3 eCommerce Lessons From LuLaRoe’s Downfall

LuLaRoe was a force to be reckoned with as an eCommerce merchant a few years ago. Riddled with lawsuits and conspiracy, the once-booming clothing retailer has since hit its downfall.

LuLaRoe has an unconventional business model as a clothes retailer. LuLaRoe does not sell their products themselves, they sell through independent retailers worldwide. Through multi-level marketing (MLM), LuLaRoe requires their sellers to make an initial purchase of $5,000, to turn around and sell these products to customers.

LuLaRoe’s sellers price these items at a markup and sell them through their medium of choice. What LuLaRoe coins as, “a social retail model,” these sellers can create “shopping communities” in-person or online. A few years ago, LuLaRoe communities were commonly on Facebook: sellers would set up a group, a time for the sale, and then conduct the transactions themselves.

Now if there are alarm bells ringing in your head already, you have good instincts: this is a sketchy business model. As a company that provides eCommerce web design services, we could not agree more.

This unique way of conducting business has since caught up with LuLaRoe and they have been in many legal altercations: many accusing them of being a pyramid scheme, and violating sales taxes. LuLaRoe also received complaints about their quality and their refund policies.

So where did it all go all ‘LuLaWrong’ for LuLaRoe? What can we learn in the eCommerce industry from their mistakes? Here are three lessons that we can take away from LuLaRoe’s downfall:

  • You should be conducting business through a secure central medium

One of the most glaring issues with LuLaRoe’s business model is that they do not use a central secure medium to conduct their sales. There is no central hub that customers can return to for questions regarding their purchases. LuLaRoe conducts all of their sales through third parties.

Their company site is essentially a front, filled with graphics and photos, with no real substance. Customers can see items but have no way of purchasing them without an independent seller. Furthermore, the return policy detailed for LuLaRoe customers, is that they should, “Get in contact with the independent fashion retailer.”

So what purpose does the company site serve? Besides being aesthetically pleasing, I question its functionality otherwise.

This is one major takeaway from the LuLaRoe business model, you should be conducting your business through a secure central medium, to serve as the nucleus of the organization. With LuLaRoe, there is no core to their eCommerce business. You should be conducting your business through one consistent medium. Which can make an eCommerce business more efficient for you and your customers. As any eCommerce website design and development company will tell you!

This can increase your product and employee satisfaction. With LuLaRoe’s model, it was averaged that 70% of LuLaRoe representatives sold less than $5,000 worth of their retail goods. If business was conducted through their company site, LuLaRoe wouldn’t have inflicted this loss upon their retailers.

You should be conducting your business through a secure central channel, if you don’t want to make the same mistake as our dear friend, LuLaRoe.

  • You need to be prioritizing the safety of your customers

With LuLaRoe’s buying and selling process, as we detailed above— there are third parties involved. LuLaRoe does not have a single, secure channel that customers can complete their transactions and receive customer support.

In conducting their business through their independent sellers, LuLaRoe does not provide a safe channel to protect their customer’s information. LuLaRoe is not strict about which payment provider their independent retailers decide to use. Although they do not encourage their sellers to choose a new payment platform— there are no regulatory measures in place to prevent them from doing so.

As a result, there have been allegations that certain independent sellers have been swindling their customers. And with no secure payment avenue in place, LuLaRoe has made it easy for them to do so.

In the eCommerce industry this is something we can learn from, ‘less is more’ when it comes to outside parties. When it comes to handling sensitive customer data it should all be under one secure company platform.

  • You need to ensure the quality of your products

Aside from a rather blasphemous return policy, LuLaRoe does not provide a solid way to ensure product quality. As an eCommerce merchant, the most important thing you can do is: provide a quality product to ensure customer satisfaction.

LuLaRoe did not comply with this golden rule and has received multiple complaints about their product quality. There was no transparency from the company. LuLaRoe makes their independent retailers purchase their products, without seeing them first. Thus, the independent retailers have no way to ensure quality and sold these products to their customers. With this system: there was no check and balance regarding product quality.

Many customers complained about holes and weak quality of the products— primarily in their leggings. This issue was so significant, that the outraged customers banded together to start the Facebook group, “LuLaRoe Defective/Ripped/Torn Leggings and Clothes,” which boasts thousands of followers. When prompted about their quality control, LuLaRoe’s CEO simply responded, “We weaken the fibers to make them buttery soft. We have done all we can to fix them.”

