Fashion brand Jaeger recently launched a new e-commerce site that it says will help “create a true multichannel experience both locally and internationally.”

It’s an important launch for Jaeger, particularly as it coincides with the Christmas rush.

But it’s also a major part of the brand’s plans for international expansion, as it has plans to expand its presence in emerging markets during 2013.

With this in mind I decided to see whether Jaeger’s new site, built in partnership with eCommera, is actually any good…

The criteria

These are the main points that sites need to follow to ensure a great user experience during the checkout process:

  • Clear calls-to-action. The user shouldn’t have to search around for what to do next.
  • Standard delivery costs are made clear. Unclear delivery costs continue to be one of the key reasons why visitors abandon their checkout process.
  • Clear product details. Alongside a thumbnail, customers want to know the size, colour and quantity.
  • Total price is made clear. As well as knowing the delivery cost, customers need to know the total amount they are paying with no hidden costs.
  • Delivery options within the basket. Customers should be allowed to choose the delivery option before the checkout process, thus ensuring they know what they are paying and the delivery period.
  • Secure shopping is made clear. Though e-commerce is no longer a new concept people still need reassurance that the transaction is secure.
  • Clear payment options. Not all visitors have a Visa card – are there options for lesser know cards or PayPal?
  • Don’t force users to register before checkout. This is a great way to cause people to abandon their transaction. ASOS managed to halve its abandonment rate at the registration page simply by removing any mention of creating an account.

Product pages

My initial impressions are that Jaeger needs to redesign the colour scheme of its product pages, as the black and white layout makes it difficult to pick out the CTA and product options.

Ideally the CTA should be one of the most eye-catching elements on the page, however in this example it almost hurts my eyes to look at it. As the rest of the page is so dark, it would be relatively easy to make it stand out by altering the colour.

Furthermore, though it displays a huge amount of product information – including an excellent product description – the font size is extremely small, which makes it difficult for shoppers to read.

On the plus side, Jaeger includes a number of product images that automatically enlarge when you hover the mouse over them, stock availability and delivery information.

Also, when you add an item to the cart a dropdown appears which gives you the option of checking out or viewing your cart. This is useful as it catches your eye so you don’t have to search the page for your next option.

Checkout

Jaeger’s checkout is slightly confusing, as it initially offers four different options including a login for returning customers, new customer registration, guest checkout and a CTA for a ‘secure checkout’.

However if you click the ‘secure checkout’ button you are just shown a new page that displays the three other checkout options again.

This quirk aside, Jaeger scores points for offering a guest checkout, an initial reassurance that the process is secure, free delivery, a progress bar and a summary of the items being purchased throughout the checkout process.

It also uses a postcode lookup tool and assumes billing and delivery addresses are the same – both are great shortcuts for reducing the purchase journey – and accepts PayPal.

But while the checkout process is both short and easy to use, there are a couple of issues that I think Jaeger needs to deal with.

Firstly, the colour scheme isn’t very user-friendly. Black and white may be on-brand, but it makes it difficult to pick out important information.

Furthermore, if you indicate that you want to pay using a credit card you are then directed to a page that allows you to ‘Review and Place Order’ that has a CTA at the bottom that says ‘Place order.’

However at this stage you haven’t actually entered your credit card details – instead the ‘Place order’ CTA directs you to the payment page.

This is quite confusing and Jaeger should consider altering the text on the CTA to clarify what the user is actually agreeing to by clicking it.

In conclusion

Jaeger’s checkout ticks a lot of boxes for best practice, including using a number of customer shortcuts, a guest checkout option, detailed product descriptions and alternative payment methods.

The overall process is also quite short and form filling is kept to a minimum, which should help reduce basket abandonment.

However I also think there are several areas that Jaeger should consider altering to improve the user experience.

The main problem is with the colour scheme, as the use of black and white text and CTAs means nothing really stands out.

Similarly, the navigation at the beginning and end of the checkout process is quite confusing, and the UX would be greatly improved if Jaeger clarified the instructions.

While these issues are probably unlikely to cause anyone to abandon the checkout, I do think they undermine the overall user experience and need to be rectified.