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You’re walking down a shopping street. A shop window attracts your attention and you decide to take a look. The door opens and you enter an empty space, where an employee asks if you’re okay with the instore cameras: otherwise you’re not allowed to continue. You agree and move on to the next empty space. The question this time is whether you want to be helped in Dutch. Slightly irritated, you agree again. Finally in the store! But before you can look around, four other employees rush towards you. “WE HAVE AN APP, DID YOU KNOW THAT?” shouts the first one. The second begs for your email address, in exchange for a discount. In the meantime, the third person desperately grabs your wrist. You have to come to the “flash sale” department, now! The quartet is completed by the employee with a notebook, who wants you to take part in a survey. Only takes five minutes.
In the real world, after such nightmarish shopping experiences, you would need to call your shrink right away. But online, it sometimes seems to be the most normal thing in the world.
One of the most extreme examples of this can be found on Made.com (#146 in the Twinkle 100). A lot can be forgiven, when you finally end up with the beautiful furniture and home accessories in this webshop. But when you experience this online shop for the first time, you start to wonder whether the tagline “create your own space” is perhaps meant as a cynical joke. As a first-time visitor to ASOS (#80 in the Twinkle 100) you also have to struggle through various, sometimes full-screen layers of requests, before you can actually shop.
Flop: first-time visit experience at Made.com
A webshop that handles things much better is ABOUT YOU. They also ask for e-mail addresses and downloads, but only when you’re already inside and have become acquainted with the offer. The requests are more subtle. ABOUT YOU puts the focus on you as a visitor and makes clicking or not a choice, instead of an obligation.
With online shoppers you have two tenths of a second to make a good impression. There is no room for screen-filling layouts or pop-ups in that time frame. In fact, it conflicts with the actual reason for the potential buyer’s visit and immediately detracts from the brand experience. So, take another very critical look at the (mobile) user experience of your webshop. It should make the best possible impression for those interested – certainly new shoppers – starting at the moment they are in front of your virtual door!