Friday, February 5, 2010

QR Code Rant: Maybe Lululemon Should Back Up a Step and Get a Truly Topnotch Website First


Here's the QR code for my blog. Whoopee! I feel so Now, so 2010. I don't get why Lululemon is bothering with this. I can see how it might direct newcomers to their website but for us Luluaddicts I don't see the point. We already know where they are. The thing that really irks me is that their website is unorganized, error ridden, and downright primitive compared to Lucy, Athleta, and frankly, most other companies. While Lucy has mini movies showing each of its core pants in action, Lululemon's website frequently shows the wrong photo and is missing product information. Take the Heathered Fruity Tootie Deep V that was uploaded over a week ago for instance. Here is the photo you see on the Tanks Home Page:
However, when you click on the photo, then the tank that is really for sale will pop up:
Us Lulu fanatics have grown used to their primitive website and learned to click every photo because we never know what gems are lurking a click away.  However, if Lululemon were really interested in selling a lot of product, they would get a first class website and make shopping as easy as possible for their customers. Their stores are only in upscale urban locations so the web is their only "face" to a lot of people.  It benefits them to put together a well organized, well presented website.  I don't get it, their stores look nice, their products are well designed, why have they cheaped out on the website?  
Another thing that bugs me about Lululemon putting resources into the QR code thing when their website needs work, is that most women really aren't into technology. I don't think it's a generational thing.  I'm in my forties but my degree and career is in engineering, I love new stuff. I was surfing the net back in the early 90s, when corporations were just establishing a presence on the net.  I'm all for any gadget that enhances my life, makes it easier and more streamlined. I've had a smart phone for quite a few years and I love my iPhone. But, as I've learned since I've been home full time and away from more technical women, a lot of women are just not into technology and are slow to adopt newer things. I think this is especially true in connection with a clothing company. I dunno, I think Lululemon's money would be better spent upgrading their website and designing pretty clothes.  


Pamela said...

very well said! i completely agree. the website is sad, very much an "afterthought"...actually it seems like they focus on every area on the site EXCEPT the retail section. the thing is, if they would do an amazing website, their sales would probably skyrocket (although it seems they don't have the inventory to sustain that growth yet but that's a whole different topic!).

i wish they would have a better layout - ie click on remix hoodies and it shows ALL of the choices, instead of having 3 different hoodies on the main page and you have to click through each one to see colours. on the canadian site at the moment, they have the white 5 yr pima tee shown, and then then black one with a tab showing more colours. white is listed there as well...why?

when the cheer gear launched, there was an error that wouldn't let me put a white size 10 hoodie in my cart, the site kept telling me to pick a size. i emailed lulu customer service and they confirmed that it was a site problem and the would email me back when it was fixed (this was at 10am). i tried ALL day, heard nothing back from them, and by 6pm the hoodie was sold out! *end of rant*

PS - i love reading your blog. i just got into lulu stuff back in the fall and it's great to be kept up to date but also hear opinions that aren't always 100% positive (the lulu facebook page can be a BIT too excited about some of the products that frankly are really ugly if we step back and look realistically!)

Dori said...

I completely agree. You explained this so eloquently, I hope they read it.

Off topic, Someone I know wrote on her blog that Equinox gyms in NYC have 20% off their store until Feb 14, including Lulu. I went in today, ended up really liking the solid black Freestyle tank. And then I found out it wasn't on sale, that girl was wrong, but I already decided I wanted it. So I got it. Sigh!

LuluAddict said...

@ Pamela - What a bummer that you were scr*wed out of the Canadian hoodie. I hope you eventually got one.

Shopping for Remixes is one of the more horrible parts of the site - it's a total treasure hunt. Currently, on the Main US Jackets & Hoodies Site there are seven pictures *ALL* labeled "Remix Lulu Hoodie." One of the seven photos is the $108 Cheer Gear, another one is the $118 "xtra stitching" version, one is the ribbed version and the remaining four are regular remixes in 36 various colors. Are all seven photos grouped next to each other? Of course not, that would make it slightly easier to shop. And, even if you think you tracked down the right hoodie, you may not. There was a controversy regarding the peacock/tidepool hoodie. There was a wrong photo on the website for weeks. The users on Facebook had to point out the error (and I think more than once). Whoever is in charge of the website content should be fired. They are not detail oriented at all.

houndlvr67 said...

I've made a pact with myself to stop pointing out their errors FOR FREE. I would have canned the nimrod who put the Apres Yoga Jacket up for $99. As you pointed out, they make errors consistently that are left alone for DAYS if not a WEEK ! The "Online Product Specialist" made an error on the company blog that went unnoticed for days: "Online Contect Guru"...gotta love that one.
At this point, I think that they need to overhaul their web team. I'm guessing that they outsource their online distribution centers (warehouses) and online customer support (they are a bit more "terse" than the GEC educators), but I think their web development and inventory control (buyers) are in house.

LuluAddict said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LuluAddict said...

I might forgive a temporary error (but not really) but what kills me is that no one bothers to double check what they put up on the website for accuracy. This is your link with millions of customers and you don't double/triple check everything is perfect? Christine Day should try shopping her own website once in a while.

Pamela said...

just counted on the canadian site:

- Athletic Deep V Tank III had 4 different pictures on the main page
- Power Y had 6 pictures!!!

Please, whomever from Lulu that reads these comments - your web design is SOOOOO frustrating! you obviously make a huge profit since you can sell clothes at 60% off to educators (what an amazing perk, but just shows the ridiculous markup!) - take that profit and make a website your company can be proud of :)

and i'm off for the night, sweet dreams everyone!

lmhagood said...

Very well said...I love how you pointed out that us "Lulu fanatics" have learned to always click every photo to see if anything new has popped up. I do this all the time...just the other day, on the U.S. site the Run:Speed Skirt was pictured in black (sometimes the photo would change from one day to the next from black to bold blue to black again!). Anyways, I would always click on the photo, no matter what color the skirt was showing, hoping a bold blue in my size would appear. Sure enough, it finally happend - clicked on the photo of the BLACK skirt, and ONE bold blue in my size only showed...I snatched that up so quickly it was crazy! This happens ALL THE TIME!

By the way, the Run: Team Spirit LS shirt in Chirp that you mentioned on Thursday sold out in less than a day - crazy! Hope they bring it back in some other colors. They REALLY need some decent run tops back on the site....

I hope Lulu reads your blog and takes some of the advice to heart. It is a great company that we all love, but there is real room for improvement. You're doing a great job - keep up the good work!