Jack Spade: Here’s A Recommendation- More Of The Same Stuff!

Sometimes when I’m shopping online, I stumble on recommendations and end up buying those products.  This time, I am browsing around Jack Spade’s site.  When I search for men’s wallets, how come the only recommended products are wallets?  It would make more sense to suggest complementary products. Ok, so they do offer that colorful bag which goes perfectly well with my black understated wallet, but ideally, the recommendations should make your consumers explore the website without even realizing.  I would say to have some other accessories and even a pair of shoes available to spice things up.  Spark that impulsive shopper that is inside of us all!


Whats more, the Facebook like button and ticker shows zero likes.  This is not offering me very much encouragement…Why don’t you just simply have the Like Button, Jack Spade?   Until you manage to get a few likes at least.  Psychology of suggestive shopping.

Still browsing around and I run into some money clips.  More of the “same stuff thing” going on again.  But look, another wildcard. Might this shoulder strap be the random product of the day? I might have difficulty using this with my money clip, though it might look good.. a wad of money and a colorful strap 🙂

I would suggest taking the different “styles” of the clip, adding them on a side bar feature, similar to a color swatch, and saving the recommendations for complementary products.

In the end… just a little case of a merchandising overlook, but easily fixable with some thought out product placement.



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Apple… Experience the User.

Dear Apple, you need to know which customers you are sending out information to before you dish out offers and exciting news.

I really like the overpriced technology that Apple gives us, I must admit. But when I get an announcement for a new apple store in Ridge Hill, I can’t help but stare at my computer screen for about 2 minutes.

First of all, I’ve never heard of Ridge Hill. One of the people I work with is from Kansas, and he’s never heard of Ridge Hill, and that makes sense because he’s from Kansas. All that matters at this point is that I’m from Manhattan and so I had to go from the email to the Apple site to see that Ridge Hill is in Yonkers.

Apple, the good news is that the algorithm for your email blast included my address on the east coast. The not-so-good news is that your new Ridge Hill store is 25 miles away. And you already opened an apple store less than a mile from me. All this wasted excitement only to realize that I already have an Apple store close to me.

Experience the user, Apple. And you’re welcome. Can I have an iPad?

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Ikea : More Than a Few Screws Loose

IKEA…The store gives me a headache so I ventured to their website for some no hassle online shopping, but in the end, I ended up with that same IKEA headache.  Navigation is all over the place and left me feeling like I was running in circles; the same way I feel when I’m in the store.  

The site somewhat functions as an e-commerce site, but at the same time functions as an online catalog/prep guide for shopping in the store. There seems to be a little bit of an identity crisis going on here. You will see from my experience below that it is important to steer your customers in a clear direction to the shopping cart.  In this case, I was not.  Had I been able to navigate with more ease, I might be writing this from my new IKEA couch right now. I think there should be two categories boldly labeled on the page. One for “Online Catalog” and another for “Online Shop.” Alas! None of that for IKEA.

First thing’s first:  I click “Living Room” on the home page and I am taken to the following page.



At this point, I am ready for a broad, filterable category page. Let’s get to shopping!  Not quite though..  Notice that “Shop Online” is hidden down on the bottom left corner.  I would suggest a change in placement for this option, highlighting it  on the main navigation bar on the HOMEPAGE  alongside “New”, “Offers”, etc.  It seems like this “Shop Online” option is one page too late…

But I am determined here, so I click “Shop Online” –> I am taken to the following page:



What?  Where do I go?  What must I do? I thought I already clicked “Living Room” and specified “Shop Online”? Hmmm… OK, now what?

Take note of the  “Online Shopping Guide”.  Online shopping should not be rocket science and should not need a guide, but in this case, as I am slowly finding out,  maybe it is necessary.   I forgo the e-shop guide (check it out here if you are dying to know) because I finally figure out that “Shop online, our website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!”  is actually a clickable link!  I almost missed it as it’s not highlighted like the other links in blue.




Finally, pages later, I am seeing some products!  Filters would be a nice feature on this page..as well as the option to sort through loveseats vs sectionals vs chairs, etc.   There are many different kinds of products on this page, and while I do like the variety as I pointed out with Zara, it needs to be easy for the customer to narrow down in order to get what they are looking for.

Really though, at this point, I am really happy to just see some products.  The Ektorp Sofa looks good, lets click it.



AHHH? After all that? What is the point of navigating through about 10 pages only to find out that I can’t even buy the sofa online?!  Where’s the aspirin?  Ok calm down.

IKEA, I suggest to you a good look in the mirror, let’s work this out. I like you, a lot of people like you. We just don’t want to go visit your store (which is usually on the outskirts of town by the way) every time we need a home furnishing.  Let’s make a beautiful site together where products can be easily found, filtered, compared, searched, sorted, purchased, delivered and enjoyed.  A lot of people will be happy and so will your sales numbers.


Edit: It is great that IKEA is attentive:

@EcomOuttakes ~ We’re sorry to hear you’re having trouble! Please contact our customer service at social@ushelp.ikea.com so we can help.






Orbitz giving Mac users what they need from life

Orbitz has taken to assuming that once you are a Mac user, you must have some cash floating around and may want to spend it on a pricier hotel room. According to Orbitz’s findings, Mac users are willing to spend more money on luxury products than PC users. How true is this? Show us your research, Orbitz!

