Monday, January 14, 2013

Website User Test Example



In the previous post I told you about an Australian retail store that is doing well working from country NSW town of Cooma. Both a 'Main Street' business and an online store it is a great example of what retail can be in this new time of change.

Here's a user test that I have done on the site. This is something that you should get done on your own website by someone outside of the business who can bring fresh eyes and see your website as a regular customer does. What your customer sees is all that matters. If you have a great business but it doesn't appeal to the customer, you have work to do. Your goal is to make it attractive for customers so they stay, and easy to buy from you so they spend their money in your store. It must have a good range of stock that is not available at every other store they can visit, and it must give them peace of mind that when they buy they will get their merchandise in good time and in good condition with no regrets.

birdsnest.com.au

Website User Test

Observations. 
Appearance is clean and bright and easy to read.

Phone number is a 1300 number and easy to see.

Layout is clear and easy to find sections to visit.

Information on guarantee is on the front page and that instills confidence. I can easily see that I can get express delivery for just $4.95 so it is not only fast but it is very cheap.

Access is easy to find out anything about how purchasing works or returns. I can tell that there is 100 day return policy and no hassle. The website makes me feel like the company has considered what is important to me and that shows that they care what things look like to me the customer and understand that’s important.

There is a sign up box to ‘join the birdsnest girls’ presumably for a newsletter or updates. There also a Search box.

Background to the company is there, so more confidence that there are real people involved with this website (more peace of mind).

Stock range is clearly shown to be for women + men + children + gifts

Easy to find sections for what’s New, clothing or accessories, lingerie or maternity.

Styled outfits show how to put the clothes together with accessories for a styled look. This is handy for those who are unsure about how to put a fashionable look together.

Impressive that you can select to see clothes that fit your particular body shape as this is often hard for people to choose the right clothes to suit their shape without help.

Brands are clearly shown. Over 200 fashion brands mean good range of stock.

Special priced sale items and regular merchandise.

Nice categorisation of products to make it easy to find the section that I want to find.

Top of page - summary  with icons and text ofthe important points about delivery and returns (more peace of mind)

Wishlist function has personalised options that are very useful and helpful and mean this is a site to come back to again and again. (feels like this business is interested in my shopping experience being good).
Prompts me to think about different kinds of shopping that I may be able to satisfy on this website when I need to buy for different occasions.

My Bag – has clear cost for shipping shown upfront – no sneaky surprises
Comprehensive list of links to explanations for the philosophy of the company, privacy and security guarantee, information on pricing, most popular lines, how to contact the store on different platforms, a store magazine and testimonials address all questions that I may have about ‘who these people are’.  That’s a value in a regular store (and often sadly missing), but especially in an online store.

Womens
Good range of dresses and apparel. Seem to be mostly under $200 and in a range of styles to suit all sizes and ages. Not just clothing for the twenty-somethings as is the case with many websites.
Able to search for knee-length styles is a nice touch and simplifies the process and saves time.
Images are good and stock is displayed alone and also as worn by a model.

Mens 
Visually appealing and hip look. Casual style stock with easy to filter search options.
Easy to navigate this section. Lots of t shirts and jeans, new arrivals and sale items clearly accessible. Makes it easy for a man to find what he wants and get on with it, or for women to find clothes that would appeal to a man.
A range  of accessories is available.

Kids
Nice comprehensive range of children’s clothing and accessories from babies up.

Social
There are links to the Facebook Page and Twitter account.

Facebook
The Facebook account is active and has 29,000+ Likes, posts by the store with attractive pictures posted and posts from customers showing engagement with the store.

Twitter
This is @birdsnestonline and is run by ‘The birdsnest girls’ and seems to be a newer account with 1000+ following and slightly fewer people they are following. Posting is regular and is probably fed through from the FB page. There is engagement through replies to tweets.  A good start.

This is a well organised website that has been designed for the customer comfort not just to 'look' a certain way for the store. It is easy to navigate, has everything shown in a way that is easy to find and even addresses issues that I may not have thought about when I first opened the website.

If you are looking for an example of a good website of an offline business that operates effectively online too, then this is a good one to keep in mind.

How does your website compare?

Has your website been designed and created to provide a welcome environment for people to buy from you?

You can do this. Your business can present itself to a whole new market of people who will never walk past your shop but could be buying from you right now.

Would you like to order a Users Test for your website?

Related
Regional online business case study: birdsnest

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Regional Retail Online Case Study: Birdsnest

birdsnest  - Small town company - City service selling all around the world. 
A fabulous example of local business integrating online technology and social media with a bricks and mortar business is the retail store birdsnest located in Cooma, a small town of 6,664 people in southern NSW.

The story was showcased on ABC TV State To State Summer recently and seems to be the most recent story I can find on the company. In the interview with birdsnest founder Jane Cay, the company has grown to provide jobs for some 60 employees from the local area and have gone from selling 100 dresses a month in the beginning to 100 dresses per week. Imagine what that does for the local economy - and the business profitability.

 This is a fabulous example of a retailer taking that experience of shopping locally and expanding it online to welcome customers from anywhere. This is the magic that is possible for your business if your attitude is open and you are willing to make the effort that retail success in 2013 and into the future offers. 

Here is an earlier video that shows some of what's happening in the back room as orders are placed.



There are a lot of great things that birdnest are doing on the fulfillment of orders, the philosophy behind the business and the way the website work for customers to easily find items of interest they want to buy. I'll do an analysis of this in the next blog and expand on those details so watch for that one.

Meanwhile here is some points that Jane Cay made during another interview and article for Power Retail:


The company is willing to share its knowledge and experience to help other retailers deliver great service to their customers.

”We want to be part of the revolution taking place in this marketplace,” says Cay. “The Australian online retail landscape is exploding with opportunities and birdsnest has big dreams. We want to lead the customer experience for customers in this market –we are overflowing with ideas to further engage our birds and have even more flocking to the nest.”

So what can you take from this emerging star of Australia’s retail landscape?


  • Sales need not be the primary focus. Provide an excellent service and the sales will follow.
  • Rural location should not be an obstacle. The power of the internet means nationwide (or worldwide) businesses can be run from wherever you are.
  • Take note of new innovations and see if they work for you.
  • Passion will take you a long way, just be prepared to grow and learn as you go.
  • Look after your customers. They are your best (or worst) brand ambassadors.
  • People don’t like to feel like a number. Take the time to tailor your marketing approach and it will be worthwhile.
Read more: http://www.powerretail.com.au/getting-started/case-profile-birdsnest/#ixzz2Hv1zZBWA

So you see it can be done. It is being done. Will your business be participating in this exciting future for retail?

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Related
birdsnest Web user test