Jaeger has relaunched its ecommerce site for the second time in 12 months.

It’s slightly unusual for a brand to do that: relaunching is a big, complicated, risky, time-consuming task, so most retailers tend only to relaunch every few years (often less, sometimes never).

Based on that I thought it would very much be worth taking a look at what Jaeger has done, and the current status of the site. Below I’ve included my notes on that, in case they’re of use to you, broken down into 17 sections.

Content

This little overview is broken down into the following 17 sections:

  1. Background
  2. Technology
  3. Navigation
  4. Navigation labeling
  5. Homepage
  6. Category page
  7. Subcategory Page
  8. Product page
  9. Product sidebar A/B test suggestion
  10. Product page copy
  11. Product page size guide
  12. Product page ‘add to bag’
  13. Site search
  14. Ancillary pages
  15. Basket page
  16. Checkout process
  17. Further checkout info & oddities

I’m not going to cover any marketing stuff (eg. social/seo/ppc/retargeting/email/affiliate/etc) but will mention a couple of bits that stand out in passing.

1. Background, caveats & context

I don’t work for (and have never worked for) Jaeger, and I don’t think I know anyone who works there, but I have worked on 40 or 50 other fashion ecommerce sites over the years, so I know the market quite well.

As a fairly big caveat, when doing this for a client I would always have access to their analytics stats, and would usually carry out user tests & customer gather feedback too. The info below is all from an ‘outside looking in’ perspective.

As context, here’s a ‘search volume’ graph for the word ‘jaeger’, showing that they grew nicely between 2007-2011, before plateauing slightly since then:

As further context, Jaeger has around 100 physical stores, and Econsultancy has looked at them before, here was David Moth’s review of the last relaunch.

2. Technology

The site is quite ‘light’ on technology. Whereas some sites you’ll see dozens of third-party plugins & tracking technologies, on Jaeger there is relatively little. Here’s a breakdown of a few of the technologies running on the site:

  • Ecommerce platform: The site is built on Demandware’s ecommerce platform (along with Demandware’s built-in analytics tool). Demandware is one of the big ecommerce platform vendors, with clients like Mothercare, House of Fraser, The Limited, etc.
  • Analytics: The site uses a relatively up to date version of Google Analytics, and has added some custom tagging. (eg. it’s using a custom variable to store the fact that I’m browsing in GBP, Jaeger tracks an event on the cart page recording the value of the items I’ve got in the cart, etc. It looks like Jaeger has a good web analyst who has thought lots of this through quite nicely).There are a couple of outdated bits here – some old tagging mixed in with the new, and there are some pieces of Google Analytics functionality it’s not taking advantage of, but they’re already doing more than 90% of ecommerce sites with the sophisticated bits they’ve added on top of the standard implementation.
  • Social plugins: Product pages use standard Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest widgets for sharing. It is also using ‘AddThis’. I’m a bit less keen on AddThis, as it tracks lots of odd info that I’m never sure whether site owners realise it’s recording.
  • A/B Testing: Demandware offers AB testing. I didn’t spot this being used across the site, and there don’t appear to be any third party A/B test tools running on the site.
  • Retargeting: I didn’t pick up on any retargeting tags. A few years ago that would be fairly normal; today most sites use retargeting tools. (worth noting Google Analytics has a fantastic set of Retargeting tools – also not being used here).
  • User journey analysis: Other than Google Analytics, there don’t seem to be any journey tracking tools (ClickTale, etc).
  • Recommendations: Jaeger doesn’t seem to be using third-party product recommendation/personalisation technology. (Peerius, Predictive Intent, Barilliance, etc)
  • Basket abandoment: No sign of SaleCycle or any of the other basket abandonment tools running. I abandoned a basket & did not get an email within a few hours.
  • Site search: As with other elements – they seem to be using the ‘out of the box’ demandware site search.
  • Live chat: Nothing running as far as I could see.
  • Feedback: Nothing running here either as far as I could see.
  • Reviews: I spotted some references to Power Reviews in the code of the site, but didn’t spot any actual reviews on the site.
  • Content delivery network: The site is using Akamai (I think this is standard for Demandware to be honest).

I’d mentioned I’m never quite sure about AddThis – here’s why (from their privacy policy):

Totally fine if you realise that’s what’s going on, but I’d be surprised if many people realise AddThis do that.

3. Navigation

Most ecommerce sites now use a fairly standard navigation pattern. Here’s the standard:

  • Top navigation has ‘departments’ or ‘categories’ visible at all times. Moving the mouse over these shows a dropdown menu containing the next levels down within those departments/categories. (ie. a ‘mega menu’).
  • Clicking a top level category link takes you to a category page, containing a list of subcategories down the left, and images representing those subcategories in the ‘content’ area of the screen. Sometimes they pick out a few highlight items there too.
  • Clicking into a subcategory usually shows a product listing or ‘grid’ page. Down the left, you usually now see ‘attribute filters’ so that you can narrow down the list of products you’re looking at by (eg) colour, size, material, range, etc.

