Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Quality never goes out of style - now apply that to your site

I was asked by a friend to take a look at the UK site of Levi's this morning.  He couldn't believe how bad the checkout was and suggested it must be the worst ever. He's never had the pleasure of the the Virgin Mobile checkout, which I doubt will ever be bettered (or should that be worsed?), but Levi's have certainly created a ghastly nightmare of a site.

The first mistake I made was to look at the site on my mobile. There's no responsive design or dedicated mobile site and it's simply unusable, even on a big-screen phone. Bad start.


Having switched to desktop, I click through to the first product that catches my attention - a hoodie. The product page displays some size options, like you'd expect. I see that L is greyed out, which obviously tells me that they don't have this item in large. It's in the sale, so nothing too unexpected there and it's good to be able to see up-front what sizes are available. But I think I can still just about get away with a medium so I select M and click add to bag.

Uh? So the sizes that can be selected can still be out of stock? So why not have that size greyed out too? Maybe it's something to do with the different colour options. So I try to add a medium in all 3 available colours but it's out of stock for all of them. Frustrations levels are on the rise.

Next I look at a scarf, which only comes in one size; this should avoid any of the size complications. I click add to bag and I have another error pop-up: please pick a size. Yes, I have to click on "ONE SIZE" before I can add it the the bag. Please tell me why you're making me do this? Totally unnecessary friction.

I finally make it through to the basket page where I notice an additional sale message that says "Up to 60% off - See Cart DETAILS". I want to check this out. It's unclear whether it refers to the saving I'm making on this item or whether there's a further discount available to me . I guess we'll never know:


Clicking on Privacy Policy launches a light box, like you'd expect. The last thing you want to do is take customers away from the checkout at this point. But the policy isn't there. There's just some guff about how deeply committed Levi's are to our privacy and a link to the actual privacy policy - which then does take me to a new page away from the checkout. And within about two seconds a lightbox pops up to tell me "You have been selected to participate in a brief customer satisfaction survey to let us know how we can improve your experience."

I tell you how you could improve the user experience and improve your conversion rate - don't take me away from the middle of a checkout and then ask me to participate in a survey. What are you thinking, Levi's?

Having made my way back to the checkout, I resume with the personal details page. This is a bit clunky and there some really strange use of font sizes.

I forgot to tick that terms and privacy acceptance box, like I presume everyone does before they click next. The form shoots to the top where there's an error message: "Before we move on, please review the fields in red. They contain incorrect or missing information." I then have to scroll back down to the bottom to find the field I'd missed. Why not just anchor the page at wherever the error is and save me the hunt?

Finally to the payments page and I'm presented with radio buttons to choose my payment type. I pick my credit card type and nothing happens.

There's no next button or anything to suggest what I'm supposed to do next. So I scroll back up to the top the page and hunt around for a next or proceed button there. But nothing. Now I'm really confused. Only when I scroll back down to the bottom of the page do I realise that some fields have opened up for me to enter my card details. I repeated this several times and the average delay between selecting payment type and the reveal of the form was 5 seconds. That's so long that I'm sure lots of customers will do the same as I did. The abandon rate on this final page must be way higher than it needs to be.

I should point out that this was not a full review and test of Levi's UK site, by any means. This was a really quick run through - finding a product, adding to basket and checking out. I didn't go looking for issues and I'm 100% certain there will be more if I could force myself to stay on this shocking site for one minute longer.

What's totally clear is that the ecommerce team responsible for this site are not doing any user testing. They can't possibly be looking at real users' interactions with the site, otherwise these issues would surely be resolved. And this is not a small business that could point to budget as an excuse for this shoddiness. This is Levi's - a major global brand. And this total lack of quality and attention to detail will surely be harming that brand.