Smart Woman Online: Jennifer Rice
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Red Shopper: Nice idea, but...

Jane loves red. Red is just...well, it. For our readers under 40, "it" was a quality everyone in the early years of the 20th century wanted to have. The "it" girl was Clara Bow, Hollywood actress and superstar who was among the first to flaunt her sexuality on the movie screen.

Having "it" gives one superstar status, whether one is in Hollywood or entertaining friends in one's own living room. When one thinks of having "it," Jane believes the color red appears somewhere. That's why we clicked on a link in a recent press release that took us to a site called: Red Shopper: "your local shopping guide and online mall," so the press release and the website said.

The press release announcing "Red Shopper Launches Online Shopping Assistant," was an immediate eye-catcher. Jane is preparing to go on a business trip at the end of the month (we're attending the NewComm Forum...which means we will miss The Blog Business Summit, which many of our good blogging friends are attending...but other duties prevent us from making both) and we thought we'd visit Red Shopper to get our shopping assistant and perhaps order a new outfit.

Tsk, tsk. Twas not meant to be. Red Shopper is not serving Jane's local area. Worse than that. Red Shopper, when Jane entered our zip code, took us to a page that apologized for not being able to serve us, but...then, prevented us from returning to the homepage. Truly, dear readers, we tried to get back to the homepage to learn more about Red Shopper...it seemed like such a nice concept, but...neither clicking the 'home' link nor our back button did the trick.

We were lost in cyberspace.

This does not bode well for Red Shopper, as far as Jane-- and women in general -- is concerned. Has Jane not mentioned, more than once, that navigating your website is a critical element to making it female-friendly? Yes, indeed. We, and many others in the business of web design, are quick to point out that allowing your visitors to get where they want to go within three mouse clicks is the ONLY way to guarantee a positive web experience. When marketing to women online, it's more than critical, it's essential.

Women don't have time to figure our your navigation scheme. If you have a Jillcom2 button marked 'home' but it doesn't take us 'home'...we will visit the 'home' page of a competitor. Red Shopper's poor navigation guided us right out the door. Off to Jill.com...where there's plenty of red to choose from, and easy navigation, too!

What's not to like about that!

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