As an eCommerce merchant, you should be listening to your customer’s complaints and making a product that is high quality. In eCommerce, learn from the mistakes of your fellow fallen retailers: ensure your product quality and listen to your customers.

You live, you learn

LuLaRoe has provided us with an example of what not to do in the eCommerce industry. With their flawed business model, it provides a learning experience for eCommerce providers everywhere.

If you would like to continue learning about what makes an effective eCommerce business, you should get in contact with a professional. Reach out to an eCommerce web development company, to ensure your company will be a success in the industry, rather than a flop.

Advertisements
3 eCommerce Lessons From LuLaRoe’s Downfall

How Amazon Continues To Change The eCommerce Marketing Game

Amazon is one of the biggest players in the game when it comes to eCommerce, boasting $178 billion in sales just last year. They also hold the title of most popular online store of 2017, according to Statista.

With this large consumer base and reach, Amazon’s influence is undeniable. Amazon has been adapting to current technology and revamping their delivery service accordingly since their founding in 1994.

Amazon has been helping change the eCommerce market as they grow and change themselves. Amazon is always innovative with the technology they implement and the services they provide. Amazon puts their customers first, and we see this prioritization in their marketing strategy.

b1

So, you may be asking yourself: if Amazon is such a substantial influencer, how are they continuing to change eCommerce marketing—and how does it affect me?

As a writer for all things UX and eCommerce, I have composed a few of the ways that Amazon has been changing the market over the years and today.

The Amazon Effect

Although Amazon is making big strides for the eCommerce industry and contributing to its growth today, their innovative solutions started way before that. Coined by magazine and newspapers alike, “The Amazon Effect” refers to the shift in eCommerce customer’s expectations because of Amazon’s services. Amazon provides a service that makes online shopping frictionless.

Thus, as Amazon’s customers grew accustomed to this new ease with online shopping, they expected other services to do the same. Since their origin in 1994, Amazon has been raising the bar for other eCommerce delivery services and having this ‘effect.’

One Click Shopping

Amazon was also an innovator with their development of ‘one click shopping.’ Up until their patent expired in 2017, Amazon was the sole owner of this streamlined purchasing tactic after inventing it in 1997.

With Amazon’s new feature, customers did not have to re-enter their payment information or jump through any additional hoops— one click and the purchase was complete. Similarly, Amazon customers can reorder items they previously ordered with this ‘one click.’

b2

With this innovation from Amazon, they have been impacting the market long before today. Amazon has always been adapting and utilizing new technologies to make their customers’ lives easier.

Amazon’s Incomparable Services

The services that Amazon provides are ‘prime’ for their customers. All cheesy puns aside, the services that Amazon and Amazon Prime offer are a main reason that they are setting the pace for the eCommerce industry and blazing the trail.

Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping, free same-day delivery, and more. This speed and promptness of their deliveries have made them a huge hit with their customer base. Amazon’s return policy has also been a fan favorite. If a customer is dissatisfied with a product, they can send back the item with a full refund. On occasion, Amazon will just tell the customer to keep the product, free of charge.

Amazon provides endless aisles of shopping, competitive pricing, a look inside option for certain products (where a customer can see the inside of a product to ensure quality), transparent customer feedback and ratings, and more.

b3

These services are also trying to be matched by other competitors, and many are trying to drop their shipping prices to compete with Amazon. Amazon’s services have been so successful that many are trying to mirror them, but that’s no small feat. With the way that Amazon is changing the eCommerce industry, they have raised customer expectations for their competitors.

Amazon has been and continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the eCommerce industry.

How Amazon is changing eCommerce marketing

Amazon’s impact has also extended into the marketing realm. Amazon’s marketing strategy always puts the customer at the forefront, adapting to their preferences and their purchasing history.

Amazon primarily does this form of marketing through the products that they optimize and feed to their customers. Based on what customers purchase, Amazon optimizes their feed accordingly. Amazon spoon-feeds the customer exactly what their data indicates they like.

Furthermore, Amazon’s automated marketing strategy encompasses their customer purchasing suggestions. Once a customer purchases an item, Amazon pops up product suggestions, based on what the customer just purchased.

b4

As a major influencer in the eCommerce industry, Amazon’s customer-first marketing mantra has begun to change other providers. Amazon tries to make their purchasing experience as personalized and customized as they can for their customers. And clearly as their numbers and stats show, the customers love it.

