Note about review --- This review is the sole opinion of an E-Commerce geek who’s been in the business since 1998. The author is not affiliated with nor conducts business with the shops reviewed here. If this review is exposed to the elements or your boss, then you risk bodily harm and or physical injury due to your manager breaking your bones with excitement after your conversion rate increases 3X or new visitors grow by 100%. Please take this review seriously and do not attempt recreating the recommendations listed in this review unless you are a professional or have professional guidance.
E-Commerce Website Review For
Number of pages in Google Index
The navigation is striking. It’s much different than I normally see. Top-level navigation is like a combination faceted/filter + navigation element all wrapped into one. Notice the shop by color feature below. Below shop by color is shop by situation, which is also a unique approach to navigation.
Hovering over each main navigation element produces another selection of sub-categories which are also nicely organized.
Clicking on the “Office Fashion” category returns a landing page filled with categories, that I can only assume, include products that are selling well. Below, I can find the product grid of all “Office Fashion” products sorted by default. What does that mean? Selecting the options shows what it’s not, however.
There’s a common theme with the landing pages. As I dig deeper into the site categories and click on “Workspace Decor,” I’m shown a consistent-looking page with sub-categories at the top and a products grid with products sorted by default - again.
The product grid includes a unique grid-tile. See for yourself.
Each grid-tile includes a border to delineate the content. Normal layout, but the “Urban Girl Product Tile” includes a quick add-to-the-cart function that appears in the form of a branded Urban Girl Shopping Bag. The shopping bag is the same one included at the top of the page for the shopping cart. Great way to draw the eye back to the cart with a simple design metaphor.
Hover over the shopping bag and get a visual cue there is more. The plus cue insinuates add +1 of this item to the cart from my perspective. Well done.
Also, take note of the textured background. Between the header and the products grid is more textured background design.
I’m beginning to think this is a site developed by women for women. Oh wait, lookie there at the top of the page.
I found the “Urban Loft” desk collection and love the unique format and usability displayed here. I can easily add items to the cart or view details about each one. See image below.
Here’s a screenshot for the “ready to buy” section of the product page.
Great title, price, availability, photo, enlarged photo, reviews, social sharing, plus many other features screams normal product page. What scares the crap out of me is the image/clip art lady holding a bag. That offers the user no value other than to remind them of what they could look like. I am curious to know if this is the output of an A/B test. She’s got to be there for a reason. Below the ready to buy section of the site is a section for customers who bought this also bought these items. And another section at the very bottom includes items recently flirted with. I’m not sure if this is real or just to be cute. Here’s an example product flirtation.
I’ve added two items to my cart and now I’m ready to checkout. I can do so two ways. First way is to click on the cart. Second way is to skip the cart and go directly to checkout page. Nice that both options are available.
Looking at the cart, I just happen to select two products from the same category. If you look closely, you can see the product images are not consistent. Not sure if this is on purpose or by accident. I prefer painstaking consistency in E-Commerce photos. It hurts my eyes when similar products are not displayed consistently when I’m shopping. However, looking at them in the cart, hurts less, but still hurts.
At the top of the page, in big bold letters, Shopping Bag is listed. Below the cart items, there’s an image of a disk with the words SaveCart all bunched together. One line below, and in the center, is a button labeled “Update Bag.” Is it a cart or a bag? I think bag.
PayPal is offered on the cart - great choice. Looking at the checkout section, I see the dreaded promo code box. Everytime I read about promo codes, the pattern is the same. The customer leaves the site and Google’s “company name” promo codes. Eight times out of ten, people get sidetracked and do not come back to complete their order. I would create URL-based promo codes, like if someone goes to http://www.urbangirl.com/promocodes/10%-off which enables 10% off the entire order, then the promo code text box becomes the promo code display area. This way enables promos and reduces abandonment at the same time.
UrbanGirl.com offers a one-page checkout and passive account creation. Well-done Urban Girl! In addition, next to each user-input section includes support text. Next to the email address includes this text - Please enter an email address that you check regularly so that we can send you order-related communications, including shipment notifications and tracking numbers. We are committed to your privacy and never sell or share customer email addresses with outside companies or organizations. This level of reassurance is rarely seen and often under appreciated. If I were to guess, the Urban Girl checkout page has a lower-than-average exit/abandonment rate.
There was only one shipping option available, however. Would have liked to order my products next day air but did not have the option.
Facebook account is active and healthy.
Pinterest account is setup and included some collections.
Very active Twitter account showed they are promoting their business, but are also social activists for business equality. Can’t we all get behind this!
Contact details are buried in the footer. I generalize when I see this. I think Urban Girl is afraid of phone calls or has not embraced some good phone technology. The contact page has a simple form, and the phone number is just part of the paragraph on how to contact Urban Girl. Why not put that phone number in the header of every page?
Under The Hood
Shop-by categories are images and need to be a dynamic product grid. As badass as Google is, they still cannot read the text on the image and make any sense of what it is. Why not spoon-feed Google instead?
Want to learn about what UrbanGirl.com is running on their site? Check out their BuiltWith details. Checking the advanced details at BuiltWith shows they’ve added some new functionality this year. Telerik Controls, ASP.NET 4.0, Convert Global, BV Commerce, LogicBlock 7Cart, and Papaya CMS appeared to be added in 2014. This is a positive sign and shows they are working on the site trying to improve the experience for customers.
- Install Google Trusted Stores and save money over paying Trust Pilot - Get the same “Trust Pilot” reviews for free with GTS.
- Update your landing pages with real html content - ditch the image maps.
- URL-Based promo codes - ditch the promo box.
- Checkout RingCentral.com for your phone needs and supercharge your customer service.
- Look at adding structured data to your product page and entire site.
E-Commerce Ideas Provided By UrbanGirl.com For All To Steal
- Perspective - Women business owners and shoppers think differently.
- Design - Women are visual but the basic checkout cues are still required.
- Layout - Active category pages are usable and cool. Try them on your site.