As some of you may know, I just moved into a new apartment so when I started to see commercials for a shopping site called HauteLook in which the woman is buying stuff for her home, I had to check it out.
As a new visitor to the site, I was immediately met with this roadblock:
I couldn’t even proceed without registering for the site. This was a huge disappointment to me when I can just as easily scoot on over to overstock.com or amazon.com and start browsing and shopping at will without providing them any information about myself until the time I wanted to make a purchase.
I could easily say that perhaps HauteLook is trying to convey exclusivity but yet, they let you right in after you register. Compared to a site like Pinterest which allows you to sign-up but then you have to wait for the access (I waited a week for mine), the exclusivity card is not working here.
If you notice from the registration form too, they never ask me whether I want to receive email offers. There is a button to ‘see today’s deals’ but nothing that says ‘yes, I would like to opt-in for emails. Since I signed up 3 days ago, I have received 4 emails. Now, I am actively shopping for items for my new home so this type of communication may be inviting, but they are hardly relevant to what I was browsing on the site.
What brands can learn from HauteLook:
1. Don’t keep everything behind a gate. If you are actively promoting a site, open the door for newcomers. People want to browse before they give you their information. I would love to see the bounce rate they get vs. if this form was removed at the onset.
Time each visit so that shoppers can browse for 5 minutes and then be presented with the form to continue if they wish to do so.
2. Don’t be exclusive unless you really are. I guess you could build up the momentum so high for consumers that they are just craving to get behind this form and start shopping (I certainly fell for it) but if you are going to be exclusive, then do it right.
Keep the form at the entry but indicate that registrants get more access or get first peak at new items. Put some meat behind the registration and make it worth my while!
3. Don’t email unless you have permission. I would never assume that someone that registered for something wants to be emailed about something else – ever. If you are not asking my permission to email me, then you probably shouldn’t be emailing me.
Put a simple checkbox on this form that states ‘I would like to receive exclusive email offers’. You could even take it a step further and give me an opportunity to select which kinds of offers I want (I want to see home décor, not wedding decorations).
Does this throw you off when you visit a website? Do you leave or are you determined to get in so you complete the form and move on? What would you suggest HauteLook do to change?