One of the things that make Hong Kong a great place to live is the fact that its shops close at late hours. The shopping experience is further experienced with e-commerce websites. HMV, Mabelle, Dial a Dinner, StrawberryNet, SaSa and Giordano are examples of e-commerce sites with strong links to Hong Kong.
Let’s have a closer look at Giordano. (Note: I am not paid to do the SEO review of sites I feature here.)
Giordano’s e-shop is an offshoot site from its corporate online presence. From the way its domain name is being structured, I see the reason why Giordano opted to register a new domain name instead of relying on the established www.giordano.com.hk registration. I’ll ask a question about their priority a little later.
Now with my personal take on search engine and usability issues, good or bad:
Good structure of products
If we’ve gone to a store over and over again, checking for new fashion or look for discounted items, we almost certainly know what part of the store we’re heading to. But if one day the store decides to reshuffle the shelves and rearrange the items, it’s likely we will ask the staff where we can find our favorite men’s jeans section.
Giordano’s site is good at organizing products. I’d immediately know if a medium-sized Men’s Nylon Windbreaker is available without performing extraneous actions.
Failed in customizing page titles
As with many sites that sell something online, Giordano also fail to capitalize on its category pages. Let’s go to polyester fleece section. We notice that the title of the page doesn’t tell much about the product, at least in English.
Not so in-your-face
Let me count the clicks I made:
- I search for Giordano. I click on the first search result, the Hong Kong site. I wonder if Giordano’s aim is more on getting more investors to pour more money into the company than selling their shirts and pants online.
- I go to the Giordano corporate site. I find nothing interesting until I see the “Shop Online” in bold but not placed prominently enough to catch my attention.
- I look at the homepage of the “Shop Online” page. Pretty lame and I am required to click one more time to try to find out what are they selling. Apart from inferior site layout (I wouldn’t mind it at all), it’s easy to differentiate it from the way LL Bean or Eddie Bauer presents its products.
If I were a hot-tempered shopper forced to make an emergency online purchase for a clothing line, I’d leave the site in an instant.
I think what the site can improve on is to try to present the products as soon as the visitor gets into the site. This helps reduce the number of clicks and, for confused visitors, reduce bounce rates.
Language vs Territory
The site is available in multilingual pages spread across more than a dozen country sites represented by subdomain selections. I chose the Hong Kong version but the how footer’s contact email has .cn extension even if the contact phone number is Hong Kong’s? Just asking.
Another Language Question
One of the important realizations I had when it comes to learning the way Chinese perform search is that on many occasions, they mix up English and Chinese search phrases within a search query. Therefore, placing English and Simplified/Traditional Chinese text content within a page could be the key to good rankings for such queries. But does it help someone who is illiterate in Chinese language like me? I chose English, but within the “English” pages, I still see Chinese language showing up in the combo menu. I am not trying to begin a futile usability testing here.
Leaning on the fact that usability must be placed in equal emphasis as with natural search engine optimization, webmasters must always consider sensible structure to human visitors as much as those virtual ones.