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Launched at the end of last week, javari.co.uk is Amazon's new standalone site selling footwear and handbags.
The online retail behemoth has been selling shoes on its main site for some time, but launched a dedicated site to attract more brands. I've been taking a closer look at the website...
Unlike the main Amazon site, Javari has been designed for a low screen resolution, but since the majority of web users have screens that are 1024 x 768 or larger, it won't fill the whole screen for the majority of visitors:
Elsewhere on the homepage, while the layout is clear and navigational and other key links are easy to find, the page isn't visually impressive, with a dull-ish colour scheme and a lot of blank space.
However, the free one day delivery offer, the returns policy and the price-match guarantee, are all compelling sales tools, and are made nice and clear at the top of the page for new visitors.
Site search / navigation
The links are all where you would expect them to be, and it is easy enough to either fine, though the text of the navigational links could perhaps contrast more with the background to make them stand out.
The site search works well enough for terms like 'brown boots', but doesn't handle misspellings well, and just asks users to search again. A better solution would be to guess misspellings and offer alternative items, or provide an auto-suggest function as a search phrase is typed in.
Browsing by links is easy enough, and there are plenty of options to browse by footwear type, brand etc. Filtered navigation is effective too, with plenty of options to refine and narrow product searches:
These pages are well laid out, and by displaying other products in the same category, it allows users to easily switch between different product pages:
Elsewhere, most product page essentials are there, clear stock information, price, size information etc, while there is space for reviews further down the page.
Product images are good, with an excellent range of views and the option to zoom in to see details in close up:
The countdown showing when customers have to order by to get next day delivery is a persuasive feature, though the call to action could be much clearer. It is the biggest link on the page, but a brighter colour would make it stand out more.
Shopping basket / checkout
For users that have added items to their basket and continued shopping, the link at the top of the page could also be made clearer. The shopping basket link tends to blend into the background when it should catch the eye, and perhaps provide a reminder of the contents and total price.
The basket page itself is fine, though it could do with more details and reassurances on payment methods and server security.
No registration is required to begin the checkout process; and users can simply enter an email address and set a password later, or else use their existing Amazon password to login.
Data entry could be made easier with a password lookup tool; these make the process quicker for customers and also help to avoid any mistakes when entering delivery and billing addresses.
The checkout is totally enclosed with no links that can take you out of the process, unless you use the back button, and no visual distractions at all.
I'd be interested to know how the checkout process performs because, while this should certainly remove distractions and focus the shopper's mind on the purchase, it doesn't offer basic visual reassurances about server security, or a contact telephone number to deal with any customer queries.
I think, thanks to the screen resolution that the site has been optimised for, and the slightly dull colour scheme, the overall look of the site isn't appealing.
However, it functions well, with effective navigation, feature filtering, and well designed product pages. The checkout process is a bit of a curate's egg, as, while it is fully enclosed and contains no distractions for shoppers, it fails to offer any features to reinforce customer trust.
Unusually for an e-commerce site, javari has been launched in beta, which presumably means a few of these usability issues may well be cleared up before it is finished.