ModCloth Shares 5 Ways to Co-Create a Kick Ass Website with your Customers

laura paajanen

Laure Paajanen, User Experience Research @ ModCloth

Laura Paajanen has, in my opinion, one of the best jobs in the world. As a User Experience Researcher for ModCloth she basically gets to dress up in ModCloth and talk to awesome ModCloth customers about how to make the awesome ModCloth website even more awesome.  Duuuude.

And ModCloth is lucky to have her. I know this because once upon a time Laura worked with me in the marketing department at an e-commerce jewelry company – helping to name hundreds of seemingly identical CZ rings, fixing my Excel mistakes, teaching me to call everything a monkey (yup, that’s where that comes from), patiently sending me Google screenshots in response to my inane questions and putting up with my tendency to turn every day office goings-on into musical theater. Those were the days. Tear.

After getting the inside scoop from the social media mistresses of ModCloth, I grabbed some couch time with Laura to learn more about how ModCloth tests, updates and innovates on the website.

One of my favorite stories was learning about the new feature that allows customers to save measurements to their account. After realizing that customers were often sharing their measurements in reviews, ie “I‘m 5’6 and usually wear a size 8, but in this dress I went for the size 6” they opted to allow customers to include that information with their reviews, rather than having to type it in each time. When ModCloth made the switch to standard sizing, they also included a ModCloth measuring tape and instructions with each new order, resulting in a significant reduction in customer service calls regarding sizing.

For those of us who don’t have a Laura on staff, she has oh so kindly shared 5 tips for transforming your website from Meh to Mahvelous (that meh’s for you doll!).

Watch your customers buy something from your website

  • Sit down with a few customers and ask them to purchase something from your site.  Make it fun and a bit of an adventure by telling them they are headed to a New Year’s party and will be ordering everything off of your site. Take note of any bugs, difficulty or unexpected questions that arise as your customer is moving through your site. For example, are you missing a particular measurement that would have helped your customer make a purchase? Is your search bar bringing back 0 results for “black dress,” when you have over a dozen different options? As an alternative, try

Make an impact with descriptions

  • Don’t underestimate the power of product copy. Take the time to create a unique name and description for your products. This is an opportunity for you to show who you are as a brand and as a designer and take your customer on a mental journey than ends with that gorgeous silk blouse being worn to dinner where she runs into the man who held the door open for her at the train station last week…

Make it easy to share to social

  • From email this to a friend features, the Facebook like button to uploading your merchandise to Polyvore, make it easy for customers to share your brand and products with their friends. Customer reviews are also a fantastic way to help your customers help each other, and drive rapport and community among brand loyalists.

Invest in product photography

  • Take multiple photos of product so that your customer can see how it looks by itself and worn on an actual person, not a mannequin. Extra points if you allow customers to upload photos of themselves wearing your LBD. The combination of killer photography, spot-on copy and simple check out really does convert!

Engage in ongoing conversation with your customers

  • Whether it is through Twitter, email or phone provide opportunities for customers to give you feedback about their site experience. Then go a step further and make updates based on that feedback. Make it easy for customers to get in touch by having your contact information easily accessible and respond to ALL inquiries. If you find you can’t keep up with the volume of questions, consider a FAQ, but make sure to personalize the message regardless.

What are some of your favorite websites to shop at and why? What mistakes do designers/retailers often make on their websites that make securing PR coverage difficult?

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.