I’ve been involved with the online shopping since the beginning- and I love it. It’s a great, fun puzzle for me- architecting a site in such a way that it is inherently and instinctively easy for a customer to shop, regardless of whether they’re browsing, shopping for something specific, or looking for inspiration. Creating content in a way that is compelling and adds value for the customer. Adding functionality that removes friction, making it easier for the customer to shop.
As part of the small, tightly-knit team that developed and launched the Victoria’s Secret website in fall of 1998, I learned the fundamentals early on, in terms of what works and doesn’t work to make a website great. Many of these fundamentals remain true today: intuitive navigation, value-add content, contextual information that provides answers where the customer needs it, and functionality that works quickly, consistently and clearly.
I also had the pleasure of working on the J.Crew website, clarifying the shopping path and eliminating some obstacles within checkout – improving site performance by doing so. At Bare Necessities, in creating a branded experience, I was able to show that customers shop emotionally- Yes, they need clear and consistent navigation. But they want visual cues and a point of view, too. Beyond these basics, every site needs a unique point of view to be meaningful amongst the competition- that’s where your brand and unique experience come in.
As a shopper and as an e-commerce professional, I am always on the lookout for great shopping experiences, and feel duty bound to help those that aren’t quite there yet. I’m the shopper who can’t help but pause to notice a typo in the sign, a misleading offer or confusing copy detail, or worse yet- a perplexing or annoying experience. So this is my forum to talk about it: the great experiences, and the not-so-great. The opportunities. The hot topics. And how-to’s. Feel free to jump in with some of yours.