Madewell could be made better…

Yesterday’s post about the ShopStyle by POPSUGAR email led me to the Madewell ecommerce store. As I explored around this apparel site, I realized that one outtake led right to another, because there are some things on Madewell’s site that can definitely stand to be improved. Mainly and most importantly, there is a glaring lack of both sorting and filtering options. This store has so many great products to browse through, but no way to narrow down the search! Let’s take a look.

When you select any of the categories from the top of the page, like dresses for example, you find yourself on a page with lots of products. However, there aren’t any sorting options. I would love to see a drop-down menu at the top allowing me to sort by lowest price, highest rating, or newest items. Also, the only filtering options on the left navigation are for refining by the type of dress, either waist defined, shift, or sweater & knit. That doesn’t help me narrow things down much! I would suggest adding the ability to filter by color, size, skirt length, etc. This would be far more helpful to the shopping experience.

madewell1 copyHere’s another example, from the Shoes & Sandals category. At least here, there are more sub-categories to choose from which allow shoppers to get to a page of a specific type of shoe. Most of these sub-categories have a more manageable amount of products to browse, but again, no sorting option.

madewell2 copyPlease Madewell, add some filtering and sorting capabilites to your ecommerce store. Even the addition of the basics, like sorting by price or filtering by size, would be a great improvement to the user experience. Being able to narrow down the results makes shopping on the site a whole lot easier!




  1. Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly they do have faceted search on their search box. It looks like it’s Endeca-based. What’s probably happening here is that they didn’t find the time, money, or ambition to get it integrated into their category navigation. This is a common problem with hosted solutions as well, and people might ask me how to fix it sometimes 🙂

    But for now …

    If you want options, you’ll get a better experience by searching for “dress” and then using the same taxonomy to navigate:

  2. ECOTTAdmin ECOTTAdmin
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    You’re right, the options are there when you use the search function. So weird! I would love to see this integrated into the category pages as well. Not everyone will use the search, especially when the categories are easy to find and select right there at the top…

  3. Marko Bon
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I think you’ll find this often. The Left Nav of search is powered by the Search partner/vendor, and the Left Nav for standard category browsing is powered by the eCom platform. Often the former has more faceted options, and the latter mirrors whatever IA/UX the business agreed upon.

    Completely agree that there’s a disconnect. I have found that Merchants often think that having the full list of product categories in the left nav aids “discoverablity,” rather than have it be replaced by filters and facets of one specific product category – which can feel too Tech-y and Internet-y to a classically trained merchant.

    Lastly – I have found that users who interact with Filters spend 8x per order than users who don’t use filters. That’s an incredibly significant number – and one I use to move eCom sites toward filtered nav. One can appeal to Merchants by having the other categories available, but collapsed, so that the user does indeed get exposed to Filters for the category they’re in.

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