Compare and contrast--Ted Baker
By Miri Thomas | Publication date: 24/05/2012 | Category:
said it before; Americans have a love affair with British brands. And Ted Baker
knows it too. During the last financial year, the fashion brand opened eight concessions in Bloomingdale’s, where performance to date
has been positive, it says. Towards the end of 2011, Ted Baker opened a further
store in San Diego and an outlet store in Wrentham, near Boston, and chief
executive Ray Kelvin says he’s
pleased with their performances at this early stage.
Going forward, 11 more concessions are planned, as well as a store in
New York, which opens in July. Overall, US retail sales for the brand were up 69.4
percent to $34.9 million last year, equivalent to £21.8
million. As well as stores, Ted Baker also operates a US website. Here’s how it
goes about translating its Britishness to a US market online.
Ted Baker’s UK website (above) can be found at www.tedbaker.com. Its US counterpart is at www.tedbaker-london.com, but users
can also navigate to it by clicking the “select region” option from the main site.
The differences between the homepages are immediately obvious. For starters,
the UK site has a static main image, while the US homepage shifts from women’s
new arrivals to men’s new arrivals. On the UK site, visitors can click on the
main image to shop from the men’s or womenswear collections. Or use the top
menu bar to shop men’s, women’s, gifts, holiday shop or SelecTed—items which
have a common theme or collection. The main call to action is for a two-day
sale, giving customers 20 percent off their Ted Baker purchase.
The US website (above) has a brighter homepage, using oranges and light
blues, rather than the taupe employed by the UK site—depending on your personal
taste, it either clashes or complements the male model’s shock of red hair. The
options on the main menu are different too. The choices on the US site include
men’s, women’s, accessories & shoes and our collections—presumably collections is more obvious than
“SelecTed”. The menus are also much shorter. The UK top-level menu opens up
into five columns, with the column on the far right displaying a “feature
item”. In contrast, the menu on the US site has only one column per category
and no images. The search bar and shopping cart appear in the same places on
the two websites, as does the special offer banner, which on the US website promotes
“Free US ground delivery on all orders over $200”.
The category and product pages
through the homepage options to new arrivals in womenswear I am presented with two very
different category pages. The UK site
(above) has no left-navigation bar, instead
allowing users to filter options using a collapsible horizontal menu. Users are
allowed to select the size of the images and by doing so, adjust the product
density on the page—larger images mean fewer products. Confusingly in my opinion,
the UK site has a large image inviting customers to shop the maxi dress range. Call
me old-fashioned, but I much prefer the US category page (below), which has a
conventional left-nav to help filter down options.
make a fair comparison between the product pages, I selected the “TUNDA -
Flared skirt coat”, which is available on both sites (UK price £229, US price
$420). In contrast to previous experience
, the US site actually has more detail
that its UK sister. Once again, the UK site had me confused (below). Instead of conventional dress sizes, Ted
Baker lists the sizes from 0 to 4. There is a size conversion chart, but you
would have expected the British site to list UK sizes as the master option.
US site also uses Ted Baker’s 0 to 5 system but below it includes the corresponding
US size, making it easy for American customers to select the right size. The US
site also features a selection of items that may go with the coat, making use
of a cross-sell tactic. Strangely, the UK site doesn’t. Although the UK site
is more streamlined, I find that hiding everything
under a collapsible menu works to its detriment.
to the basket page, Ted Baker UK decides this is the place to cross-sell. While
there are different schools of thought on the topic, I would have preferred to
see cross-selling on the product page instead. Happily though, Ted Baker’s
platform allows me to add items from its suggested list to my basket without
leaving the page, so all is not lost. At the checkout I am also reminded of the
20 percent discount and prompted to enter it.
where the UK site excels is in the collections element (above). I can select “cool
nautical” and shop the look, or click through to “life’s a beach” and be
presented with the beachwear collection. This mirrors the layout of a bricks-and-mortar store,
where you’d expect similar products to be grouped together to form a display.
Trying to shop from the “our collections” tab on the US homepage is a
cumbersome experience (below), where some ranges having a link to the products and
others just text about the range.
the American site understands my need for clear sizing information, logical
lists and an all-in-one product page, it lacked the inspiration of the British
website’s collections section. Saying that, I was encouraged to note that both
use instigated chat to communicate with customers that may be floundering, showing
that it despite the differences between the two sites, Ted Baker does share
some best practice across the Atlantic.