Site of the Week – Giggle.com
I only do a site of the week when I see something I really like, or is a real disaster. This week it is a site that I really like. It does almost everything right. Giggle.com is a small national chain of baby product stores whose online presence is well thought out, and offers a compelling eCommerce experience.
In this review I’m concentrating on the overall structure, tone and usability of the site.
1. The top navigation offers links to all of Giggle’s properties; the online shop, their blogs and the cradle, which appears to be another site altogether. This last entry is the only thing on this site I don’t really get. More later.
* I stared this rather than numbered it because the placement and ease of finding the login and Checkout button are for eCommerce sites, a key issue.
2. Listing some key reasons folks likely come to the site in text and graphics is a great idea. These “task” related items stand out for the visitor that needs to get in and out.
3. Nicely laid out menu of categories important to every parent
Between 3 & 4 is a Key Message of Fabulous Free Shipping which is hard to miss and reinforced with the truck image
4. The featured area uses non-Flash technology, a big plus, but maintains a fun, engaging and functional look and feel.
5. Adding a contest is always a great way to engage site visitors. Sharing stories is a great way to do it. I did not see this integrated into their facebook fan page, which would have been ideal, but it is possible I missed this.
What I really liked
- Despite having a lot going on, the page remains accessible and well laid out.
- Everything from login, search and navigation is where users would expect it to be. No surprises usually means less barrier to a sale.
- Great thought to SEO & Social Media. There were several blogs including blogs for each of the stores! Better yet the blogs were active, well written and inviting. The Facebook page was also pretty active but could have used a bit more fan engagement.
- No Flash. If you’ve read my other articles you’ll note I’m not a big proponent of Flash. It has it’s place but is often over used, and implemented poorly.
- On the product pages they have typical customer reviews but also have a section called “ask & answer”, where customers can post questions and the Giggle.com staff answers. This is a great way to get additional user generated content for product pages, beyond the usual product copy. Since search engines often field questions, this is a feature I’d like to see more sites have to boost SEO.
Though the top link to Cradle.com is certainly content that is relevant to the topic, it appears to be a totally different business. Giggle.com is an advertiser on this site but directing someone off your site like this is never a good idea no matter how well intentioned. Giggle.com has enough great resources that it should be able to get by without it.
Overall kudo’s to Giggle.com for having a great site.
Important Note – When it comes to eCommerce designs, one size does not fit all. The best practice is to test, test and test. There are some best practice and usability guidelines to follow, but keeping an eye on constant conversion improvement should be an ongoing goal.