We received a submission to Ecommerce Outtakes for a site review, so we’re bringing you another edition of You Asked For It! So which site is jumping into the lion’s den today? It’s an ecommerce site devoted to fashion for your furry friends: Puppy Circle Pet Couture. The site’s owner told us that throughout her travels in Asia and Europe, she found so many fun pet outfits for her dogs, but she was disappointed in the selection here at home. This led her to start her very own online pet couture store. Let’s take a look at it now, and see how it stacks up!
I’ll just say it right off the bat: I actually really like this site overall. Typically, site submissions need lots of work, but the Puppy Circle online store doesn’t have too many big issues. How refreshing! Look at the home page, below. Clean and simple, with a rotating banner of high-quality images, and sections showcasing featured products, current top sellers, and new products below. Off to a good start.
Of course, I do have some small suggestions for this site. One thing that’s a little strange here is that the images in this carousel don’t necessarily tell you much information. When a shopper clicks the picture that says “Fashion Forward,” or ”Happy Puppy Happy Life,” or the one with no words at all, how will they know what section of the store they’ll be getting? I would suggest at least creating titles for these that indicate which products are being featured.
When you first arrive on the site, there is an icon that appears on the right of the page promoting free shipping. When you click on this, a little window opens directing the shopper to ‘like’ Puppy Circle on Facebook, Google + or Twitter to reveal the promo code. At first, I thought this was a really clever idea. I like how this site highlights its social media presence throughout the pages. Plus, this is definitely a great way for the brand to build up its social media following!
However, on second thought, I decided I’m not a huge fan of this tactic. As a shopper, I would want to just get the free shipping automatically if my order is $65 or more. I don’t want to have to like it on social media, then later enter a code–it’s too many steps. I would suggest making this free shipping offer automatic at checkout, and use this window to promote social media in another way. For example, “Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get more special offers!”
I like the navigation options at the top of the page. There are options to shop by style, products or price range. I viewed the shop by style menu and selected the Big Dog Fashions category. Here I encountered something a little odd, because there are two gift card product options in this section. Gift cards are great, but they don’t really belong here. I would suggest creating a separate section for gift cards.
There aren’t any filtering options, and you can’t choose more than one option from the left-hand menu at the same time (for instance, within Big Dog Fashion, I can’t also select the $20-$30 price range). However, there is a sorting menu at the top, so that provides some helpful options for shoppers. There aren’t a ton of products anyway, so the lack of filters isn’t a huge problem. If this site continues to add items, I would strongly suggest implementing faceted navigation at that time.
Beyond this, I don’t have any more suggestions for Puppy Circle. Product pages offer some great features like the ability to zoom on the product image, a “Customers Also Viewed” section of products, and a field for customer reviews. As far as the checkout goes, everything was simple and seamless. This store even offers a guest checkout option, which I love. So overall, this ecommerce site is definitely on the right track. My only suggestions are pretty small. Keep up the good work, Puppy Circle!