online shopping

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. By installing the software developed by ipscape, it will be an easy way to keep track of each customer’s orders that can be helpful to know when they start to raise queries about the product.

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.

{ Comments on this entry are closed } New Brand Menu | Missing the Mark #15

by Jamie Sanford on March 16, 2017

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I have written many blog posts about I am a huge fan of Sephora in general, but their website choices are, at times, baffling.

The most recent of these choices is their updated “brands” dropdown. They have completely changed their main site navigation, which is fine. You can see the main nav choices below.

I am focusing on the brands dropdown, because that is the one I use the most.

I like the images a lot, I’m fine with using this area to feature certain brands. I would not be surprised if Sephora, like many other retailers, offer placements to brands at a cost, and this new design may have created a few more revenue channels for them. However, there’s still a major piece missing!

Where is the “all brands” or “brands A-Z” on this menu? This was my go-to, and I imagine, the same for many others, when we were using the old version of the menus. Why even have a separate main navigation button for brands if you aren’t going to offer fast and easy access to ALL brands?

I know that I cannot be the only person wondering where this button is, and I hope that brings it back soon.

UPDATE 3/19/17: has added “brands A-Z” to the brands dropdown menu! I am pretty certain I’m not the only person who really wanted it back.


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To view all of my content about brand experience, please click here.

Another short one!

I think you only need to read back a few posts on this blog to see that I’m a regular Sephora customer. For the most part, I think that their online shopping experience is great, and am happy to keep shopping

However, something I had noticed in the past re-surfaced for me this week, and it is ridiculous.

316 results! I need to see them all. Luckily, there’s an option for “view all” in the dropdown.

This is so unnecessary. Why give me an unfortunate red error-y message when you could instead just offer the option to “view 300” instead of “view all,” when you don’t actually mean that you can view all? is generally wonderful, so this is super disappointing. I also can only dream of the team they have working on this website, so hopefully they can add a fix for this to their list of to-dos for 2017.



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Shari’s Berries | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 13, 2014

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I purchased a Shari’s Berries voucher from LivingSocial late last year and had not used it yet, so last week, I decided to use it on myself. I will work on a longer post about the shopping experience later, but today I wanted to focus on the packaging and presentation of my berries.

The total for my 12 strawberries was $44.97, which included shipping.

The box is large for what is inside, but that makes more sense when you see the inside.

I am really into the box branding.

Here’s another side of the box.

This side is my favorite. I do have an issue with the social callouts though – I like the hashtag, that’s fun, but there’s no indication of the username for all of the social channels, which is less helpful. Sure, I will assume its sharisberries, but I think adding that would make it that much easier for someone to tag the brand in an Instagram post or tweet.

You find out quickly that they aren’t kidding about the packing on their product.

The next layer is a piece of cardboard with an ice pack on top. This is where the later trouble comes in, I think.

However, I have to give props for the branded ice pack. I think Shari’s Berries probably benefits from shipping what I assume is only a few sizes of berry boxes, so they are able to invest in heavily branded packaging.

Under the box are some messages from the brand family, and berry instructions.

The actual berry box is lovely, with an elastic band to keep everything closed.

Not pictured is the wrapped foam layer that lies on top of the berries in the box. However, even with that, you can see that I received berries that had obviously been through some stress. The box insert was bent in the center (you can see the crease), and some of the berries were a bit overturned. In addition, there were nuts and mini chocolate chips scattered throughout the box (although that seems like it would be almost impossible to avoid, so that gets a pass).

I will say though, that they do not look like these from the Shari’s Berries homepage:

I am not one to complain about there being too much chocolate, but I have to point out that there’s a definite difference between the presentation on the website and what I received.

In terms of the issues with my box, I’m not sure what happened there. It is obvious that Shari’s Berries has put thought and money into their packaging, but my box was a bit jacked.

There was a lot of open space in the ice pack portion of the box, I wonder if that heavy ice pack was flying around in transit? They did come all the way across the country.

The Shari’s Berries did completely deliver for me on taste, but I would be slightly concerned about using their service for a gift, because I was not super impressed with the state of my berries when they arrived.

Have you ordered from Shari’s Berries? What was your experience? Please share in the comments.

UPDATE: Shari’s Berries responded to this first post, and part 2 of this brand experience project can be found here.


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RiRi Loves MAC, The Waiting Line | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 30, 2013

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While not being completely obsessed with any of the new items in the RiRi Loves MAC Fall collection, I decided to check out the MAC site when the items went on sale, to see how the experience would compare with last time, when a few new lipsticks were introduced. I left a window open for at least 2 hours during the last event, waiting to see if I could add a lipstick to my cart.

Today is slightly different, but no less insane.

Improved from last time, it’s made VERY clear that you are in line while online, and that you shouldn’t do anything but wait. The page does refresh from time to time to show you a new product, or a quote from Rihanna, etc. Good to know also that there will be a holiday collection forthcoming.

I am really interested to know about the decision-making process at MAC on how to handle these launches. Once I get in, will I have a time limit on my shopping? It seems like a good idea would be to implement a 10-minute shopping window, or at least a limit on how long items will remain unpurchased in the cart.

(I am still in line.)

I will give MAC credit for the following:

  1. The site isn’t crashing, and I’m assuming there are LOTS of people on the site, given how long I’ve had to wait.
  2. The reloading page with quotes, info, etc, is a good way to keep it fresh and to make everyone feel like they aren’t frozen and just don’t realize it yet.
  3. The products look really lovely and from what I’ve read about them, they are. Plus, the packaging is really gorgeous.

(You guessed it. Still waiting.)

There are only something like 10 items in this collection. How can I possibly still be waiting this long? Perhaps everything has sold out – although I would hope that MAC is prepared for a new onscreen message should that be the case.

If any of the tech team from MAC wants to answer some of my questions regarding the technical side of handling these launches, I would love to hear from them.

I would also love to hear anyone else’s ideas on how to handle such high-traffic launches of products online. What do you think?

[Update: Wait time is at 2 hours, 20 minutes, and counting.]
[Update 2: I was able to start shopping at about 2 hours, 30 minutes. About 35% of the items are sold out.]


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