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I know, anyone who has visited this website before knows that I am no stranger to bringing up my issues with Sephora and their website. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am back again.

I recently received an email from Sephora, promoting new additions to their Rewards Bazaar, where shoppers can use points they have earned to purchase items.

You see how that says “1,000 available now?” I have been waiting for an opportunity to try out Biossance products, so I clicked this right away.

…only to find out that the product in the email was not actually available. You can see sold-out items in this screenshot, so it seems that they aren’t simply out of stock, but haven’t actually activated this item before sending an email about it to potentially thousands of people.

I reached out to Sephora on Twitter and it went like this:

 

Yikes. This is not the response I would expect, and certainly not one that I would want anyone in my organization to give to a customer experiencing an error on our part.

The first response I received certainly seems either pre-written and automated for any tweets to them mentioning the Rewards Bazaar, or, they have a customer service team trained to use automated responses as often as possible. I understand the interest in maintaining consistent messaging, but a human reading my tweet to them should have realized that I had received an email from Sephora with incorrect information, and responded in a way that made sense.

You can see that at NO POINT was the fact that I received an email promoting something that wasn’t actually available addressed. Not even a “we will let our email team know about this issue” message.

Sephora is a really large company, presumably with a large customer service team to match. I would recommend that they develop a system to sort and perhaps elevate customer messages based on the content of said message.

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2019 Birthday Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on November 21, 2019


I can’t believe I skipped a birthday wishlist last year! I won’t be making that mistake again. Let’s get into it.

Squirrel taxidermy. DONE.

Giraffe doormat! This is adorable.

Hummingbird skull necklace. Macabre and also somehow classy.

Upside down Christmas tree! This is a little one to hang from the ceiling.

The Chris pocket bag from Zana Bayne. For when I want to have a bag but don’t want to carry a bag.

I’m sure I could think of more things, but I have covered all of the things that popped into my head first. Fun things that I would love to have and maybe wouldn’t immediately buy for myself, or I would have already.

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Colourpop Product Photos | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 26, 2019

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I was recently shopping on Colourpop’s website, and was specifically looking at glitter gel, like you do. I got to this product called Trippin on Skies, and had an unfortunate experience with product photos. Let’s get into it.

Here’s my first view of this product page. I’m purposely leaving the bit of box at the bottom of this screenshot. The colors of this product make it a bit difficult to translate, but the photography is good. I found myself immediately wishing to see swatches of this product on actual humans.

I scrolled down a bit and I get to this second image of the product, this time with the box. This is great and I think more companies should show the packaging of items that they sell, but I’m immediately disappointed that there isn’t a swatch image. Many beauty brands have realized that product swatches on a variety of skin tones is the way to go, and with this product, I really wanted to see what it would look like swatched on skin.

I am now to the bottom of the photo area of the product listing, and so I think there are no more photos to see.

Unrelated to the main topic here, but what I would REALLY like to see with products like a glitter gel that probably builds as you apply more are images with one coat, 2 coats, and 3 coats of the product on each skin tone.

Luckily, I scroll down a bit more and see a slider of what may be customer images? Colourpop is using Yotpo to collect reviews and it appears that they are also collecting customer images. Clicking on these images shows me that the images above show the use of the Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels, and the center image shows the actual product that I was reviewing.

This is a huge miss by Colourpop:

  1. There should be some indication in the top images about more images, perhaps “scroll down to see this product in action!” or something similar?
  2. Better yet, find a way to incorporate images of this product from the feed into the actual product image area on the page. Tag the image with the creator’s name or handle. Ask them for permission to use the image in this way – perhaps feature on social channels or in a promotional email as well.
  3. Utilize the standardized layout of showing small versions of the available product images and letting the user use the thumbnails to work their way through the options. This would help to keep everything in a single screen – these screenshots are from a 24-inch monitor and so the way this content is spread out seems a bit unnecessary.

Colourpop has good products, and their business seems quite successful, but there are improvements to be made on these product pages.

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Link Tank #54: Home and Interior Shopping Edition

by Jamie Sanford on September 9, 2019

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I recently bought a house with my husband, and have done more shopping than I expected to, and spent way more money than I expected as well. I’m told that all of this is normal.

So, what did I buy? Let’s get into it!

Zinus Suzanne Metal and Wood King Bed Frame. I will never regret upgrading to a king bed, I love it!

Command Picture-Hanging Strips. I’ve only used one set of these so far, but they were great. I’ll circle back when I decide to remove them from the wall.

BN-LINK Wireless Remote Control Outlet Kit. We got these to sort out selected outlets that don’t have a switch affiliated with them. A cute and simple solution.

Thermacell Mosquito Repelling Lantern. This was recommended by a colleague and we think it works? Plus, it’s cute.

Generic magic eraser sponges, set of 50! I think now that I might not have needed 50, but I have a basement for storage and now I won’t have to buy any more for at least a few years.

Krud Kutter, as recommended by Apartment Therapy. It doesn’t have a terrible smell and does good work in the kitchen!

Gorilla Grip Gripper Pad, for under the rug in my dressing room. So far, this is working excellently.

Marble-look contact paper. I had to recover the shelves in my linen closet, and this did the trick! It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other options online, but the quality is really great.

I have more items that I’ve purchased, naturally, but I intend to create some future posts about creating spaces in my home from start to finish, something I haven’t had so much experience with before!

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I discovered a strange anomaly today on the US Postal Service’s website, and had to share.

For business reasons, I had to research how to get an account to pay the post office for processing a business reply mail card.

I then got further down the page and found the forms to use in order to enroll in the program. Great.

The first form is a PDF. It is not set up so that complete it online, which is aggravating – although I guess it doesn’t really matter, because as you can see under the steps, I have to submit this IN THE ACTUAL MAIL. Now, I know this is the post office, but I just changed my personal address online without issue. I am stunned that this requires forms sent in the mail.

However, it got weirder when I clicked on the second link for the other form I had to complete to apply for an account.

The nice PDF from before is gone, replaced with this really unfortunate form. In addition, the only way to manage this is to fill it in online and then print it out and mail it in, with the previous form.

  1. Why are the fonts so many different sizes?
  2. The row numbers fields do not need to populate like this. It should offer one line, with an option to keep adding lines as necessary.
  3. Why isn’t this a PDF like the other form?

I then scrolled down and saw this:

This form hasn’t been updated since April of 2012. That explains a lot.

This is obviously a huge miss by the USPS. I am certain that fewer and fewer companies have needs for pre-paid mailings, but this is still a service that is offered, and should be dragged into slightly more modern times.

There are obviously major issues with inconsistency in how this process is designed. Here’s how I think it could go:

  1. One form encompassing all information they need to create a CAPS account.
  2. If they insist on the customer printing and mailing said form, it should be generating a PDF of the completed form, in a format that is easy to read and process by whoever is receiving the form and processing it at USPS.
  3. Or, they could just let people submit their applications online, which seems like a much smoother and faster option.

Let me know how you would fix this antiquated system on Twitter.

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