Tell them you want a webshop, not a website.

by Jim January 29, 2020

Another Aussie retailer is hitting the skids, adding to the many others over the past year alone. While Jeanswest isn’t unique in its problems, a quick analysis of their website shows the same failures as many others I’ve investigated. The crux of the problem is always the same, treating your online presence as a marketing channel as opposed to a place to sell products.

What I learned

  • Your retail website is a shop – start selling!
  • It’s not a marketing channel
  • Polish the basics – speed, indexing, etc.
  • Don’t keep the customer waiting


Hey, welcome back retailers, how you going? Well, I know one retailer’s not going too well. Well, there’s a couple of actually, but I’m going to talk about all of them. The current one is Jeanswest, and I was having this discussion with Tim Davies, online, a mate on LinkedIn, about it. And I’m not even going to get into their brand issues, because they are many and they seem a little confused, because they’re Australia’s biggest denim and maternity wear retailer.

It’s not a marketing channel

Anyway, they’re in trouble. They’ve collapsed apparently and they suffer from the same issues as many of the retailers we’ve discussed in the past. And this is the traditional retailer that has gone online and we see this mostly with traditional retailers, where they aren’t treating their website as another shop. They’re treating at like some sort of pseudo marketing channel for their offline stores, right?

And you’re saying, “Yeah, they’ll have a catalogue up there,” but the catalogue is not indexed. It’s not even prioritised. So chances are they don’t have site maps set up properly, because if you do a site colon research on this, all you see is the listing of the stores. You’ve got to go hunting for product. I haven’t even done a Jeanswest brand search, but here’s what happens when you get to the site.

So okay, www is, why am I English/AU? That’s because they have New Zealand stores as well, so rather than do a dot com and then have forward slash AU and New Zealand as a separate, they’ve gone with a and they do another AU. The problem with that is, is that if you’re sending people to www, presumably you don’t have that on your letterhead.

So every time someone just goes to the normal website address, they will be redirected and it’s the wrong type of redirection as well. They’re doing a 302. So that slows the process down of actually getting to the shop. And then when I do get here, I’ve got to do another click because I’m not actually at the shop. So the site is slow. And then if I do a search for… Where’s search? There it is. Right up here. I haven’t even looked at this on mobile because right now it’s a disaster on desktop. So we’ll do a search and I’ll just do ‘skinny’. There we go. Men’s skinny denim. That’s what we want. Beautiful. Search works well. And now we’ll just go and have some lunch while we wait for the page to load.

It’s a web shop!

Here it is. Okay, so you’re keeping me waiting. I can just go and pick that off the shelf. I should be able to do the same in the shop. In your web shop, right? It’s a web shop. It’s not a website if you’re a retailer. And the problem here, of course, is now we are not secure. So this page isn’t actually indexed. There’s another page that’s indexed, it’s the canonical of this one, which should be indexed, but also another duplicate of it is also indexed. So we’ve got two canonicals, I think for most of the products. So there’s just a raft of noise and confusion and we’re not selling.

We’re not using the site to emphasise selling product, which is what you should be doing if you’re a retailer. Hopefully that’s helpful. Hopefully we will stop seeing more of these this year, and we’ll speak to you next week. Don’t forget, book launch early April, and if you want to find out more about “Get Stuffed Google”, just email [email protected] and I’ll put you on the list for the launch. See you. Bye.

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