A redesigned version of the Adams Childrenswear online store was launched last week, with the aim of giving the site a more updated look and improving the overall performance.
The new homepage, which is shown above, has a similar overall look to the old version (below), though there are a few changes.
Neither version of the site fits the whole screen, though the new site looks much better as the background is filled in with Adams' apple brand symbol. According to Real TSP, while ideally websites should use a fluid layout to adapt to different screen resolutions, they plumped for the fixed layout to allow for more control over visuals and design.
Elsewhere, more navigation options are provided along the top, and sub-categories can be accessed via drop-downs, which are small enough to be usable. The free delivery offer is clearly communicated in a way that should appeal to customers.
The picture of the two children in the car takes up a lot of space on the page, but doesn't seem to perform any navigational or promotional function.
Elsewhere on the site, such as in the boy's clothing category, hotspots are used to describe the items worn by models and link to the product pages; a feature that could have been put to good use here.
Site search / navigation
Navigational options are good, and Adams makes good use of filtered navigation to allow customers to browse the site easily and narrow their product search down to a manageable selection with the options provided. Filters include product category, range, age and keyword:
The site search works OK too, though not all results were totally relevant. A search for 'baby shoes' shown above does return mainly accurate results, but with a few anomalies, such as the t-shirt shown.
The product pages are good, and communicate key information clearly to customers.
Pages are well laid out, and key information such as available sizes and price is made to stand out with the use of the green border, while calls to action are clear enough to attract shoppers' attention.
Delivery and returns information is easily found, while sensible cross-selling options are displayed. I like the product photos too; even for a £14.99 baby's snowsuit, products are shown in high resolution, from two or three different views, and with the ability to zoom in:
One interesting feature on the site is the 'quick view' option which allows shoppers to see product details, choose a size and add items to their shopping basket without having to load up the product page:
According to Real TSP, the old version of the site had relatively low transition rates from product list pages to product detail pages, and the Quick View option is designed to overcome this problem by offering customers an easier and smoother route to view product availability and make a purchase.
Basket / checkout
The shopping basket link could be made to stand out a little bit more from the rest of the page, but the basket page is good, and summarises products and charges, as well as providing security reassurances and contact options. I also like the text that appears telling customers that they will qualify for free delivery if they spend a bit more, a good way to increase average order values:
At the moment, registration is compulsory before heading into the checkout, but I'm told that an option to proceed without having to register will be added to the site shortly:
The rest of the checkout is well designed; form filling is simple, extra information and support is provided for those customers that require it at this stage.
The process is also close to being fully enclosed, with only three navigational links that could take customers out of the process. Even if customers do leave the process after registering and entering address details, they will be returned to the point where they left it, avoiding the potential frustration of having to login again.
Contact details are easy to find, and unlike some e-commerce sites, users aren't made to work too hard to find a contact number, and there is also a comprehensive FAQS section that has plenty of information on returns policies, delivery, payment methods etc.
A few minor criticisms aside, I'm impressed by the Adams website. It is well-designed and easy to use, and provides clear information to customers throughout.