Bringing it all back together

Amazon is such a big player in the eCommerce and marketing world because of how they prioritize and tailor themselves to best serve their customers needs. Amazon has been around for so long because of their innovation and adaptation to changing technology. Amazon always strides to make their eCommerce service the easiest and most painless.

If you are also in a place where you are trying to grow your eCommerce business, look at Amazon and try to learn from one of the best. WWAD: What Would Amazon Do?

How Amazon Continues To Change The eCommerce Marketing Game

3 Email Marketing Tools To Help Grow Your Online Store

As an eCommerce merchant, your main marketing priority is how you can connect with your customer base. For any marketing strategy, there’s a plethora of different avenues that you could go down, like social media, billboard, or even snail mail (hey, I don’t judge).

But one of the most consistent and effective digital marketing strategies is email. Email can connect a business with prospective or returning customers in order to mature and nurture those relationships. It turns leads into paying customers and one-time customers into returning buyers. And with the statistic that roughly 99% of us check email everyday, those odds tell you that this is a great digital marketing avenue to take.

An email can connect a business with their customer base and push out advertisements, weekly blog posts, or promotions. However, emails are only effective when they don’t end up in a spam or trash folder.

How can you prevent your emails from living out their days in the spam or trash? By connecting with an email marketing service. Connecting your eCommerce business with an email marketer can improve your email open rates and click through rates (CTR).

An eCommerce web development company works closely with not only eCommerce merchants but also email marketers. Thus, we see firsthand the benefits of merchants and marketers teaming up to generate the most sales and returns.

With this inside look, Codal has put together a few email marketers that we think provide the best, well-rounded services that can help grow your eCommerce business.

Hubspot

Hubspot makes email marketing easy with an all-in-one inbound marketing software. A one stop shop, Hubspot streamlines the marketing process.

Hubspot’s email marketing offers templates, personalized subject lines and content, and tests to ensure that your emails are improving their click throughs/open rates. In order to harness a connection with your email recipients, Hubspot emphasizes personalization so that each reader feels like the email was intended just for them.

Hubspot’s all-in-one services are self-described as generating leads, increasing revenue, and exceeding your customer’s expectations. And the price tag on this email marketer? Hubspot’s free package for smaller businesses costs $0/month and their marketing hub costs $200/month. With a fair return, Hubspot’s services are worth the investment.

If you’re looking to improve your connection with your customer base, get in contact with Hubspot or a certified partner of Hubspot.

MailChimp

MailChimp is a popular email marketing software, or as their website advertises, the “World’s largest marketing automation platform.” MailChimp offers their services to any eCommerce business, regardless of its size.

MailChimp offers a customizable email marketing campaign, a marketing automation feature, an option to use data to better personalize campaigns, and advertising channels. Then, it can compile all of this information into a mobile dashboard. MailChimp also supplies many integration options like Shopify. If you want to learn more about Shopify, you can get in contact with a Shopify plus agency.

MailChimp provides solid support and a straightforward interface. It does a great job of being accessible and easy to use for everyone.

The price tag on MailChimp is a reasonable one. For their ‘forever free’ program it is $0/month and offers up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month. This option would be great to start out with if you’re a nonprofit. MailChimp also offers their ‘growing business’ service for $10/month and their ‘pro’ option for $199/month.

MailChimp is a service that can be applied to any business and offers options to suit those different sizes accordingly. Whatever size your eCommerce business is, MailChimp could be a good fit for you.

OptinMonster

You could say that this service would be a ‘monstrous’ gain for your eCommerce business. OptinMonster provides lead generating software that can help merchants grow their email list, improve website conversions, and reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.

With OptinMonster, an eCommerce merchant can create opt-in forms, specialize email campaigns, customize the triggers to that campaign, target that campaign to your desired customer base, and then gain actionable insights.

OptinMonster can be connected with Hubspot’s marketing service here. Also, OptinMonster can be connected to MailChimp’s services, which can be found here.

OptinMonster offers its basic services for 9$/month, its plus version for $19/month, and its Pro package for $29/month. OptinMonster provides a service that combines a lot of the moving pieces that makeup email marketing.

