Nordstroms.com gets a redesign… and I am scratching my head.

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 30-08-2010-05-2008

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We’ve done enough conversion testing for me to know that shoppers often behave in unpredictable ways. And yes, I have seen my fair share of “odd” websites that produce astonishingly strong conversion rates…

But the newly redesigned Nordstroms.com really leaves me scratching my head. This does not appear to be a website that has been properly optimized to increase conversion rates or search engine rankings.

For example, the homepage does very little to engage shoppers. No value propositions are offered, and the navigation options are very limited. I support the notion that “simple sells,” but I have a hard time believing that the current homepage benefitted from rigourous conversion testing and analysis prior to its launch.

Here’s another example: Search Google for Jimmy Choo Nordstroms. This is a likely search by a shopper who wants to purchase Jimmy Choos, who likes to shop at Nordstroms. The first result brings you to a product page for one of many Jimmy Choo products, and offers you no intuitive navigation path should you want to look at OTHER Jimmy Choo products:

The category pages are similarly confusing. Let’s say a woman shopper wants to purchase some shoes. They click on “Women” from the Departments tab, and they come to the following page.

If they want to purchase shoes, they will have to do some major sleuthing to find the appropriate link to click. Many shoppers will eventually figure out that by putting their mouse over “Women” in the top left, they will find the option to shop for shoes. But how many shoppers will be lost in the process?

At this point in the evolution of e-commerce i’d like to think that all serious retailers utilize conversion testing for their sites. While it is possible that the new Nordstroms.com has gone through extensive conversion testing prior to its complete launch – I am very skeptical.

I don’t want this post to be all negative. In my personal experience I have known Nordstroms.com to be a solid company that stands behind their products. In addition, I appreciate the fact that they took some risks on their new design. Who knows, the approach they’ve taken may turn out to be wildly¬†successful, and if so, I hope they will publish a case study!

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