15 Ways To Wear American Apparel: If You Find Them

American Apparel is known for their basic pieces which you can jazz according to your personal style.  I was checking out some of the new pieces they had in stock under women’s dresses and this piece caught my eye. It is a simple pencil dress which they say can be worn as a bandeau or as a halter.

I’m thinking to myself, the red looks good and so I click on it.. Whoa.. different style? Oops American Apparel made a mistake. I figure they don’t have the dress in red and so I move on to another color.. green.. It’s a different style as well. I click through all the colors available and realize that they are all styled differently. What’s going on here?!

I know this can’t be a mistake so I look around the page and I find a video which shows different ways to wear the dress. I completely missed it. But the actual description of the dress says nothing about these styles. Why not? Everything which talks about the versatility of the dress is written in an extremely tiny font.

How can you solve this simple issue, American Apparel?

Create a badge for dresses like this on the category page. This shouldn’t be too difficult to implement because  some of the items on your sale page already have badges – ‘Oops! We made too many!’

Also, I suggest that either you use a bigger font for the video or you place it with the product views, just as Pottery Barn does.

It makes sense to at least mention the fact that this dress can be worn in so many ways in the description of the product! Not every shopper might want to watch videos especially when the product description gives them no reason to or if they are just casually browsing your site.

There is no reason for your customers to be confused by your products and website!



Pottery Barn: Here Is Your Badge Of Honor

It was a great idea for me to subscribe to Pottery Barn’s mailing list. I was pleasantly surprised when I went to check out the site. First of all, their ‘Entertaining’ section is great, very engaging with tips, ideas and videos.  And check out the ‘Featured in This Room’ section, where you can buy just about anything you see in the ‘Cocktail Party’ set!  IKEA has something similar to this but you can only purchase 1 out of 5 items they show. So the fact that Pottery Barn stocked most of the products that were in the set up was already a plus for them.

So I click on the first item, the ‘Bosphorus Bowls’,  and boom another surprise!  Not only do they have extensive photos of the bowl, but they also have videos with tips and ideas for use of this product… Tell me.. how many websites go the extra mile?

So as excited as I am, I keep snooping for more fun stuff.  And I find more.  I click on “Decorating” and then “Room Planner”.

Pottery Barn allows you to plan your own room and then fill it up with items from their store.  Mind blown.  Great feature for personalized shopping!

I am definitely coming back to shop for more stuff. Oh wait… I also checked their twitter feed and their customer service is impeccable! For this, Pottery Barn you get 2 badges of honor.

1 Comment

Amazon: $73 vs. $1042 For The Same Pair Of Shoes?

I desperately need a pair of running shoes so I do a quick Google search and a pair on amazon pops up. I click on them because come on.. who doesn’t love Amazon? But wait.. are these the same pair of shoes or are they different colors? I start clicking around randomly and I figure out that the highest price is $109… $73-$109 isn’t as dramatic as $73-$1042.90

Amazon, this huge price range may turn a few of your clients away especially if they feel like some of the shoes might be of a lower quality than others.


Leave a comment

Lulu Lemon: Your Filters Fall Short!

I am on my way to Australia and so I am browsing around for some gear to take with me. I stumble on LuLu Lemon’s website which is very nicely built with a minimalistic feel. I like that the site has lots of filters, always a plus – it makes shopping for the casual browser easy and rewarding.  So I click on ‘Men’ and then ‘Shorts’, and then filter by size-32.  The size filter is a great function on any site.  Makes things quick and easy!

I am drawn to the polka dotted pair -Jericho Shorts- which I see has 2 colors available.

Looks good.  I click on the shorts and then switch between the colors.  Hmmm… These are supposed to be two different colors?  They look like 2 different shorts- they have the same cut and style, yes, but polka dots are very different from stars… If I was someone who had an aversion to polka dots, there is no way I would have clicked on these shorts.  A man who wears polka dots is not the same man that wears stars, at least in my case.

Anyway, I click on the shorts only to realize that the polka dotted pair isn’t stocked in a size 32 🙁  Didn’t I just filter 32?  Arghhhh…

But the 2nd pair is available in a size 32…

So Lulu, here’s my suggestion:  Try laying out the shorts separately as  Zara (see related post) does on their category pages.  Products with alternate colors are displayed as separate items, opposed to displaying one  item with ‘More Colors Available’.   Lulu Lemon has a smaller inventory, so separating products in this way will gives the shopper the illusion of an extensive inventory.  This will encourage browsing and will also make for more effective filtering.  Had these shorts been separated on the category page, I would have been able to instantly see that the polka dotted shorts weren’t available in size 32.

Moving on…Forget about the shorts.   In my disappointment,  I move on to look for some running gear.  I go to ‘Shop By’ and then click on ‘Run Swiftly’…

Hmmm…Why does the page go  straight to women’s clothing.  Is it that there is no running gear available for men?  Maybe I should try filtering through ‘Men’

When I click on ‘Men’, the only thing I see is run accessories but not actual running gear… I’m quite surprised that Lulu Lemon doesn’t stock running gear for men or if they do, its lost in translation.


Basically Lulu, let us see all of the products you have so we can decide what we want and what we don’t want.  And what’s up with the running gear for men? Don’t men deserve a run too?


Levi’s: The Mystery Of The Commuter Colors

I have been trying to get my hands on these Commuter Pants from Levi’s for a long time, but they are always out of stock. I am feeling like today is a good day so I go to the Levi’s site and type in Commuter Pants and voila, three pairs pop up! But wait there are only two colors available in the style I want? Red? eehh I’m not too sure about these. I had my eye on the black pair (not cropped). Bummer, all that excitement for nothing.

