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Kevin McSpadden Managing director of multi-channel data consultancy firm More2

First impressions of this site are mixed. On the plus side, the flash banner at the top gives a nice feel to the brand, but the rest of the landing page doesn’t reflect the store’s high-quality positioning. The site is very cramped and does not use the space of the wide screen, utilised by other luxury retailers such as Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty.

The top navigation is structured well and clearly signposted, directing customers towards key pages throughout the site. However, the left navigation bar cramps the page, and needlessly repeats information from the top bar without giving the visitor further reason to shop or move further into the site.

In the ‘Shop online’ section, the page becomes wider and clearer. The refining tool covers all bases but is lengthy and difficult to use as most of it is below the fold [the area of the web page that is not visible without scrolling down]; this could be resolved by grouping the refinements together and using a scroll bar to navigate through them, as Asos does.

Overall, the Harvey Nichols site is easy to use and well thought out, but it’s missing the finesse of sites offered by some of its competitors. For example, high-quality products lose their sheen by being showcased on a mannequin rather than a live model, and there are no lifestyle images throughout the site to provide context and colour.

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