OptinMonster is a great tool for an eCommerce merchant: creating a campaign that is a perfect fit for their customer base.

The bottom line

If you’re an eCommerce merchant that is looking to nurture your leads and produce loyal customers, email marketing is a great tool. This digital marketing strategy will help you grow your business to its fullest potential.

In addition to enlisting an email marketer, you should team up with a eCommerce website design and development agency agency to help your business develop further.

Take the steps to facilitate your business’ growth and success in the eCommerce industry.

3 Email Marketing Tools To Help Grow Your Online Store

4 Ways To Make Your Business’ Shoppable Instagram Successful

Say you’re an eCommerce merchant that has been wanting to advertise your products through social media. In a culture dominated and shaped by social media, this can be a great way to reach potential customers and raise awareness about your business.

Now, you have quite a few different options to choose from. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, the list goes on. However, if your product can be showcased visually and it is appropriate for your target demographic, a great choice for social media marketing is Instagram.

Instagram has been on the rise as a photo & video sharing application. Some users have already begun to assert that Instagram is replacing Facebook as their dominant form of social media. The New York Times reports that roughly 700 million users access Instagram each month, with roughly 400 million users logging onto the app daily.

If you are an eCommerce business owner that has been looking to expand your reach, Instagram could be an untapped market for you. Multiple eCommerce stores and social media influencers are already capitalizing by engaging their users through this social media forum.

If you are new to Instagram and are unsure how to sell your products, have no fear! Codal has worked with countless eCommerce merchants to assist them in achieving their goals. As a writer for an eCommerce web development company, I have compiled a basic how-to guide for selling on Instagram.

Providing Humanized Content

So, you have decided to take the plunge into the world of Instagram. Aside from the obvious housekeeping tasks— choosing your username, picking a profile picture, writing a description—your content plays a huge role in your account’s success.

Instagram is a visual app; therefore, you need to be providing material that is visually engaging through your profile. Ritual is a great example of this aesthetically pleasing and intriguing content.

g1
(Screenshots from Ritual’s Instagram Page)

Although they are a vitamin company, their page seems almost artistic. Thus, it makes it interesting for the user. They are showcasing the vitamin in a new way and it is working— Ritual boasts 63.5k followers with 584 posts.

Ritual is also successful because of how they make their product seem tangible. Due to the fact that their product is intended to be for people, they have people marketing and showcasing their vitamin in their content. Ritual humanizes their page through their product representation.

Aside from this human connection, Ritual makes their product’s intention straightforward in their posts. The average user can understand what the vitamin is for upon first glance at Ritual’s page. For example, their page shows their vitamins being balanced on someone’s lips. If I am a user that knows nothing about their product, I assume that it is meant to be ingested— no caption needed.

g2

(Screenshots from Ritual’s Instagram Page)

In order to sell your product through Instagram you need to make your content seem tangible and your intention be straightforward.

Ritual is just one great example of a brand using Instagram to sell products well. But follow their lead and you can also see yourself gaining user engagement insta-ntly.

2. Exhibiting Quality Marketing Techniques

The developers at Instagram recognize that their platform is being used to sell products, so they have made it nice and easy for merchants to be able to promote their products through advertisements.

If you fork over a little cash, you can purchase photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and sponsored Instagram stories. This can assist your business on extending your reach beyond your profile. With these ads, you can customize the particular demographic of users that you would like to target.

These ads might be brief, but with your demographic parameters set- they can be funnelled straight to the users that are the most compatible. Now that’s what I call marketing.

g3

Although these ads are great, a drawback would be your inability to directly link your product in the caption. If users want to learn more they can, through ‘swipe to learn more’; however, you are still unable to link to your company website.

A way around this minor roadblock would be putting your company site in your business’ Instagram biography. That way, if a customer wants to find out more about your products, they can have a set place to look.

Furthermore, you can send a customer your company link through a direct message (or a DM, as the kids call it these days). For example, you can post on your Instagram story an advertisement, and tell your users to “DM you for more information.” Now, with that sidestep, you can link the user to your company homepage directly.

3. Providing Shoppable Instagram Posts and Including Instagram Influencers

Recently integrated into Instagram is the ability for users to check out products through ‘shoppable Instagram posts.’ Sephora integrates this ability into their page with ease. If a user likes the way a product looks- a simple click, and they have the information at their fingertips.

