In my ongoing quest to find a good site for ordering office supplies, I came across the Premier Supplies ecommerce website. Let’s just say my quest is not over. This site is so strange! Upon arriving on the home page, it seemed like I was on the right track . The design here is actually quite nice and professional-looking. When you click on any of the main category tabs, it opens a menu of subcategories to choose from. For instance, I clicked the Office Supplies tab and then the Paper & Pads category.
From the moment I clicked on that category link, the whole shopping experience went downhill. The first, and probably biggest, problem is that I was redirected to a new tab with a completely different look and color scheme… and a completely different URL. Suddenly instead of being on PremierSupplies.com, I was on ecinteractive.com. Super strange! Also I just feel that it’s annoying to be forced into a new tab. I would much rather keep everything within one site, and I would suggest Premier Supplies take out this extra step.
On top of the weird URL issue, there’s also a problem with the page itself. Mainly the fact that although I selected Paper & Pads, I’ve been presented with a huge list of even more categories, many of which don’t seem to have anything to do with paper or pads! 883 results? I just want to find some notebooks…
Confusingly, there is a category called Notebooks, Pads & Filler Paper but also a category just called Notebooks. This is redundant, and my suggestion is to simplify and cut down this menu (well, really to simplify the whole process, but the menu is a start!) I guessed I’d click on the Notebooks category and see what I got. What do you know, more categories! Seriously, when will I get to some products here?
I clicked the Wirebound category and finally got to some products. But take a look at the way this page is arranged. Such an odd layout! First of all, it says the items are sorted alphabetically by item number. For first-time shoppers who don’t know item numbers, this is probably the least helpful way to sort the products. I would suggest offering additional sorting options, like price and highest rating. Then, there is a field for comments under each product, which is puzzling to me. Why is this even necessary? Also, you have to look closely at the Packaging column, since the site separates the individually packaged products from the 6-to-a-box products. These could instead by the same product, but with quantity options provided in a drop-down menu to eliminate confusion. The whole page is confusing, really, and doesn’t inspire me to make a purchase at all.
There are a lot of things to fix on the Premier Supplies ecommerce site. I suggest keeping everything on one site with one consistent look, rather than redirecting shoppers to a new tab and URL. And second, simplify the shopping process… a lot! I suggest cutting down on the redundant and overwhelming categories, and redesigning the category pages to be less confusing. It would be a big overhaul, but it would be worth the effort for a site that’s easy to shop.