Even if you’ve never heard of Soffe, odds are you’ve worn something from the brand before. This retailer, which makes cheer and sports apparel, is probably responsible for some article of printed clothing you have floating around in your closet or drawers. I was browsing around their ecommerce site today, and I found myself a little disappointed. For a retailer of cheer clothing, this online store wasn’t very fun at all.
From a visual standpoint, the Soffe store doesn’t have much in the way of design. Take a look at the home page. With the black background and the basic white background photos, there isn’t much going on here. I would suggest considering a new design that would showcase the personality of the brand and better appeal to their demographic of young cheerleaders and athletes. More colorful and more fun — like the clothing they sell!
To browse the store, shoppers can choose categories from the main drop-down menus along the top of the page. I opened the Juniors menu, and selected Bottoms. When I got to this category page, it showed me only a few product images. It took me a minute to realize that these pictures are representing the different sub-categories. Each one says “SOFFE JUNIORS – BOTTOMS” before the actual sub-category, like shorts or pants. This is a bit confusing, and I would suggest updating this so it only says shorts, pants, etc. since shoppers already know they’re in the juniors bottoms section.
I clicked on the Shorts sub-category to browse this results page. Soffe offers a lot of shorts here, but there’s no way to sort or filter any of these products. For any of you who read this blog regularly, you’ll know this is a big pet peeve of mine! I would really suggest this ecommerce store add a drop-down menu at the top to allow shoppers to sort by price, rating and newest arrivals, in addition to some filtering options along the left navigation, like color and size. Another weird thing I noticed on this page is the color swatches. Most of these products have swatches to show the other available colors, but when you click them, a frustrating thing happens. Instead of just changing the color in the picture you’re looking at, it redirects you to the product page. A small issue, but annoying nonetheless.
Now, someone brought up a good point in my post about Madewell. Although that site also lacks sorting and filtering options when you’re browsing category pages, it does provides lots of options when you use the search function. I decided to test that out here on the Soffe website, and what do you know? Same thing! When you search for “shorts,” there are some filtering options in the left navigation that you don’t normally see. I would strongly suggest integrating this throughout the category pages.
With some improvements to the overall organization of the store, and by punching up the fun and visual appeal of the design, this ecommerce site could be on a whole new level. I’ll be cheering for Soffe to make some updates, that’s for sure.