I went to visit the Ann Taylor site this past week for a simple reason: I wanted to know how late the local store was open. Was I able to find this information? No. While it was intuitive to click on “Store Locator,” and search for the local store, the lack of store hours was annoying. While I could’ve picked up the phone, called, and gotten the hours, being the “look it up on the Internet” Queen, I could do no such thing! I canned going to Ann Taylor’s that day assuming it was only open till 6. If it was open later, well, they missed a potential client.
While I was there, I took a brief look around and thought I could make a few comments on their site for this newly launched weekly review.
- While there was a Sitemap, there was no link that said Sitemap, which users have come to expect. Instead the sitemap was found under Help.
- From the shopping page for a pair of pants I was interested in, I was unable to find the return policy or shipping information. I could not find prominent links to these critical visitor considerations on their home page either. Guess where it was? Under Help…as part of the site map. At least as far as I could tell from my quick assessment (which is the length of any users’ assessment on the Internet). Returns and shipping are critical considerations during the buying process and should be easy to find within the purchasing steps.
- Users must register and create an account to buy anything. The more steps you require users to go through, the less likely they are to complete the transaction. Think simplicity here!
On the flip side, their search function worked well when I searched for “return.” They have integrated some nice photos to explain the fit of their pants. They also offer several ways to shop–directions that users can take once on the site: by outfit, by trend, by category, and sales. And while the font on some of the navigation can seem a bit small, the overall site design reinforces the classic style that Ann Taylor clothes are known for.