Crappy Websites

Having worked in global eCommerce for about 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of sites.  It’s been fascinating to see a number of sites evolve in time and really improve.  Obviously Amazon sets much of the pace of the eCommerce industry, and there are plenty of conversations about who is doing what and new innovations. I devour those articles myself, always looking to learn.

Then…. there are sites which hold us back as a whole. The scourge of online shopping. I’m picking on shopping since anyone can make a shitty blog (and some will call mine shitty or worse), but there seems to be a special “I don’t give a crap” when you make an eCommerce site with a terrible consumer experience. I’m dedicating a string a posts dedicated to these sites for all of us to cringe about. Interested to see if you share my opinion.

Here’s my three for the first installment:

1)  Household Goods

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Coming from the UK, this guy went complaining in Google’s Webmaster Forums that he wasn’t getting enough traffic, and it’s everyone’s fault but his. Did he actually think this is a site a consumer would buy from? Let’s run through some of the D’Oh! moments:

  • The copy looks like it was written by a 12 year German boy still learning English.
  • As you scroll through a page, things jump out because your mouse crossed an element, and reshuffles.
  • The Click-The-Flag to get pricing in your own currency instead of market specific sites.
  • The images are low grade, and slapped anywhere on the page without any love.

What is truly amazing about this site is that it does have a responsive design, but it’s poorly done which is why elements will jump out at you unexpectedly.  I googled the physical address on the site, and it turns out this site must the tip of the iceberg for a whole network of crappy store fronts run by the same guy. If you want your own crappy online store like this, you can reach John Block at his own consulting company, copywriter.co.uk, which has it’s own brochureware feel straight from 1997.

2) CustomPokersAndMore

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It takes a certain special level of bad for when a site owner wanders into Google Webmaster Forums to get told by Google themselves “start over”. For those of us who’ve been around for a while, it’s like someone took design tips from the worst of the GeoCity Homesteaders from 1999. Some highlights of this site:

  • The images are fuzzy.
  • This is just a terrible front end navigation for their eBay store.
  • There are blinky / flashy things distributed around so to make any epileptic start convulsing no mater where they scroll to on the page

To their credit, when Google told them it’s beyond hope, they didn’t lash out. Let’s hope they take the advice and the screen grab above is all that remains of the site.

3) Arngren

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Do you remember the MillionDollarHomePage? It’s kinda like that.  While the site is Norwegian, there is a UK flag symbol to help english speakers. Normally this would be a feature to change the overall site language. This guy in all his wisdom takes the opportunity to pitch you a 1992 type of handheld translator, but at least that product page is presented in English!

Break out your Kroners, and dive into the chaos of Frithjof Arngren’s mind. Don’t forget to sign up for his SkyCommuter (Flying Car) waiting list. Maybe he’ll fly it over to you himself.