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Web sites that make you run away, make you stay

Quicken Loans chooses web sitesWhen you get to a web site, what kinds of things make you run away? You know… hit the "Back" button, start a new search, or even shut down your browser. Of course, there are the downright offensive web sites, but I’m talking about seemingly normal sites, where you get there and you just can’t believe "this company" is in business.

Here are a few examples from people here at Quicken Loans:

  1. Circuitcity.com – Ouch! My eyes hurt! And why do they have to use a popup to advertise their sweepstakes? It’s almost as painful as trying to find something inside the store. Hm. Maybe there’s a clue…
  2. Staples.com – If everything is a link, which link do I click? I literally gasped when someone forwarded me this entry. Out loud. And I work all alone. The guinea pig thinks I’m insane. If I wanted envelopes, I’ll subject myself to the corner drug store and pay the higher price, thankyouverymuch.
  3. HM.com – Just go there. After I figured out how to pick the country, I still had no idea what this site was about. And then I got there… the US home page. I still don’t know what H&M (now that I see there’s an ampersand) sells, and the main message is about a podcast. You have to be a hard-core H&M lover already to get past this.

Now, think about the web sites you absolutely love. You know… the ones that grab you in 3 seconds flat and suck you in. Sometimes you’re looking for them, and sometimes you aren’t. Seth Godin talks about the idea of creating an experience that attracts people because they’re ready for you. We’d like to share some web sites that do a great job of this, and even attract people before they’re ready to buy. This next list of sites make sure you’ll come back when you’re ready to plunk down your cash.

  1. Clayton recommended Woot.com – It doesn’t matter what you’re shopping for, because you never know what’s going to be on this site on any given day. So, you might be searching for a digital camera and wind up at Woot. Or, someone told you to go there without explaining why. Either way, even if the day’s product is not one you’re going to buy, the story behind the product almost always entertains. Water cooler talk around here usually includes the Woot of the Day. And when there’s a Woot-Off, duck!
  2. Corey gave us Valspar.com – Usually, you’ll find out about this when someone wants you opinion on redecorating. Heck, even the link to the color selector is compelling: “Paint online.” Who wouldn’t want to do that? Save your selections in your own design note book, and Valspar has created something that pulls in us painting fools and keeps us coming back.
  3. Kriste points out Chanel.com – When you visit Chanel’s web site, you’d expect the minimalist experience you get. Their initial look won’t work for everyone, and that’s what Seth is getting at in his post – you’ll attract the people you want with a look like this. But, the big surprise for me (I’m not usually a Chanel shopper, but Kriste is legendary!) was the videos on makeup application. A nice surprise that might convert me to Chanel. Kriste also recommends Coach.com, where you can virtually try on their handbags.
  4. Ryan sent us to NIKEiD.com – Whoah! Before you do anything, you pick your team colors. Why do they care? Because they serve you everything in terms of those colors. Nike reaches in from the very beginning and makes the experience about YOU. Awesome! Ryan also recommends Zazzle.com, a site that personalizes just about any item with just about any concept.
  5. Rebecca loves ETSY.com – Since this site aggregates many sellers, offering search up-front is smart. But, check out how they do this… it’s engaging and encourages you to search. Once you jump in, you’ll find something you like!
  6. Ann-Marie and Jaime collected lots of clothing web sites that did a great job of attracting their intended customer simply by staying true to their identity – broadcasting who they are and what they offer. These sites may or may not appeal to you personally because that’s the point: if you’re the intended audience, you’ll dive right in because you like what you see. If not, you’ll go away. But, at least they don’t totally turn off everyone. Here’s the extended list of sites we like:

If your favorite site to hate isn’t on the first list, don’t worry… we still find them annoying, too. But, the criterion for this list was, “what happens when you first get to the web site.” That initial “yikes!” factor that makes you want to run. So many web sites suck us in with promises of “fast and easy” (Geico.com comes to mind!), only to get caught up in login processes that don’t work, credit card fiascos (Banana Republic), address fights or long, drawn-out process that are anything but easy. That’s a list for another day!

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  1. Oooh, I forgot about Piperlime. Or maybe I was trying to break my addiction…it’s a great site.

    Posted by: Kel L | April 24, 2008
  2. Dave recommends visiting freezinghot.com. No really, great post. Actually, I read Seth’s blog and saw this trackack. Thanks!

    Posted by: Dave | April 24, 2008
  3. Kel, I hadn’t seen PiperLime before this, but, yeah, it’s pretty addictive. And I’m not even a shopper! Yikes! I really like the tone they convey on the site. That’s the “love factor” at work!
    Dave, thanks for coming back to visit! We hear you’re setting up to do great things this summer! Of course, we were looking at *retail* web sites, but we’ll let you plug your company, after all you’ve done for us. ;-)

    Posted by: Christy | April 25, 2008
  4. I found a site I would love to love but right now I hate it… I am house hunting and saw a commercial for HGTV’s FrontDoor.com site. I checked it out, entered my city, and price amounts and clicked Search. I was taken to a really great page! I chose to change the sort-by feature to be low-high instead of the revese. As soon as I did this the page loaded into an error page with a picture of the world and a statement that said “No results were returned for your search.” Now wait a minute, I just saw my results. So I emailed their feedback team and 3 days- yes 3 days later I got a reponse from a Rep who was just now forwarding it onto their engineering team. I was shocked that the site was broken for tons of people out there like myself for almost over 3 days. So today I checked back on the site and it is still broken. Needless to say HGTV has lost its greatness in my book. Low-Level on their part to introduce a new website and leave it broken for 3 days.

    Posted by: Laura | May 5, 2008
  5. Beware of Piperlime! I ordered a pair of shoes from Piperlime and three times I got the wrong size. They eventually ran out of stock and I never got my shoes! Once is a mistake, twice is an accident, and three times is a pattern. Their excuse? …”it happens.”

    Posted by: Piperslimed | September 8, 2008

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Sunday, January 21, 2018