Keeping pages visually clean and simple is always a good rule of thumb to follow in ecommerce. Drawing the shopper’s eye with big graphics and visual elements is a nice way to keep a site from being overwhelming or complicated. So when I came across an example of an ecommerce site that relies heavily on text, I just had to highlight it for an outtake. Check out what Sea Gull Lighting, a retailer of lighting fixtures, is doing with their site.
When I arrived on the Seagull Lighting website, I actually found the home page to be pretty nice. It was when I used the left navigation menu and chose a category, Recessed Lighting, that I started to come across some issues. Look at how much text is on this category page. That’s a lot of reading! It even goes below the fold, meaning people would have to scroll down to read it all.
I tried another category, and clicked on Indoor Lighting in the left menu. Again, lots of text underneath the subcategories, and again, it goes below the fold…
Even when I selected a subcategory, Wall Sconces, I found even more reading material! I started to wonder when I would actually get to shop instead of read.
Things got more confusing here, because one of the subcategories for Wall Sconces is… Wall Sconces. Weird, but whatever. When I clicked on the second Wall Sconces image, I finally got to some products instead of text. What a refreshing change!
All of this text seems pretty pointless. My guess is that most shoppers on Sea Gull Lighting are skipping over it, and clicking the categories to get to the products and start shopping, without ever reading any of the copy. So why waste the space? I would suggest updating the layout of these pages. Cut most of the words, and make the visual elements bigger and bolder. A clean and simple design will look nicer, and improve the overall experience on this ecommerce site.