The future has arrived for Coach, and at least for the moment, it comes in the form of a shiny new website, full of lots of monster-sized product images and new, easier navigation for shoppers looking for that perfect bag. It’s been a long time coming for the brand, whose e-commerce setup has lately felt a bit stale in comparison to department stores’ sites and other online retailers, many of whom carry Coach bags. This new, shopper-friendly design definitely puts the brand on the right track, but it also made us wonder – why do so many designers have such terrible websites?

As someone who spends a fair portion of her life visiting the various online outposts of brands both low and high, I can say with confidence that very, very few of them get it right. Some of the biggest brands in the world make it incredibly difficult to find information on a particular product, and even when it’s there, it’s often hidden behind walls of buggy flash graphics, non-intuitive menus and lots of information about things like the brand’s latest ad campaigns, which most shoppers don’t care about at all. As beautiful as the new season’s supermodel of choice may be, I certainly didn’t go to a brand’s website to admire her. If you eventually do find the piece you’re looking for, there’s no guarantee that the images of it will be helpful, the information about it complete or the opportunity to purchase it even available.

I understand that not only do designers have an image to hold up, but they also want to hold on to an air of exclusivity that can be challenging to maintain through the impersonal world of online shopping. Requiring feats of e-strength doesn’t seem to be the best way to keep out the riff-raff, though, and most brands would do well to take a page from Coach. The new site’s big, beautiful images make the products look expensive and desirable, but you also get plenty of angles and a shot of a model holding the bag for reference. Who says pretty can’t be practical? The new site also features street style images by The Sartorialist, images of celebs carrying Coach and the brand’s current campaigns, but none of that content gets in the way of customers easily navigating to the products they’re interested in and becoming more educated about their purchases. You feel like you’re in the world of Coach, but you don’t feel like you’re being imprisoned there, never to return to the regular Internet.

Ball’s in your court, Everyone Who Is Not Coach. (I’m looking at you, Louis Vuitton.) In the meantime, shop the brand new now. New Website Design New Design Results Page

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Guest

    OH MY GOD. As i was reading what was wrong with the other websites in here, the brand that kept popping up in my mind was “Louis Vuitton! Louis Vuitton!”. That site frustrates me to no end. Honestly! Must website navigation be so difficult?

    • AshleyG

      Louis Vuitton was my first though also- I hate their site and I can never find any of the newer items I’m looking for.

      • Faiza

        oh gosh LV was my first thought as well…this website is beyond annoying.

      • Younique Me

        Like you’re reading my mind! Louis Vuitton website is one of the worse!

  • Jillian

    I like that new layout! Why can’t designer sites provide pretty, large photos? I mean, I shop at Reebonz and Mytheresa all the time because the photos are so yummy and the bag info is always available and easy to get to. Brand site should take a page from these sellers.

  • I notice that in most industries, people often consider product and delivery (website, e-commerce, or any other marketing and selling tools) as separate entities. They assume that customers will forgive them for bad UI/UX design, therefore putting heavy weight of investment on designing/making the product, but very light weight (or perhaps 0) investment on website and/or e-commerce. They don’t realize (or choose to ignore) that delivery is just as important as the product itself, and that they can turn some customers away to competing brands because of bad UI/UX.

    • I think that’s largely true, but it still doesn’t explain why there’s such a huge disconnect between an in-store shopping experience and an online shopping experience. Brands seem to understand that “experience,” in and of itself, can be a huge asset – they hire world-famous architects and designers to trick out their retail stores to perfectly represent the face of the company and telegraph luxury and status. That they can’t make the leap from the importance of that experience to the importance of other types of in-brand shopping experiences still baffles me.

      • I guess most brands, especially the old ones, still have the old way of thinking. To them, portraying the brand image through physical experience at retail stores and mega show at runways are far more important than the online presence. And you are right, it is such a disconnect way of thinking in today’s situation where a lot of people are doing their shopping online. They slowly realize how important it is for both physical and online experience to go hand-in-hand, but the progress could have been quicken by 5x.

  • kate

    Websites are probably lousy for the shopper because the website designers aren’t really the end users like us and don’t really understand what we need or want

  • omg, they FINALLY let you find a permalink to their individual items! It’s about time

  • also a big pet peeve of mine is having to watch a video and listen to weird music before i can even get to the navigation. Take that crap off!

  • Kim

    I am a huge fan of Coach and am loving their new site. Finally, a real human carrying the bag and not a headless, leggless, armless mannequin that only displays the bag being worn crossbody!

    Truth be told, I have actually shut my computer off and walked away once when I was trying to get info on a Louis Vuitton bag I was considering because their website was so infuriating to deal with. This goes to show that there is always room for improvement, even with the “big names”.

  • Claire

    The Proenza Schouler site is pathetic!

  • Debra

    It would be nice to know the human’s height though.

  • Jennie M.

    The hard to navigate sites and/or hardly no online stock: Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Versace (just started to improve) and Dolce&Gabbana (super confusing)…and that’s just a small hand full….I find that Gucci by far has the best and easiest site to navigate threw and Valentino is ok not much stock when it comes to bags :-s

    • Fendi just got a redesign a couple of days ago that is a significant improvement. Maybe some brands are waking up.

  • ghettoe

    My problem with a lot of these sites.

    1. Some of them take way too long to load. For instance, the LV website to me is quite simple and nice but only safe to browse at home. It’s severely slow at school hence I can only browse the site at home. This applies to a lot of brands. Especially Bottega Veneta.

    2. The YSL website is laughable. It doesn’t feel simple, it feels lazy and again takes way too long to load.

  • ericadr

    my biggest pet peeve is when they don’t show a model holding the bags. it gives the dimensions in inches, but who can imagine what that translates to physically? I could get out my ruler, but it makes all the difference in the world to see a model holding it, even if it’s just a mannequin.

  • Tanya

    My Pet peeve is not being able to right click so I can have numerous windows open to compare and shop. Coach infuriates me and takes forever to load, when hitting the back button. Yes, there needs to be a model holding the purse, but most importantly is the shoulder strap dimensions drop, and the depth of the purse. We know what we want in purse, but need a lot of pictures and documentation to secure our buying decision.