A savvy way of selling your products, a user can browse products from your business without ever leaving the app. This feature prioritizes the importance of providing ease for your user.

g4

In addition to making shoppable posts, it can be great marketing for your business to team up with a social media influencer. As an influencer, these individuals have access to a vast number of users.

If these users agree to work with your company, it can increase the amount of site traffic for you and your social media mogul. A win-win.

4. Your Page’s Cohesiveness

When making a successful Instagram brand, it is important that your brand’s flow be seamless. Anyone who provides solid ui design services would stress that your color, logo, and aesthetic should match on both the website and the Instagram page itself.

Therefore, if a customer clicks on the company site while on the page, the brand seems to extend itself beyond these two forums. A user should never feel like they are looking at two different brands when they are looking at your site and Instagram side by side.

With your website and Instagram page, cohesiveness is key.

Do It For The ‘Gram

As you are developing your business’ Instagram presence, don’t forget about the other parts of your eCommerce business. As an eCommerce web design company in Chicago, Codal is committed to helping you achieve your eCommerce goals.

Contact us today for help in developing your business further!

4 Ways To Make Your Business’ Shoppable Instagram Successful

GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you have undoubtedly heard of the passing of the GDPR on May 25th, 2018. As a web development agency in Chicago, Codal has been acutely aware of this legislation and its breadth. Yet, this astronomical legislation was a long time coming- the GDPR’s construction started in December 2015.

The General Data Protection Regulation, or most commonly referred to as the “GDPR,” is a European Union privacy and security law. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does this impact my business if I am in America and my business is based in the U.S.?

Since GDPR involves any personal data that EU citizens provide, its reach is far beyond Europe. Thus, if your business operates in the European Union, offers services/goods to EU citizens, or essentially accesses any part of the EU- you must be in compliance with the GDPR.

The GDPR is the largest cybersecurity update in the past two decades: giving data control back to the user and limiting the extent that businesses can use this information.

g1

The price for not complying? Lawsuits and fines galore. Now, that’s scary. And for the sake of user cybersecurity, it’s meant to have that fear factor. As a web application development agency in Chicago, that works with a number of companies that are affected by these laws- I understand the unease that you must being experiencing. However, we are going to delve into this cryptic legislation together and determine what it means for your business.

Taking A Bird’s Eye View

If your business falls under the breadth of the GDPR, the first thing to do would be to take a step back and look at the data being collected holistically. What are you collecting this data for, and are your users aware of these uses?

The GDPR emphasizes that users have control over their “personal data.” Forbes simplifies and lays out what this would encompass: personal identifying data (name, address, date of birth, web-based data (location, IP address, cookies), health/genetic data, biometric data, racial/ethnic data, political opinions and sexual orientation. That’s a lot of data.

If your business is using any of this information, it is pertinent that you check your privacy agreements to be in accordance with the GDPR (Article 7 in the legislation). Are users explicitly agreeing to the following ‘terms and conditions,’ that would allow you to use this data? If the answer is no, your privacy agreement may be due for a facelift. No matter what your answer is, GDPR is a reminder that your privacy agreement could probably use an update.

This is why so many users have been receiving emails asking them to review changes in these privacy agreements. I would recommend following suit: once you update the agreements, let users know of these changes and require them to re-agree.

If you’re looking for an example of GDPR compliant privacy agreements, Google has a good example of their user policy here or here.

g2

Review. And if necessary, be sure to revise promptly.

Hire A Data Protection Officer

In addition to a potential update in privacy agreements, a business should consider hiring a data protection officer, or a “DPO” for short. A data protection officer ensures that a business is adhering to all aspects of the GDPR. DPOs also work on data protection strategy and the implementation of new security protocols.

Additionally, a DPO has to conduct audits of a business’ security, train other employees about data processing, and more. Depending on the amount of data your business processes, GDPR may require you to hire a DPO.

We recommend taking a look at the GDPR legislation to see how your business fits into this requirement. Who knows, your new DPO might become your right-hand man.

Plans And Records

As the GDPR is put into effect, businesses also need to create a Record of Processing Activities (RoPA). The RoPA includes: information about the data controller, purposes of processing, and the security measures put in place. Article 30 details this portion of the GDPR in further detail.