I click on the red pair, just to see if I’ll want them if I look at other views

Hey look! They actually have the color I was looking for.. But why aren’t these colors on the main page? I could have easily closed the website when I saw that there were no other colors available.

I think that it would be better to have the color swatches on the results page as well. You want to give the customers the impression that you have everything your customers need especially when you do! Do not hide things from us Levi’s, we want to see them all.

Leave a comment

Gucci: No Merchandise = No Money!

Hey Gucci,

No picture = no $1990 for you!


So I love that you have 23 different variations, but it is a bit of a task to click through all 23 of your options only to find that some of the options do not even have pictures.  It is frustrating when fashion merchandising stores have no pictures. What are we supposed to be paying for? We do not know what we are getting!

With a high number of variations, I might suggest color swatches.  Why not utilize the space you have at the bottom of the variations for more pictures?  Less clicking and scrolling, more getting to what we want.

Don’t forget that your clients expect a lot from you at all times and a minor mistake like this can have a huge effect on purchasing.

Less clicks = quicker to purchase.  No merchandise = no money.

Leave a comment

AHAlife, You Get Today’s Badge Of Honor.

Of course we can’t only be seeing faults in eCommerce sites now can we?

We love that we can easily browse using the  ‘Quick View’ of each product on AHAlife, as opposed to having to clicking each product to see the ‘Quick View.’  Great for the casual browser!

So today AHAlife, you get a Badge Of Honor. Kudos!

Edited to add:

AHALife cares about your thoughts and we appreciate that!


AHAlife @AHAlife You’re making us blush! Thanks! RT@EcomOuttakes: We love the details on@AHAlife ‘s webstore. Good job guys!tinyurl.com/d698odl
1 Comment

Really Target? You have just what I am looking for?

A simple search for water shoes on the Target website, and what do I see first?? Women’s boots, shoes and other merchandise…. ” WE’VE GOT JUST WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.”  Well thanks Target.  Only, they aren’t the water shoes I searched for.  I get that target is trying to link me to other products in their store, but the problem here is the placement.  What they are trying to do is offer easy browsing through the other shoe categories,  but it only makes me scratch my head a bit.  Reading this from top to bottom I see “you searched for water shoes”…yes I did –> Moving on, “related searches” and “matching categories”… ok,cool –> “we’ve got just what your looking for”…Awesome –> “women’s shoes, women’s boots, etc..” –> not quite.

Eventually you see the water shoes and all confusion is quickly dispersed, but this confusion can be avoided by just a little bit of page organization..

At the top like so:


Or at the bottom like so:



When customers use the search function, they come to the page with a clear objective, and it is best that the site reflects this.  Move the unnecessary items out of the way, get them straight to the point.  Sure, suggest browsing other areas, but don’t confuse or clutter.   If you have any questions Target, let us know… “we’ve got just what your looking for.”

Leave a comment

Want A Cookie Target?

A few months ago, your favorite one stop shop found out a high school girl was pregnant before her father did. Cool right?

How does target do this? In fact, the main question is why? Why does Target want to get so intimately close to its clients? Target has been using data mining tools to track shopping habits and one might say they have taken it too far this time. The main point of data mining is to figure out which products clients purchase and how often, so that companies like target know which coupons to send out and make their clients happy. So what does this have to do with pregnant women, one may ask. “Target tries to hook parents-to-be at that crucial moment before they turn into rampant — and loyal — buyers of all things pastel, plastic, and miniature.”

Apparently, its not as difficult to predict pregnancies as we think it is.  These predictions are informed by the amount of unscented lotion, rugs, supplements, cotton balls, etc. They can even predict a pregnancy without the purchase of a pregnancy test.  According to one of the fancy marketing managers at Target, “If we send someone a catalog and say, ‘Congratulations on your first child!’ and they’ve never told us they’re pregnant, that’s going to make some people uncomfortable,” but it’s perfectly okay to send them coupons for maternity clothes and cribs.

Please feel free to read the full article about Target’s intimate marketing strategies here

It’s funny how things work out because this is what happened to me when I turned off the cookies on my browser:


Target REQUIRES cookies to be turned on.  I can’t even shop online with them while they are off.  While I am sure you have many customers who are not aware of this, you are definitely loosing a few.  Some of us want a little privacy.  At least offer the choice.   How can we shop in peace when we know you are watching our every move?

Musical inspiration for this post : Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me

Our Sources:

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

Leave a comment

Poof!!! There Goes the Macy’s Mailing list

I am one of those people who actually likes signing up for emails and mailing lists because you never know what offers you might find right? Right! So here I am, perusing Macy’s website and I realize that I haven’t actually signed up for their mailing list. Abomination! I automatically scroll down to the bottom of the page, ready to type my email address into the sign up bar, but wait.. how do I sign up? I look all over the page but the only thing they talk about is wedding registries which I am not interested in.


I click on the Contact Us page, hoping to see a sign up sheet but nope, nothing.

Honestly, I can’t wrap my head around the fact  that Macy’s doesn’t have a mailing list so I go back to the main page, hoping that something pops up and screams at me.  But still nothing…


Well ok, I guess no Macy’s mailing…….ah ha!  Finally! FOUND IT! Apparently, the mailing list isn’t a constant on the page, it changes every 5-10 seconds and that is how come I missed it the first time!

Hi Macy’s:  Some people actually want to be on your list, and I don’t think too many of your clients are patient enough to wait for this mailing list to pop up on the top of the page.  I suggest that you keep it permanently featured on the homepage so that people can sign up at any point in time instead of having to wait for it to show up.


Edited to add: I love the feedback I’m getting from the companies, turns out that they are listening!

@ecomouttakes Thank you for your feedback. We’ll be sure to share it with the team.

Leave a comment