Ahh, online shopping. I would say that it’s my latest ‘hobby’, but the more accurate term is “addiction”. I have spent the last three weeks burning so much of my money in online shops that I had to give myself a one-month ban on online shopping (unless I really need to or if the product is on sale). I could go on defending my impulsive and irresponsible tendencies but that’s
for another post not what I’m really here for.
I’m here to rave about BeautyMNL, and to rant about Sephora PH. Not about their products or their service (I’m sure both are stellar), but about their websites. Spoiler alert: BeautyMNL wins almost all the rounds because I love that website so darn much.
Round 1: The Homepage (is where the heart is, bleh-heh)
It’s understandable to want to have as many information in the homepage as possible, especially if it’s an e-commerce website. But it is evident that Sephora can learn a thing or two about simplicity. I am personally irked by that “Fast Forward to Black” banner at the top. As well as with their Search bar which isn’t really a search bar. You hover your mouse on it, and this appears:
The call-to-action buttons in their banners are also worth noting. BeautyMNL’s CTA is in a clear and direct red button, while Sephora’s CTA blends too much to the design.
Winner: (surprise!) BeautyMNL
Round 2: Menu & Navigation
Daaaayum, BeautyMNL back at it again with amazing use of white space! The navigation bar for BeautyMNL has been given more clickable space, which to me is a good thing. I’d have to say, though, that Sephora’s menu is pretty good as well. You can already see everything here, and that’s great if you are looking for a specific category. BeautyMNL’s is a little more for those who don’t want to be too overwhelmed. I also daresay that theirs is more future-proof, should there be more categories of makeup in the years to come.
Sephora’s “Brands” menu is also a treat to look at and to use. I frequently browse the Brands list when shopping, and I don’t like it when BeautyMNL brings me to another page just to see all their brands:
Winner: Sephora PH!
Round 3: Search Filters & Results
This is one of the most crucial parts of an e-commerce website. This is also the main reason I started this post: Sephora’s search page is a perfect example of what not to do.
Not to mention, the design of Sephora’s search filters is not for the obsessive-compulsive faint of heart.
OK, I’m calm now. During times like this, typography is your best friend. Here’s how BeautyMNL does it:
Another instance that BeautyMNL shows great use of typography is in their search result thumbnails:
The only problem I have with BeautyMNL is that there’s no “Quick View”and no hover effects except for the Buy Now button. But that is a tiny issue compared to Sephora’s mess.
Winner: Hands down, BeautyMNL
Round 4: Reviews & Related/Recommended Products
Although there’s not much difference between the two layouts, BeautyMNL is better aesthetic-wise (is this a thing? No?).
Interestingly, Sephora shows their recommended products before the reviews. For BeautyMNL, it’s the other way around. But when it comes to makeup, skin care, etc. reviews are much more important. So BeautyMNL is on the right track.
Another important detail is the dates of the review. I love how BeautyMNL already does the math for us and shows us how recent a review is. It’s really the small things like this that make my heart flutter. ❤ LOLJK
Winner: BeautyMNL, obvs
Round 5: Checking Out
Alright, there’s not much difference between the two and, frankly, I’m getting tired. So I’m gonna say that this.. is a tie!
- Simplicity is hard to achieve, but it is something we should all strive for.
- When in doubt, play with your type. (But, jeezas christ, keep it consistent!)
- More features =/= good user experience. I doubt Sephora ever tried to look into what features are actually being used, and which ones are being snubbed.
- Sephora: 2
- BeautyMNL: 4