Another important addition to the GDPR is its policy regarding data breaches. The GDPR requires companies to report breaches within 72 hours of the incident occurring. That’s a quick turnaround.

This short timeline means that companies should create policies on how they might handle a data breach. The quicker breach plans can be implemented, the sooner a business can minimize the damage and lay out its next steps – all while fitting in with the GDPR requirements.

However, if a company fails to report a data breach, they will face hefty fines. Better safe than sorry, make sure your business is in line with the GDPR requirements.

What Next?

The bottom line is that you should get your business to be GDPR compliant as soon as possible. Though the full GDPR requirements are much lengthier than this article, it’s a good starting point to refining your business’ data protocols. This includes advertising and the social media realm! Prevent the excessive fines and lawsuits – get on board with the GDPR.

And while you’re in the mindset of updating your business, get in contact with an eCommerce web design company to help your users find your security policies and privacy changes with ease.

GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

UX Case Studies – Tasty

Ah, Apple’s App Store. An amalgam of applications, the App Store offers something different for every user that scrolls through its never-ending rows. As an average user, I tend to avoid these uncharted app waters. However, for today’s piece, I voyaged into the App Store to look at Tasty’s app and its UX.

As a writer for a UX Company, I am aware that in order to have solid UX, an app needs to be applicable to any type of user with any range of experience. Thus, I selected an app that specializes in an area I’m not familiar with: cooking.

Normally, my version of cooking is boiling water, throwing in pasta and coating my al dente masterpiece with red sauce. Voila! Five-star cooking, in my book. Thus, for the purpose of this analysis, I am an amateur chef- at best. Which makes me an ideal candidate for Tasty’s step-by-step cooking app. Will this app make cooking seem easy? We will see.

Tasty is self-described as a “food recipes and videos” application. Created by Buzzfeed, Tasty boasts 4.9 stars on the App Store with 112.4 K reviews. With this high level of user engagement, this foodie app is rated #9 in the Food & Drink category, which is any mobile app developer’s dream!

In its App Store description, Tasty asserts that it is my “new cooking coach.” As a mediocre chef, I am clearly skeptical of this claim. Yet, all uncertainty aside, I dive into this culinary creation and download the latest iOS 10 version of the app. Get your aprons on folks, we’re about to get cooking.

Onboarding

Delving into Tasty’s app, we are welcomed by an aesthetically pleasing sign in page. Tasty’s UI is rather adorable: a bright blue background, with multi-colored pieces of food peeking out from the screen’s corners.

t1

Tasty’s account creation options are stacked at the bottom of this page. From the get-go, Tasty’s UX is versatile and they welcome any type of user. Users can create an account using their Facebook profile, their phone number- or shocking enough- with no information inputted at all. Users that don’t want to make a profile, do not have to. Tasty allows users to bypass this onboarding step with the “maybe later” option.

After I select the “log in with a phone number” option, the screen shifts to the next step. However, Tasty incorporates a creative detail in this progression. While waiting for the next page to load, there is a tiny donut that dances up and down on the screen. I am so amused by this minor detail, I almost didn’t notice the app lagging. To illustrate their app loading with a piece of food, I thought was an imaginative UX detail.

For my account creation, I am required to: input my phone number, get texted a verification code, enter that code into the app, and create a username. To my annoyance, many of the usernames that I inputted were taken. A necessary evil for many onboarding processes for apps; however, for a food app, I thought so many steps was overkill.

But all of a sudden, my qualms about the number of steps to sign-up was resolved. Users are able to scroll and select a piece of food as their profile photo. Tasty’s UX allows users to personalize their profiles. I got to choose a smiling piece of pizza for my profile- my favorite food. All is well in the food universe.

Before I could get started on my new Tasty food regiment, I am bombarded with a pop-up. For UX design agencies, pop-ups are typically a no-go; however, I thought this one was well placed. Tasty inquires if I am vegetarian or not, and promises to show me recipes with meat or without, depending on my choice. I thought this was an innovative feature of their UX: the user is able to customize their dietary preferences and restrictions.

t2

Main Interface

After I answered the series of questions presented to me, I am– finally– brought to the main page. I am greeted by rows of colorful looking recipes and their corresponding categories. Upon scrolling further, I was pleased to discover that the app has clever names for their food categories, like “Okie Dokie Artichokie,” for example.

t3At the bottom of the main interface, the page is organized by the tabs, “Discover,” “My Pages,” and “One Top” (as seen below). A solid setup for Tasty’s page, their UX is user-friendly and their layout makes sense. If I ‘discover’ a recipe I want to cook, I can save it to ‘my page’ for future reference. The flow of the main interface seems self-explanatory.