Orbitz claims that Mac users are willing to pay “30 percent more per night for hotel rooms compared to the more frugal Windows PC users.” Orbitz also says that “Mac users are also 40 percent more likely to book a four or five-star hotel compared to Windows users.” From these findings, they have taken to what they call predictive analysis to filter hotel rooms for Mac users according to price. Apparently these aforementioned Mac users have a choice to filter their results according to price but they don’t. I am guessing it’s because they think by searching on Orbitz they are going to get the best deals anyway? That is supposed to be the main point of Orbitz, lest we forget. Oh well, I guess best deals are different for everyone.

Here is a dainty little quote from Mr. Orbitz CEO; regarding the situation. “Just as Mac users are willing to pay more for higher end computers, at Orbitz we’ve seen that Mac users are 40% more likely to book 4 or 5 star hotels as compared to PC users, and that just one of many factors that determine which hotels to recommend a given customer as part of our efforts to show customers the most relevant hotels possible.” I guess this is all part of creating a more personalized shopping experience on orbitz- afterall, as a Mac user, you should by all means be willing to spend 40% more on hotels!

However, according to some specialists, this tactic is not only smart but it also adds value! Who would have thought? “By optimizing its search results to the likely motivations of Mac users, Orbitz is putting itself in a better position to satisfy them, and convert them into return customers.” Customer satisfaction must always come first even if it means discriminating against customers, depending on their OS. Businesses  segment their markets by demographics, age, race and gender why shouldn’t Orbitz include operating systems? That is just another means of segmenting customers and giving them what they really want- over priced hotels and flights 🙂

What are your thoughts? Is this a business-savvy tactic, or are clients going to go crazy and boycott Orbitz?





Our sources

Mac Users Have Money To Spare, Says Orbitz

Why Orbitz Steers Mac Users To Costlier Hotels And Rooms

Cheaper Hotels For PC Owners? Other Orbitz Predictions

Orbitz Serves Up Luxury Options To Mac Users. Is That A Bad Thing?

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Style Wars: Men Vs. Women

I love me some Woot! and often find their daily emails effective in persuading me to buy more than I probably need.. but today I was left scratching my head for a moment, trying to figure out what I was actually being offered.  Given my funky style nature, I was naturally drawn to the red ones…So I go to click on style and I am given the choice of Men’s or Women’s… Ummm… Are both shoes Unisex?  Are we supposed to assume based on color that one is for Men and the other for Women?  What exactly am I getting here?

Simple fix: Clearly label my choices and we have a match made in heaven.   While I might not go for the gray ones (not my style), at least I know what I would be getting.

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Nice Scarves, But Where’s the Hat and Tie to Complete My William Burroughs Look

Let’s talk Navigation:  Still clicking through Zara’s site and wanted to see some cool accessories.

I clicked Man->Accessories and I was directed to the following page :

Confusing Navigation Zara.com

This is all scarves… Wheres’s the hats, belts, ties, etc???  I’m very confused.  Then I realized that when you click on Accessories, it by default takes you to the sub-category of scarves without me even choosing this.  One might think for a moment that these are the only Men Accessories that Zara offers.

Solution:  When clicking on Man->Accessories,  you should land on a page that has a variety of accessories and let the user filter to the one of their of the liking.

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Can I Get a Barbacoa Burrito Bowl and a Medium Sized Tablet Please

In a world (movie trailer narrator voice, you know the dramatic one) of multiple sized tablets (7.0, 8.9, 10.1 etc.) Zara.com decided to sell their tablet covers by size “M” and not by inches ????


Ok, maybe the product description can offer me more insight.  Well, OK, nope.  They completely neglect to mention the dimensions and tablet size in the product description.


Missing Information Product Description


Music inspiration still Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

A bonus, talking about merchandising; Can someone tell me what size this bag is? Does it have compartments? Hmmm…

Zara.co bag size description

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Hey Zara, Beautiful and Clean Doesn’t Have to Equal Extra Clicks

So first off, Zara has a really nice and  clean category page, and I am down with being able to easily see the 4 different colors for the moccasin. This definitely makes for an easier shopping experience than “more colors available”, which you see on some sites.




I click on the tan one and I am taken to the product page.  Again, nice minimal and sleek design, but the navigation begins to get a little cryptic. While my options were easily seen on the category page, I am not given that option here.   The arrows at the top do allow me to browse through the other colors, but  this could have been easily laid out next to the other swatch.  A less than savvy internet shopper might be forced to exhaust the back button the browser if they can’t crack the code.



And to solve this, I make this simple suggestion:

Simple, clear, easy navigation.

Musical inspiration for this post: Tupelo by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album The Firstborn Is Dead 🙂



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Oh Sabon: A Rose is a Rose is a…What?

Sabon,  a great company selling excellent quality merchandise, sends me an email. It’s pretty. It’s offering me what looks like a great deal (a $45 value with $100+ purchase).

Only: I have no idea what I’m going to get. What is a Rose Aroma? In the picture, I see some roses, some roses that may be part of the wallpaper, and some liquid in glass that might be the “aroma” part of things. But I don’t know. Sabon, educate me while you lure me in with such a great offer. And then everyone will be smelling like a rose.

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Badge of Honor: Hertz So Good

You might recall some rather extreme challenges I had a few weeks back with Ticketmaster. It’s all about location, location location…and access to that location, location, location.

Well, I recently came across a seemingly simple promotion from Hertz (Gold Plus Rewards). It’s both subtle and to the point. In one straightforward ad, I have access to a link that will take me to the car rental site. I have a points program seduction. And, most relevant here: they’ve localized and personalized my message, giving me an address that’s not only on the East coast…it’s also on my little island just off the coast of the United States.

Easy, straightforward. Wins our first Badge of Honor. Hertz So Good.

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