In Jaeger’s case they’ve differed from this. Here’s what it has done:

  • Categories sit across the top, as you’d expect. But there’s no ‘mega menu’ – no drop down list of subcategories beneath each.
  • Category pages list subcategories down the left; no products merchandised in the centre, but a list of current promotions.
  • Subcategory pages do not contain any filtering mechanism down the left hand side. On subcategory pages you simply get the list of subcategories down the left. There are very subtle ‘filter by colour/size/price’ filters tucked away above the products on these pages.

4. Navigation Labeling

Product Navigation:

The top ‘product’ navigation is pretty good, with the standard ‘Men’ / ‘Women’ / ‘Accessories’ sections.

Alongside that, it has the following:

  • ‘New’ – really useful for loyal customers who check back regularly. Lots of ecommerce sites miss the fact that these people exist. This is one of the reasons sites like ASOS, NastyGal, etc are so successful: people who like fashion check back regularly looking for updates.
  • ‘Jaeger London’ – I think this is a bit of a higher end range. One risk with things like that is people worry whether “if I’m in the women’s section am I also seeing all of the stuff from Jaeger London?” – you often see people check bits like this in User Tests. In this case, all of the ‘Jaeger London’ stuff is also present in the gender/accessories categories, which is very sensible.
  • ‘Boutique’ is a bit of a younger range. Again, I had to click it & take a look around to figure that out. Perhaps Jaeger could highlight what it’s about a bit more on the homepage, or perhaps it’s not a bad thing to allow people to find their way around some parts of the site.
  • ‘Outlet’ is the fashiony way of saying ‘Discount’ or ‘All Year Sale’, without having to actually use either of those uglier labels.

This is all very straightforward, which is a good thing.

‘Non-product’ navigation:

The footer is fairly standard, albeit it is pinned to the very foot of the page no matter how long the content. Sometimes that means you get an odd long gap between content & footer, but that makes no real odds.

The footer contains ‘about’, ‘legal’, ‘delivery’, ‘returns’, ‘help centre’, ‘trunk show’ (?), ‘loyalty card’, and ‘careers’. I’d expect that ‘careers’, ‘delivery’, and ‘returns’ would get the bulk of use there. There are also the standard ‘social’ links in the footer, pointing to their instagram/pinterest/youtube/twitter/facebook pages.

The top navigation contains ‘Store Finder’, ‘My Account’, ‘My Bag’, and then – slightly oddly – a very tiny email icon & a very tiny magnifying glass:

  • The email icon actually means ‘sign up to our email newsletter’. (I thought perhaps it was ‘contact us’).
  • The magnifying glass is (obviously) ‘search’. It’s so inobtrusive that it’s really easy to miss – especially if you’re in the mindset of looking for a ‘search’ box, rather than an icon.I totally missed the magnifying glass at first.

90% of ecommerce sites include ‘search’ as a search box rather than an icon, and it’s almost standard in the UK. I’m not sure why they’d do this, and it would be really interesting to take a look at the stats to see if this negatively impacts results.

5. Homepage

The homepage looks pretty striking at a 1024×768 resolution:

It looks slightly odd at a much larger resolution (1920 pixels wide here):

That’s not such a bad thing, but here’s how Burberry handles those two resolutions as a comparison:

Burberry at 1920:

Very nice, eh?

Back to the Jaeger site, the imagery on the homepage (as well as across the rest of the site) is a little fuzzy. Here’s an example, comparing the model shot on their homepage vs the model shot on Pull&Bear’s website. Note the sharpness of the other image:

In case you still can’t see that, here she is unsharpened (left) vs sharper (right). The image itself is a little messy, so there are artifacts here:

This is a tiny thing, but it’s the type of tiny thing lots of luxury fashion brands would go crazy about.

6. Category Page

On most ecommerce sites, ‘category’ pages get less use than you might expect. Many people dive direct from the top navigation to the subcategory they’re interested in (eg. ‘women’s shoes’ as opposed to simply ‘women’).

In Jaeger’s case that’s not possible. As mentioned earlier, there’s no drop down on the top navigation, so to get to a ‘women’s’ subcategory you have to go through the ‘women’ page.

Here it is:

As you can see there – it’s a model shot just like the homepage. Promotions are nudged in the content area, and the subcategory navigation sits down the left. There’s no indication by looking at it, but clicking the model herself takes you to the product page for the dress she’s wearing.

This is really an intermediary page, but at least it has the promotional notes that otherwise you may miss.

From an SEO point of view:

  • There is zero category specific text on this page. The page