Ladies! It’s time to speak out about our frustrating online shopping experiences. How many times do you arrive at a clothing web site looking for a fabulous pair of jeans or a pair of yoga pants that really fit, go through the actions of shopping, but don’t enjoy your shopping experience at all? It happens to me so often that it’s worth writing about my exciting discovery of lululemon.com.
I have worked with many clients who sell women’s apparel and accessories online. I’ve helped them improve their online performance by understanding their customers and visitors more effectively, and making changes to speak more effectively to those visitors.
These are some of the many things you should consider improving if you’re selling women’s clothing and/or accessories online:
1) Design – Women like simple and clean designs. They push away clutter. Use softer, more rounded corners and use colors that are warm and more female friendly. Don’t box things off, use less lines separating elements in your design, and feature plenty of white space.
2) Images - Women like to be able to visualize themselves in the images they see on your web site, so the images shouldn’t look too posed. Images that look more real, that feature specific pieces you sell and evoke some emotion, work more effectively.
3) Copy – Women want to find out quickly what the site offers and what’s in it for them. Keep it friendly, and offer her some kind of community.
4) Calls to action and links - Women are looking for straight-forward guidance on how to move forward, whether it be text links or buttons. Make it easy for her to choose from a few options to move forward in her buying process.
Holly Buchanan, an expert on marketing to women online, reviews various women’s clothing sites in this post, showing us that many of these things apply across the board.
My favorite thing about lululemon’s new site is the imagery and messaging that they convey. It’s obvious that lululemon clearly understands their customers. They understand that their apparel is not only being purchased and worn by yoga enthusiasts. For example, their customers may be doing yoga to help improve their performance in other sports, or they may be using the apparel to workout in the gym and go running, or are simply wearing it as their casual everyday clothing. Lululemon’s imagery and messaging show us that they understand these women, their lifestyles and their motivations for shopping online. Are your images simply stock and aren’t speaking to your visitors’ lifestyles and needs?
The active window on this site also features clear-cut (and limited) ways to move forward. It’s very easy to move forward from the homepage and choose to either shop for women’s or men’s clothing. There is no confusion about what will be featured when you click. The active window of the homepage also features community aspects such as an image and introduction to their latest blog post and their monthly challenge. Are you featuring easy ways for your visitors to move forward from your top landing pages? Do you create a relationship with your customer by engaging them with a community?
Lululemon also does a great job of featuring their Unique Value Proposition right in the active window. The copy, right below the main image effectively explains who they are and what they offer the visitor that will benefit her. Do you have persuasive copy on your homepage that explains what you offer that is unique and that will benefit the visitor?
There are so many things you can do to improve your performance, but how about starting with some of these basics?