However, the “One Top” tab is dedicated to the sale of Tasty’s new cooking pan. Tasty tries to sell the pan in-app with the options, “Order yours today” or, “I have One Top.” A savvy marketing move, placed conveniently next to the other features of the app.

If we click on a recipe on the “Discover” tab, we are transported to an informational page on that particular dish. I selected an “Avocado Quinoa Power Salad” to learn about. As soon as I selected the meal- after the donut loading icon- I was brought to its interactive recipe page.

t4Tasty incorporates a quick step-by-step video at the top of the page that shows the dish being made. For any user that struggles with cooking, Tasty made it look easy. Their experience continues with an ingredients list and a slowed down version of the video at the top of the page. Tasty made me feel like even I could make that ‘powerful’ dish.

Tasty’s easy to use design doesn’t stop there. To make the dish even more convenient for their users, Tasty’s app offers to ‘export’ the recipe’s ingredient list. That’s right. Tasty is making your shopping list for you.

Final Verdict

As a writer for an app development agency, I applaud Tasty’s clever UX and appealing UI design. Furthermore, as a mediocre chef, I praise how easy their recipes seem. One thing’s for certain, I have found my new recipe book. Sayonara, bland pasta with red sauce.

UX Case Studies – Tasty

Importance of the role of Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions

As a web development agency in Chicago, Codal recognizes the role that meta tags and meta descriptions play in a website’s ability to be found organically. Google is unclear what their exact algorithm is for their search engine and its ranking system; however, one thing is for certain, these page descriptors can impact the click-through rate (CTR) that a page has.

Clicks, views, interactions- the more the merrier for any website domain. “Metadata” is the content that these web pages posses and what their meta tags or meta descriptions are representing.

Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions and Optimization, Oh My!

Meta tags and meta descriptions are the welcome mats, if you will, for a website. “Here I am, this is what I’m about, now click, and learn more about me.”

codal meta

The gray text (shown above) underneath Codal’s hyperlink is the meta description for the UX company. The meta description gives a brief summary of what the web page contains. Although it can be any length (anywhere between 5-300 words), the optimal meta description makes the page seem valuable or ‘click-worthy.’

As Google experts say, the meta description does not have any effect on the SEO of the website. Yet, this brief description is pivotal for gaining site traffic and for correctly portraying the material contained in the hyperlink.

(Meta)Tag, You’re it!

The Yin to the yang of the meta description is the meta tag. Unlike the meta description, which can be seen by the common user, the meta tag is hidden in the HTML makeup of the web page.

codal meta 2

The aesthetically pleasing, multicolored text at the bottom of the software development agency’s page would be the meta tags. Meta tags are essentially buzzwords that best represent a bulk of the content on the page. Unlike the meta description, which is a block of text, meta tags are single words. For Codal, the meta tags include, “UX design and mobile application development agency,” “Mobile App Development Agency,” so on and so forth.

codal meta 3

Source (Close up of a block of HTML, meta tags are highlighted)

The Google search engine, up until 2009, used meta tags in their search ranking. However, due to “keyword stuffing”– stuffing unrelated keywords into meta tags of more popular sites to drive site traffic– Google devalued our dear friend, the meta tag.

I know the future looks bleak for the meta tag; however, don’t lose hope. Although the meta tag did lose some leeway in its influence, it still is something that search engines look at.

Search engines look to see the validity of your meta tags to the overall content presented throughout your page. Essentially, are you throwing out frivolous tags for the views, or are they representative (part to whole) of your site.

Then, in turn, the search engines will send the navigators of the World Wide Web your way if there is a match. If your keywords are representative of your site and are a match with what a user is looking for- it’s a match made in heaven.

You also think meta tags and descriptions are important… What’s next?

As a web development agency, Codal is aware of the importance that meta tags and meta descriptions play in organic search ranking. Thus, if you’re looking for an innovative way to optimize a web page and its design, contact us!

Importance of the role of Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions