Lululemon Online Store Review – 5 Most Important Factors

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon yoga feauture

Lululemon Online Store Review – 5 Most Important Factors

Lululemon is one of the first lifestyle brands to come out of Canada

This week we present the Lululemon online store review ( shop.lululemon.com) to see: how well the site performs, how easy it is to make a purchase and whether the price is right. You can read all about our eCommerce sites review framework and evaluation methods in this article: http://www.eradium.com/quality-of-ecommerce-websites-5-most-important-factors/.

What is Athleisure?

Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for athletic workouts at a gymnasium, sometimes termed activewear, is worn outside of the gym to go to the office or shopping or other social occasions. Athleisure outfits are “yoga pants, tights and leggings”that “look like athletic wear” characterized as “fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing”. The idea is that “gym clothes are making their way out of the gym and becoming a larger part of people’s everyday wardrobes”. By some accounts, the athleisure trend grew out of women wearing yoga pants. Another account suggests that the trend came about because people could wear them for multiple occasions without having to change, which meant greater convenience, since people did not have to carry an extra gym outfit on the way to the office, for example. Reports in USA Today and in the Wall Street Journal describe the athleisure market as growing, displacing typical workwear styles, and cutting into sales of jeans, with a market size in 2014 as $35 billion, representing an 8% increase from the previous year. While the trend was started by women, men are increasingly turning to athleisure wear as well. For men’s fashion, athleisure wear began with luxury sweatpants and then moved to the upper torso region with “dressy/sporty versions of men’s blazers, varsity jackets, pea coats and sweaters”.(1)

ACTIVEWEAR Market Overview

Below are infographics that show Athleisure trends (2) and the Yoga industry growth (3).

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon Athleisure infographic
Eradium ecommerce review lululemon industry of yoga

About Lululemon

The company was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson in Vancouver, Canada.In 2001, the company began selling yoga wear. Christine Day, a former co-president of Starbucks International, became chief executive officer in June 2008; in 2013, it was announced Day would leave her position.
Lululemon is a self-described yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, which produces a clothing line and runs international clothing stores from its company base in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The company makes a number of different types of athletic wear, including performance shirts, shorts, and pants, as well as lifestyle apparel and yoga accessories.(4)
The Company sells its products through a chain of corporate-owned and operated retail stores, direct to consumer through e-commerce, showrooms, network of wholesale accounts, outlets and warehouse sales. The Company’s direct to consumer segment operates lululemon and ivivva e-commerce Websites, www.lululemon.com and www.ivivva.com, and other country and region specific Websites. As of February 1, 2015, the Company’s retail footprint included 211 stores in the United States, 57 stores in Canada, 26 stores in Australia, five in New Zealand, two in the United Kingdom and one in Singapore. The Company’s retail stores are located primarily in street locations, in lifestyle centers and in malls. (5)
Lululemon, which has experienced its fair share of PR nightmares over the past couple of years, saw net sales climb 13 percent in 2014 to $1.8 billion. (6)
You also can read our review of Lululemon’s marketing campaigns in one of our previous articles: eCommerce Email Marketing: Subject Line – Weekly Spotlight
http://www.eradium.com/ecommerce-email-marketing-subject-line-weekly-spotlight/

Lululemon Online Store Review

shop.lululemon.com

Our evaluation framework takes into consideration the following five factors:

  1. Functional features of the site
  2. Cognitive factor – perceived conscious efforts to complete a purchase
  3. Emotional appeal of the site
  4. Product selection
  5. Price competitiveness

Rating

All features will be rated from 1* to 5* scores, where 1 means poor and 5 is great

1.   Functional Factor

Features and functionality that create an ideal shopping experience for consumers.

radium-ecommerce-review- Check-mark

shop.lululemon.com Home Page

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon home page

1 . eCommerce Platform Fit – SCORE: 5.0

Lululemon store runs on the Oracle Commerce platform (ATG) that is one of the best high-end systems to deliver online shopping experience.  The site also uses modern front-end technology from Mobify to support mobile devices. The user interface design utilises the touch screen friendly navigation elements.

2. The site speed performance – SCORE: 5 (desktop)/3(mobile)

The website desktop speed performance is Excellent for the eCommerce or the self-service business websites.  However, the web pages speed on  mobile devices is below average. You may see below the Dynatrace (dynatrace.com) performance testing  report card.

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon speed test report

3.    Mobile Friendly – SCORE: 5

The site has all the basic mobile functionality covered. They have large resolution images, big and easy to click color swatches. The navigation is very mobile friendly and uses tab navigation for various types of product lines.

Mobile Product Page
Eradium ecommerce review lululemon mobile product page

4.    Search – SCORE: 4.5

Search is easy to use and has a clear display of products, including color options for specific products. I like the search by “activity” type that allows the shopper to narrow down the products based on their needs.

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon search result

5. Real-Time Inventory – SCORE:0

There is no such functionality on the site.

Product Page

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon desktop product page
6. Zoom Feature – SCORE: 3.5

This functionality works differently than most zoom functionality across other stores. Usually, you can zoom on a particular area of the image to view the product in great detail, almost like watching something under a magnifying glass. This site just opens a large image view in a new window, but you cannot still zoom in to see the tiny details.

7. Product Comparisons – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

8. Live Chat –  SCORE: 4

You can even chat during the checkout process to answer any last minute question a shopper might have. This help to increase conversation rate.

9. Product Demos- SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

10. Product Description – SCORE: 3

There is pretty basic information about the product. There is no information on care or type of material the product is made from.

