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Fruugo: How to make an eCommerce site that burns €40M and earns €100K

I just read this article on ArticStartup that Fruugo burned €40 million and generated €100k. Curious about the site I decided to visit, and imo, it is really bad. It’s not just Fruugo, there are tons of websites that make this mistake, they just put “stuff” on a webpage without actually thinking twice about the customer, without thinking about what they want the customer to do. (= you obviously want them to buy) Let’s have a quick look;

A.  What is the purpose of this flag selection? Probably 90% or more of your visitors won’t need to change this, so don’t spend the whole header of your website on it. Hide it somewhere like Amazon does. And if you can justify its purpose with statistics, make it less intrusive. All the flags are like a Christmas tree on top of your website, an ugly Christmas tree without any purpose.

C.  Totally irrelevant, it’s probably fancy to show people that your website is “social”, but I doubt somebody will be motivated to buy something because some random person on the internet ‘looked’ at the product.

B.  A flashy image slideshow that slides through the different categories from the shop ‘clothing’,  ‘sports’,..  I think this definitely looks great on a power point, but I doubt it is useful. If I come to the website to look for clothes I will use the left navigation to go to the clothes section, I won’t wait 15 seconds to have the slideshow go to the ‘clothing’ image. There should be direct links (or images) to products customers can buy. But let’s assume it makes sense to put a link to the clothes section there, let’s see what happens if we visit the clothes section.

D.  Another big slideshow, I think they really don’t want people to buy on the website.

E.  Yes! A list of subsections, with a informative count of how many products there are in each section.  (sarcasm..)

After a lot of clicking, I finally found a link to a product page.

F.  Yet again a total waste of space, they use almost half of the webpage to let users select the size of the t-shirt. They also thought it is useful to provide the full name of the item, an image and price with each size. As if the description or image of the product would change with the size..

This blog post isn’t mend as a run down of the usability of Fruugo, the point is more that it’s so bad that even a blind man can see this website wouldn’t work. What where they thinking? If you design a website, please think about the purpose of every pixel you put on the screen of the user.

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