One Kings Lane, Rue La La, and Gilt.com: Why a Streamlined “Log-In” Process Would Make Shoppers Happier
August 26, 2015
By Amy Weiser, Senior Associate, Research & Consulting
Unfortunately for my wallet, I am what some would refer to as a "shopaholic," and regardless if it's in person or online, I need my regular "fix" of retail therapy. For this reason, I’m a member of many sample/flash sale model sites including Gilt, Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Hautelook, zulily, and others.
Since the merchandise is constantly changing, I log in to these sites often to see what’s new. However, almost every day, when I flip to the tab of one of these sites in my browser, I’m regularly and consistently met with frustration before I even have a chance to view the sales. While it appears seemingly small and simple, the login/sign-in box fills me with a quiet rage rather than effortlessly initiating my shopping journey.
The bottom line for me, and shoppers like me, is that the sign-in process should be seamless and incredibly clear with zero barriers to immediate entry. While ostensibly small, it should not be overlooked in the grand scheme of user experience. Similar to one-click purchasing on Amazon, the entry to the merchandise itself should be equally as easy.
The good news is that smart retailers are learning from customer feedback and the process is improving. The better news is that once logged in, the overall usability and design of these sites is good and I’m able to navigate and find my way relatively easy.
Those that master this gateway to entry are responsive and intuitive. Rather than providing several options and taking a guess about what customer type is attempting to log in, site’s like One Kings Lane present a single email field box upon arrival that responds accordingly based on the email entered. The resulting box that shows up is either for members to enter a password or for non-members to complete registration. This process order removes annoyance for those who are registered getting a “new member” box, and lessens confusion for those who are not yet registered by prompting them to enter account credentials they don’t yet have.
What should sites with poor login etiquette do? In my opinion, if serving a pop-up box (rather than a flat login or registering options), the box should be neutral, so it can logically detect based on the email entry if the visitor is new or returning. In addition, if there needs to be a default, the welcome should be for current members, with a clear and easily distinguishable action item to join if not yet a member, rather than the too often text that is small and difficult to find when served incorrectly, making the ability to go between options unclear. In the world of cookies and trackable data, many surf the web in incognito mode or clear their cache often. That way, if the member chooses for the site to not remember them on purpose, the sign-in process is still easy and clear with minimal steps.
Have you been faced with the same log-in dilemma that I have? What retail sites or companies are nailing it? Leave your thoughts and opinions below.
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