For this assignment, I am comparing two retail clothing websites. One is an American-based website called RevolveClothing.com, the other is a China-based website called Milanoo.com. These websites have several similarities and differences in regard to their overall and cultural appeal as well as the language and picture devices they employ to attract customers, target a specific audience and compel visitors to make a purchase.
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After studying each website, one of the first things to become apparent is each website’s use of text and picture devices. Each website features a flash banner on the homepage; however, the content each flash banner contains varies. The Chinese website, Milanoo.com, features a flash banner that primarily advertises sale messages, displaying Holiday sales, bargains and other incentives to make a purchase. The American website, RevolveClothing.com, however, utilizes flash texts and images to advertise marketing messages, displaying designer’s latest fashions and encouraging website visitors to explore and learn more about each designer’s latest fashion line.
Keeping with the visual appeal and analysis of each site, I next noticed the formal design of each website. The RevolveClothing.com has a top navigation menu displaying categories of clothing for sale, while Milanoo.com features a side navigation menu. One big difference between the navigation menus (aside from the superficial layout difference) is the content of each navigation menu. Milanoo.com features a simple navigation menu comprised simply of clothing categories, while RevoveClothing.com features clothing categories as well as marketing-related tabs that link to the company’s fashion magazine, blog and other boutique sites. This is important because, as noted in chapter 10 of our textbook, an effective website is one that demonstrates to visitors all the various ways in which the product is useful to customers (Thill and Bovée 291). By making product-related resources and literature available to website visitors, RevolveClothing.com is helping visitors to learn about all the different ways that the retail store’s clothing products can benefit the potential buyers. By reading through the magazine and blog, for example, potential customers can learn about the multifunctional purposes of clothing, such as style, appeal, statement, etc.
Interestingly, both websites display images of pretty young white women on their homepages, even though one of the websites is Chinese, and both websites sell clothing for men. The models displayed are indicative of each website’s target audience, which seems to be twenty-something American women in the middle to upper-middle class socioeconomic bracket. Although the target audience is limited to young American women, the cultural appeal of each website is present in terms of the products offered. Each website features clothing and fashion trends from other parts of the world. RevolveClothing.com’s product line features items from several European designers, while the Chinese-based website, Milanoo, features fashion trends and styles influenced by Japanese couture (such as “Cosplay” “Lolita” styles).
Both websites follow a similar format design that includes, as previously mentioned, a flash banner and navigation menu. Additionally, each website features multiple “shop now” links, both on the homepage and in the website’s inner pages. This allows website visitors to make a purchase with ease. Furthermore, each website contains actionable links on each page to bring the visitor to another page in the website. This is important to effective online marketing and selling because it prevents visitors from reaching a “dead end,” keeping visitors browsing the web pages, products and other site resources longer. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that the visitor will make a purchase, as suggested throughout Chapter 10 of our class text.
Ultimately, although I think Milanoo.com is the more visually appealing website, I think RevolveClothing.com is the more effective and persuasive of the two. The two recommendations I would make to Milanoo with regards to their website design would be to include more marketing messages and resources, such as RevolveClothing.com’s magazine and blog links. This would help inspire web visitors to return to the site even if they do not intend to make a purchase, and the more times a visitor returns to a website, the more likely it will be that they will eventually make a purchase or recommend the site to a friend. The other recommendation I would make to Milanoo would be to feature more product images to the homepage, in order to showcase the products to visitors and persuade potential customers to continue to browse through the company’s product line.