When fall features fall short

I was scoping out the Cost Plus World Market website today to check out some of their seasonal home decor. Along the top navigation bar of the site, there are different categories of merchandise to shop from. Among them, I noticed a section called “Inspiration & Solutions.” I was curious what that meant, so I clicked. Turns out it’s a blog-style page that gives shoppers ideas about ways to use World Market’s various products. It’s a great feature for giving people suggestions and ideas, as well as highlighting items people might not normally consider or buy.

The posts are pretty short and sweet, so I explored several of them. I checked out one called “Fall into a Fabulous Feast,” which offered recipes with autumn-inspired flavors. I enjoyed that whenever they mentioned a product they carry at World Market, they linked right to the product page where a shopper could learn more about that item or add it to their cart. Also, there is a “Featured Products” section underneath the post, which includes images of all the products mentioned, plus other similar items available on the site. It reminded me of an earlier Badge of Honor post on this blog about the Entertainment section on Pottery Barn’s website. Most of these “Inspirations & Solutions” posts do a similar thing.

I was really getting into the “Inspirations & Solutions,” so I kept reading more posts. “7 Ways to Wear a Scarf” got my attention since it’s starting to feel like fall outside. I’m definitely breaking out my scarf collection, so I thought I might get some new ideas. I was disappointed, because this post missed the mark. Sure, it showed some nice suggestions for wearing a scarf, but it skipped over that helpful “Featured Products” section. If  I wanted to buy any of the scarves pictured in the post, I couldn’t get to them directly. There aren’t links to those specific scarves, and clicking on the image gets me nowhere. The post only provides a link to “See all Scarves,” so I would have to scroll through all the scarves and shawls, almost 70 products, to find the ones from the picture.

It would be easy enough to feature links to the seven scarves pictured in the post, as well as providing a link to the whole page of scarves. This would make the post as user-friendly as the other posts on the page. The “Inspirations & Solutions” section is such a good idea, but only if it’s done right. When it’s done wrong, it can be a frustrating experience.



1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Guillaume
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Good idea

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