size dropdown menu on Universal Standard product pages.

Here is a typical product page. This time for these cute Sava jeans.

On the right are the typical buttons, for selecting your size and then to add the item to your cart.

Here’s where I get confused. How is this the choice that they have made regarding the size dropdown? With so many sizes available, why has no effort been made to abbreviate the effort to find a larger size? There is clearly plenty of space to create columns in order to avoid this.

I was especially surprised to see this clunky presentation of size choices when I saw this “quick shop” feature on a page with a number of products:

This DEFINITELY needs to be replicated on the individual product page. It’s much cleaner and more concise than the incredibly long, space-wasting dropdown that is currently on the website.

Let me know how you would improve this dropdown on Twitter.

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Bluemercury | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 23, 2014

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Click here for part 2 of the Bluemercury brand experience.

I placed my first order with Bluemercury a while back. My apologies for having no idea when it was, I cannot find a confirmation email for my initial purchase. It’s not often that I would go to such a niche site to buy things, because I can get so many of my products from either Amazon, or use Ulta or Sephora. The reason I went back to Bluemercury was because of a blue box.

Check this image from the Hyperbalist to see the Bluemercury blue box that I am talking about.

The blue box inside the package I received was so gorgeous and lovely that I still have the box. I store my light scarves and handkerchiefs in it, and I placed the order with Bluemercury because I expected another blue box. Let’s see how this all worked out.

Shopping Experience

The homepage is well-designed, for the most part. I believe that there could be a lot of consolidation in the menu options. I really love the little shopping bag that takes you to the cart, I think it’s darling. There are also a lot of spaces on the homepage for different items and such to be promoted. It’s a good use of the space, although I wonder how many shoppers are going down so far on the homepage before they’ve used the search feature or the top navigation to move on to their intended item.

I used the Brands dropdown menu to go straight to Mario Badescu, the brand I came to find. I really like this feature and wonder if more sites should embrace this sort of menu in the site navigation.

Here is where the site starts to get a little wonky for me. I’m taken immediately to a Mario Badescu brand page, which is great. However, the tab says “view all” and I’m not viewing all. The tab should be re-named “all products” unless the “view all” is the default option.

After clicking “view all,” I was treated to a 5-6 second wait with a blank screen (seen above) before the items appeared. An indication that the items are loading would be a good addition here.

I’m fine with the presentation of items here. The name of the item, the image, and the price are super clear, and you can either access a pop-up quick view, or click “view details” for the product page.

Here’s the quick view. I see no issues with this, other than a missed opportunity to ask for a product review. In addition, the stars with “in stock” right underneath without space could suggest that these 2 things are somehow related.

On the full product page, my issue with a missing call out to write a review is resolved, as is the “in stock” mention.

Instead of a pop-up telling me I added to my cart, I am actually taken to the cart. I have no major issues with this page, but I do think the “continue shopping” button could be moved to above the list of products in my cart.

I then noticed that there’s a message telling me I’m $7 away from free shipping. I find this odd because it very clearly says in the navigation that I don’t get free shipping until I hit $25.

After adding a second bottle of facial spray, I do in fact confirm that the message in the header is backwards, and telling me the wrong number. I am not $14 away from free shipping. I am actually now $11 away from free shipping. This obviously needs to be fixed.

After all of that drama, I would appreciate a message at the top telling me that I have qualified for free shipping.

Checkout

Samples are always a good idea. I have definitely purchased products after having samples. The samples are coming from the manufacturers, it costs next to nothing to add the weight to the box, it’s a win-win-win.

This page is pretty straightforward, but the line breaks on the right (see “gift wrapped” and “quantity”) are bugging me.

My pet peeve for no link to a pop-up with shipping information is poking at me here. I appreciate the descriptions on the shipping data, but the ground information is not helpful. Especially because the actual shipping page has a convenient ground shipping map with information on how long a package will take to get to you based on your state. Put a link to a new window with this shipping page!

Back to the blue box issue. I am expecting it because I’ve received it in the past. But I see no mention of it here, and no option for gift wrap.

Other than a lack of variety in the payment methods, I had no problems in this area.

Nitpicky, yes, but please have someone review sentence structure and punctuation. Don’t tell me to “then click Place Order” when the button says “place your order.” I just want there to be consistency, and also, if the idea is that you are trying to be high-end, things like this do matter.

I like the confirmation email. It’s super clear, it gives you lots of opportunities to contact Bluemercury if you have questions or concerns. Billing, shipping, returns, it’s all there. Good job.

Packaging

I was really excited to receive my Bluemercury box. I didn’t buy products that were lifechangers, these are Mario Badescu products that I was refilling, but I really wanted that blue box.

The box was not customized, but the tape was, so that was fun.

From previous brand experience project posts, you know that I am a stickler for good treatment of the packing list! This one was nicely folded in half, right on top of the box. Props to the box for having a fold back lid as well.

They are messy but I do enjoy the crinkly package filler. It’s also much better for the earth than some packing peanuts.

Unfortunately, disappointment was in the box along with my products. The magical blue box is missing from my order. I have no idea if they have phased the blue box out of online orders, or perhaps there is a purchase minimum for inclusion of the blue box? I would love for someone from Bluemercury to let me know what happened to the best online order packaging I had ever received.

I haven’t scored in a while and it was more difficult than I remembered. The overall experience was fine, right, because I placed an order for certain things, and they ended up arriving to my home without any issues or problems. There were just a number of issues I had during the process that frustrated me, and definitely need to be adjusted, particularly the free shipping countdown situation.

Have you shopped Bluemercury.com, or gone back to a site to shop again because of a past experience? Did it live up to your expectations? Leave a comment!

Click here for part 2 of the Bluemercury brand experience.

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