At 165-years-old, Moss Bros. is one of the most established menswear retailers around.

Now with its sights set firmly on the modern man, Moss Bros. has just launched a newly-improved website, designed to further entice suit shoppers to buy online.

So, how does it measure up?

Focusing on just the 'suits and tailoring' section of the website – here’s my two penneth on the Moss Bros. product pages.

First impressions

The first thing that strikes me about the website is how it emphasises the amount of choice on offer.

A dropdown menu on the homepage gives the user an immediate indication of the various cuts, fabrics and styles available.

This could be slightly overwhelming if you’ve no idea what you’re looking for.

However, it is fairly easy to navigate and filter, providing a pleasant browsing experience that falls in line with the rest of the site's slick and user-friendly design.

Upon choosing the ‘view all suits and tuxedos’ option, my attention was immediately drawn to the option of the 'tailored' suit.

With a little investigation, I discovered that tailored doesn't actually mean tailored to the individual, or indeed guaranteed to fit as the name might suggest. (Though it appears to have been part of Moss Bros. collection for a while, this was all new to me).

Describing itself as a ‘contemporary cut’, it is merely a different and more tapered style. But despite the slightly misleading name, this extra option is an obvious selling point for the brand.

While Moss Bros. still carries the standard ‘skinny’, ‘slim’ and ‘regular’ styles, having this fourth option seems quite novel (to me), and could perhaps be promoted more heavily. Especially considering other retailers like Topman and TM Lewin offer less. 

Imagery and user reviews

On first look, the product pages are undeniably attractive and the main reason for this is the heavy focus on high resolution imagery.

With over 2,000 products being re-shot, it has certainly been a large focus of the site relaunch.

Now including a large central image and eight in total, the user is able to view each item from a variety of different angles, getting a good indication of how it might look in real life.

The inclusion of a video is also very useful, providing a selection of crisp close-ups for even greater insight. 

The only downside is its awkward placement at the end of the photo gallery, meaning that it could end up going entirely unnoticed if the user doesn't bother clicking through all eight images. 

With research suggesting that video helps to increase conversions, placing it elsewhere on the page or simply providing a signal would be much more beneficial.

Scrolling down, we can see that the user reviews section is fairly basic. With most reviews being suprisingly short, it appears as though there could be a character limit restriction in place.

This is slightly disappointing, and although the reviews still provide some insight, the lack of filtering or sorting options also mean that this area could certainly be improved.

Product descriptions

While the product descriptions are well-placed, my initial response to the copy was that it is a little underwhelming.

The main problem seems to be a lack of consistency across the products.

Some descriptions, like this particularly playful example, are fluent and engaging to read.

However, with short sentences and a rather obvious inclusion of SEO keywords, others are not just entirely different in tone - but of a poorer standard.

With a clearer tone of voice as well as greater consistency across the board, Moss Bros. could make so much more of its product descriptions.

As the ‘Features’ and ‘Fabric and Care’ sections are detailed enough, the main sections of copy could focus a lot more on engaging the consumer and highlighting how the product could fit their lifestyle or suit a specific occasion.

Buyer incentive

One thing Moss Bros. does do well is provide the consumer with an incentive to buy. 

By using eye-catchingly bright banners just below the product titles, it cleverly makes use of what would otherwise be wasted space. 

From ‘web exclusives’ to ‘free shirts and ties’, it provides a good selection of incentives. The fact that the banners are clickable, sending you through to dedicated offer pages, is also a handy and rather original feature.

Similarly, the ‘complete the look’ section of the product page is cleverly done.

To my mind (and please excuse the wildly stereotypical generalisation), most men prefer to spend as little time shopping as possible. 

Consequently, if the option to buy a matching shirt, tie or shoes is right there in front of them, the more likely they are to make an additional purchase (if only to save the time and hassle of browsing elsewhere on the site).

Sizing and checkout

As well as being easy to navigate, the product pages are also fairly straightforward when it comes to checking out.

With the options for choosing both the fit and size of each item, the consumer is given clear control. This is also very handy if a user decides to buy just one item from the page - such as a jacket or just a waistcoat - instead of the entire suit.

While it is easy to add items to the basket, I've got to say that calls-to-action are very limited - there is no real prompt to move on.

However, now with a one-page checkout system, the final process is smooth and considered. 

With upfront delivery prices located below the summary, it means consumers will naturally be tempted to click through to the final stages. 

The options for click-and-collect and to pay via Paypal or Amazon are also pleasing.

In conclusion…

Undoubtedly easy to navigate (as well as easy on the eye), the new Moss Bros. site is definitely a step in the right direction for a brand looking to increase on-site conversions.

While there are still a few niggles preventing it from delivering an overall winning user experience, its focus on convenience and consumer choice will undoubtedly suit its target audience.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 27 June, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (4)

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Nicolas Lefevre, E-marketing Manager at PDC BIG

Their responsive menu is awesome and very well designed.
Does someone know what library or plug-in do they use?

about 2 years ago

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Chris McCormick, Head of Optimisation at PRWD

Hey Nikki - thanks for this article, really interesting read. I was actually part of the team at PRWD (Manchester based conversion optimisation agency) who were responsible for the research phase of the Moss Bros user centred redesign project, alongside Remarkable (a design and build agency). I thought you might appreciate a little behind-the-scenes insight.

As you probably know that with any redesign project, it is imperative that thorough research is conducted, as this will form the basis of the whole design phase. Scrimp on the research and a redesign project will collapse, as the changes are being made on no solid foundations. With that in mind, Moss Bros commissioned PRWD to conduct in depth qualitative and quantitative research.

Our work consisted of Google Analytics analysis of onsite data, existing brand strategy and insight, a heuristic evaluation (using our 150-point experience evaluation method), plus one-to-one lab based moderated research with users who met the Moss Bros demographic.
Based on the research, we found there were some key elements which urgently needed to be addressed as part of the redesign.

Some of these included:
• The ability to find the balance between the 'Quick Buy' shoppers (those who wanted to get on and off the website as quickly as possible) but also to ensure that there was enough content and information available for those more 'Considered' shoppers
• Offering better size flexibility on all suit types - mix and match etc.
• Ensuring the checkout process was as simple and concise as possible

I think the thing to remember here is that there will always be iterations that can be made off the back of any redesign to consistently improve the user experience.

As you mentioned above, the navigation is heavy and this was always going to be a challenge due to the amount of products Moss Bros sell. We feel that real progress was made in creating a more concise and obvious navigation in terms of product placement from a 'users' perspective.

The 'final' call to action from product page is already on Moss Bros’ radar and is one of those iterative changes I mentioned earlier; ensuring the user knows their next step and is guided through their journey is essential and something Moss Bros most definitely recognise.

In terms of the next steps post redesign, we at PRWD encourage test and learn programmes (again, based on data and research), which provides an agile approach to continually improving the online experience.

Thanks again for your thoughts and views Nikki. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask

about 2 years ago

Nikki Gilliland

Nikki Gilliland, Writer at EconsultancyStaff

Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to respond. Good to hear this insight!

about 2 years ago

Bradlie Houldsworth

Bradlie Houldsworth, Marketing Manager at Remarkable.Net

Hey Nikki, thank you again - a great, comprehensive article.
@Nicolas Lefevre - built with Bootstrap 3 and with Progressive Web Apps, our Design Manager has replied to your direct email.
@Chris McCormick - It was a pleasure to work with PRWD and the insight we gained throughout the project was fantastic. Looking forward to working with you and your team again in the future!

about 2 years ago

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