I am an eCommerce hog. What I mean by that is that I love spending time browsing through product catalogs of sites on Internet (occasionally buying things I don’t really need but that the topic of another blog, another time and another person.)
So as I spend a lot of time on few of my favorite sites (Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and the likes) I can not help but notice things. When you are an analyst whose primary job is to seek/extract information, validate things, explain things and verify if they are done correctly, you can not help but develop a habit to look at everything critically. Of course this can be bad and simply a waste of energy many times but, sometimes it does help you observe things that you otherwise wont have. I am talking here about things that my analytical, UX-passionate-wanting-to-become-product-manager brain keeps nagging me about. And this happens a lot when I am in Internet wonderland, being a solicited victim of ease of e-commerce.
So, the website this happens most for is Snapdeal. Started in 2010, Snapdeal has more than 4 million products on display and is funded by giants like eBay and Blackrock among others. I have been tempted to go on this site many times and I have followed that temptation almost equal amount of times yet, I have never spent more than a few minutes on the site and never bought anything from it. I can think of a few reasons why this happens:
- Clutter – There is just so much of it on Snapdeal. The landing page has longest scroll compared to competitors and has at least 10 different ways to numerous product categories going right till the very bottom of home page. Today’s users are more fickle minded than ever. They have more options than they know what to do with. Most importantly, as Indian’s we never spend unless we are more than 100% convinced about getting more than our money’s worth. If I was Snapdeal, I would focus on making the most of the limited time my user is going to spend on the site. Make him focus on some important highlights while providing ways to dabble into other categories available
- Redundancy – Now this is one more way of adding into already sprawling clutter. I would admit I have not spent more than an hour doing my analysis on Snapdeal for this blog post, yet in that small amount of time I was able to find these, just on the landing page – Search has a button, an icon and label text telling the user to do what – ‘Search’, Shop on App-download app appeared thrice on landing page, Isaw World cup store and world cup store right underneath one another, and more than one options to shop by category and see offers by category
- Poorly designed Product Page – Now if you persevere and find your way to something of your liking, the product page is bound to come as a disappointment. Product information is not easily accessible and in case of a lot of products, simply absent. It seems like the focus is too much on putting more products on display which leaves very little room to focus on things that actually matter to the consumer such as: informative product description, ratings, relevant recommendation trail. And can someone please explain to me the difference between Product Info and Product description? Even if you were someone who took dictionary very seriously, did they really have to be separate tabs on a page overflowing with TMI (Too Much Information) last but sadly not the least, jump anchor tags only make it worse
- When you are doing something even remotely different, highlight it! – I think the worse thing is, all this clutter and TMI left no opportunity to put focus on some genuinely nice features like-
- Top searches, thoughtfully placed right under search bar and still lost in the oblivion
- product comparison – please tell me why do you not mention it one bit on the product page itself!
- Dharavi – I was excited to see this one. It had all the right ingredients calling the user for a click, poignant images of the slum, genuine images and a promise to make the usually-inaccessible Dharavi treasure easy to get your hands on. And what do I find when I click on 3 categories on display – not even 20 products in total!
Wont it be worth if instead of spending probably millions of rupees in ad-campaigns starring celebrities, Snapdeal could spend at least some of it in a nice, thoughtful UX? Would have made for a much better customer experience and definitely more conversion.