After months of speculation, Shop Direct finally launched its premium offering Very Exclusive at 0.01am today and so far the response has been ‘Very’ good.
My first reaction to the site is that it looks like Shop Direct’s mainstream offering Very’s grown up sister. The Very Exclusive logo is slicker and more stylish, as is the site in general. The famous Very pink is used, but in an understated way, just underlining the navigation when you hover over it.
The homepage starts with the classic large image scroller, followed by sections highlighting ‘new in’, brand information and editorial inspiration. Product listing pages can be filtered by product type, designer, colour, price, range and size. Individual product pages have zoom tools, a multiple section of images, star rating system, size guide and delivery and returns info.
Basically what Very Exclusive has done is tick every box. Every tool, filter option, social media link and product information detail that I have heard other websites criticised for not including, Very Exclusive has. There is even the option to read detailed descriptions of the packaging.
But what it also has, and what I think is probably its strongest element, is an extremely easy user journey. For users to navigate from product pages to brand information to editorial content is seamless. Not only that, the site encourages you to do so: ‘discover more’ tabs at the top of product pages lead users to editorial content with information on the designer, trends and hero pieces, which in turn, push the user back to the transactional area of the site. This means the user is continually reminded to shop, but has an enjoyable and inspiration journey along the way.
The only thing I would like to see more of from Very Exclusive is technological innovation – while the site has everything I’d expect in term of tools, there is nothing new and exciting. However, with Sarah Curran and Gareth Jones behind it, I’m sure this is only just the beginning of what this site has to offer.