We’re going to explore the user journey from search through to checkout for a popular Louis Vuitton handbag, focusing particularly on the overall user experience.
Search for a Louis Vuitton handbag
Using the search term “Designer handbag”, Louis Vuitton justs about manages to make it onto the first page of results as they organically appear as number seven and it links straight through to a dedicated handbag landing page. They are the only site on the first page of results not to include the keywords “Designer handbag” in their meta description which suggests they may appear higher up should this be included.
There’s strong competition for this particular search term and, as a result, there are lots of Pay per click (PPC) ads. However, Louis Vuitton doesn’t appear in the top three on the page and instead their PPC ad is further down the page almost in-line with their organic search position.
The ad itself certainly helps to define the Louis Vuitton brand as luxury yet fails to include the keywords “Designer Handbag”. It feels as though they are using the same PPC ad across multiple keywords without any focus, which is harming their positioning. A nice touch, however, is the address of the nearest store with a link to Google Maps.
Product listing ads (PLAs) have strong imagery to attract the attention of users. Louis Vuitton has opted to forego this option and it only increases the chance of users clicking through to a competitor.
Ladies designer handbag
Louis Vuitton hasn’t run any PPC ads or PLAs for these keywords but does feature organically as the fourth result on the first page of results. This is particularly helped as they focus on emphasising “handbag collections for women” in their meta description.
Handbag landing page
Users can choose between two displays. One presents the handbags in a carousel-like fashion, which is nice to scroll through casually, but considering there are 251 products, is a little less practical.
The other displays the products in rows that are typically seen on e-commerce sites. Louis Vuitton breaks the norm though as the handbags tend to be grouped together so there are lots of blank spaces where only two products fit on a row rather than three. This technique works for a display in-store, but online this effect is confusing as it initially appears as though a product is missing or has yet to load. This also makes the page unnecessarily longer than it need be.
The handbags can be filtered by style, material and colour, although the resulting products can’t be sorted. As the products filter instantly when the user makes a selection, the filter tab remains open and covering the handbags. Whilst this is convenient, it would be nice for the filters tab to hide once the user starts scrolling. The text detailing what the user has selected is also quite small to read.
Louis Vuitton handles misspellings rather effectively. A search for “Pochete” correctly returns handbags in the Pochette collection.
Similarly, a search for “Ulma” correctly returns handbags in the Alma collection.
However, we noticed when entering “Spedy” no items were found. Instead, users are presented with a blank page. Louis Vuitton could offer alternative products based on the user’s previous search history or even produce a feed of popular products to help re-engage users at this point.
Since the top result under “Speedy” sells for $3,650, ensuring that common misspellings and inevitable typos are accounted for and appropriately retargeted is essential to a successful user journey.
The filters provided are not particularly useful. Users can choose between genders and the overall category the handbag sits within. There’s no way to sort the resulting items nor is there a way to filter by more specific criteria such as colour or size.
The product page features large, bold imagery with the ability to zoom. It would be nice to have alternative shots of the handbag, such as a view of the interior.
The user has the ability to customise their handbag by choosing from various colours, materials and sizes, with the main image changing accordingly. This is great and helps to associate Louis Vuitton with high value, unique handbags.
It would be useful to have an image of a model wearing the handbag since many of the products are available in multiple sizes and it’s hard to determine just how big they would be.
Users have the option to “Chat with your style advisor” which starts an online chat with “your dedicated advisor”. This is really effective language and helps position Louis Vuitton as a luxury brand offering highly personalised customer service.
Information detailing Louis Vuitton’s delivery and returns policy is also clearly available on this page in the form of lightboxes.
The checkout clearly displays the user’s product and its price. Links to Louis Vuitton’s policies, online chat and the client services phone number are also available to help convince users to make their purchase.
Unfortunately, the text within the shipping methods drop-down needs some breathing room. Additionally, the button to continue is labelled “Submit” and sits next to a button labelled “Continue Shopping” which takes the user back to site’s home page. We wonder how many users have got the two buttons confused and assumed continue shopping would continue the checkout process.
Louis Vuitton smartly gives users the option of a guest checkout, which drastically decreases the chance of abandonment.
A progress bar is shown to the user at all times at the top of the page to give an indication as to how long the checkout process will take.
Annoyingly when it comes to delivery options we are shown the form for home delivery despite choosing to collect in-store when on the previous page. When flipping across to collect in-store the map indicates the available options. It would be useful to show the user their nearest store first based off their IP address.
Inline validation is provided when the user enters incorrect payment details which makes the form easier to fill out, although the user is still able to enter an expiry date for a month that has already passed.
The form to enter a billing address is dauntingly long. Whilst auto-fill is enabled, we feel that some of these form fields could be removed for a speedier guest checkout.
Overall, the Louis Vuitton user experience has evidently been planned out and great care has been taken to convince users to make that all important purchase.
There are multiple elements contributing to the brand’s strong image. The look and feel of the site, using phrases such as “your dedicated advisor”, and the ability to create a highly unique customised handbag all help to position Louis Vuitton as a luxury retailer.
It’s understandable that for expensive products customers most likely want to purchase in-store to get the whole customer experience. However, that shouldn’t mean designer brands abandon the digital side as there are still users who wish to browse and purchase online. With some tweaking to their PPC ads and on-site search functionality, along with some improvements on the checkout, Louis Vuitton stands to be a strong contender in the field with an enjoyable user experience.