11. Cross-sell popular and related products – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

Check Out Process

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon shopping bag
12. Payment Options –  SCORE: 4
Eradium ecommerce review lululemon payments

The site offers multiple payment options to please the different types of buyers.

13. Express Checkout – SCORE: 4
Eradium ecommerce review lululemon checkout
14. Security – SCORE: 2

There is no security certificate indication on the site or on the checkout process.

Account

15. Order Tracking – SCORE: 4

You may sign in for your Order History at any time. Information about your open orders, tracking, and past orders is available.

16 .Past Order Display – SCORE: 4

Easy to view and purchase past products.

17. Favorite products  – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

18 . Communication preferences  – SCORE: 3.5

There are 2 types of communications generic product information and store specific email with any event or special information at that specific store.

19. Wish List/Registry – SCORE: 3

Pretty basic functionality that allows to add products to the wishlist and overview them under your profile.
TOTAL SCORE: 2.7/5

2. Cognitive Factor

A retail website must be easy to navigate and help visitors find relevant information quickly. Knowing your audience is the key to creating an effective site by combining the right elements that appeal to your shoppers.

Site Structure and Information Architecture

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon main manu
1. Search – SCORE: 3

It is rather hidden and blends in with the rest of the site.

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon search
2. Site Navigation – SCORE: 4

Is very easy to use, it is well separated visually to be able to see the different categories easy and find what you are looking for.

3. Alternate Views – SCORE: 4.5

All the products have multiple views from different angles to be able to assess the product and make the purchasing decision easier.

4. Visual Cues- SCORE: 3

There is not enough visual contrast to bring the shopper’s attention to various important messages through the site. The site appearance is pretty boring and blend, without any areas that stand out.

TOTAL SCORE: 3.6/5

3. Emotional Factor

Website’s Emotional connection with the target market

1. Show Products on Human Models – SCORE: 5

The photos that show products on human models are very  good quality. All images appear uniform and follow a specific pattern. There is no random imagery and all products have a consistent number of secondary images.

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon product views

2. Quality of Image- SCORE: 5

The images are very sharp and professionally done. All images follow the same consistent pattern regardless of manufacturer.

3. Share Buttons – SCORE: 3

The site has very basic functionality, basic sharing through Tweeter, Pinterest and Wanelo.

4. Email a Friend’ Button- SCORE: 0

This functionality is not present on the site.

5. Consumer Reviews- SCORE: 4

The review function is well done, has body type and the age of reviewers.  It also allows the user to filter the reviews based on these criteria so that they can only read the reviews relevant to them.

6. Make it easy to call you –  SCORE: 3

The phone number is visible in the footer at all times.

TOTAL SCORE: 2.5/5

3. Product Selection

Variety of Products

It is critical to have a variety of products that you specialize in, whether it is a specific category or type of product.

Eradium ecommerce review lululemon product options

Product availability

1.    Color options – SCORE: 5

The product color selection is well done. The color swatches are big enough to be visible. A user may quickly select a product color on the product page rather than a different product item for each color from the product list.

2.    Size options –  SCORE: 5

The sizes that are not available appear as crossed out prominently so that the shopper knows right away if the item not available in this size.

TOTAL SCORE:  5/5

5. Price Factor

Is it Amazon Competitive?

This category is not applicable because Lululemon merchandise is sold exclusively at the brand’s online and retail locations. There are only a few certified fitness stores who can also carry the merchandise, but they do not have an online presence. If you would like to purchase Lululemon online, the brand store is the only place. It is a good strategy, because if you would like to buy their merchandise, then the pricing is not an object.  Indeed, showrooming is not a concern for this retailer.

Conclusion

Lululemon online store is very functional and follows the basic best practices of an online store. Unfortunately, it totally misses the mark on the Omni-channel experience. For a brand that only sells their merchandise in their own retail locations, this type of experience is the must in today’s market. Trendy and expensive clothes often get out of style without further innovation and fresh ideas from the brand. Become the leader in Athleisure and take this new segment to the next level.

5 top recommendations for Lululemon in 2016:

radium-ecommerce-review- Check-mark
  1. Become the center of Omni – Channel Lifestyle-reinvent yourself and allow the shopper to view inventory online, shop and collect in store.
  2. More color and visual cues – introduce additional visual components to offer new products, sales, and important news
  3. Videos – add the lifestyle videos of people using the products on product pages. Such feature would allow customers to imagine their experience with the products
  4. More holiday relevant marketing – bring the brand down to earth with more appropriate holiday marketing and appeal to the emotions of the buyer.
  5. Product comparison – allow comparing similar products to help to make a quick purchasing decision.

References

  1. Athleisure, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athleisure
  2. Athleisure trends infographics, https://pinterest.com/pin/240661173814738961/
  3. The Billion Dollar Business Of Yoga #Infographic, http://www.visualistan.com/2015/11/the-billion-dollar-business-of-yoga.html
  4. Lululemon Athletica, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lululemon_Athletica
  5. Profile: Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O), http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=LULU.O
  6. Is The Activewear Market Oversaturated?, http://fashionista.com/2015/03/activewear-bubble
Anna Battrick
anna@eradium.com

Anna Battrick is Eradium’s Director of Ecommerce Services, has an extensive background in retail marketing and project management. With over 10 years of managing complex projects from inception to completion while always maintaining “it can be done” spirit. The world of retail is not only a professional interest but also a personal hobby which lets Anna see the other side of retail, from a shopper perspective. This helps create engaging marketing programs that speak personally to the shoppers interests and engage them in a conversation.



To start a dialog about your next eCommerce initiative