If you haven’t heard of Lululemon by now, I admire your ability to completely tune out popular culture. The brand, officially known as Lululemon Athletica, was founded in 1998 (around the same time that yoga exploded in the United States) and made a name for itself by selling high-end, yoga-inspired athletic apparel.
More recently, however, Lululemon has become a household name thanks to a recall of its signature black Luon pants, which were found to be unintentionally sheer around March of last year, and the subsequent controversial comments of its founder Chip Wilson. CEO Christine Day announced soon after the controversy that she would be stepping down once a successor was found, and Wilson resigned as chairman of the board six months later.
That brings us to the present, in which former president of TOMS Shoes Laurent Potdevin is the new CEO and Lululemon is facing an uphill battle to reclaim its status as one of the top athletic apparel suppliers around.
With so much going on within the company, we wanted to check out how their SEO and CRO were holding up.
First things first, the homepage currently lives at shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp—optimally, there should be no “home.jsp” attached to the end. We also noticed that various parts of the site are on different subdomains (shop.lululemon.com, info.lululemon.com, blog.lululemon.com, wtc). While that’s not exactly ideal for SEO purposes, it would ultimately be more trouble than it’s worth for a site like Lululemon to transfer everything at this point.
Next, Lululemon’s sitemap does not exist on /sitemap.xml, which is typically the best practice. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have a sitemap at all, but it does mean that it is not in the optimal place for Google’s search crawlers to find it.
Aside from those two more behind-the-scenes things, the site’s category pages would benefit from having more keyword-rich H1 tags.
Overall, this is a well-designed site. It has clear calls to action, great pictures, and a wealth of information. We like that Lululemon provides value to their customers beyond just selling products—it’s also a fairly substantial resource for yoga information, including an active blog and a free, downloadable “om finder” app to find yoga classes near you.
Now, on to the product pages. We can’t overstate the importance of having high-quality product photos, and Lululemon certainly excels in this area. Plus, in addition to close-up, high-resolution images, they also filmed videos of select products in action. Bravo. On the SEO-friendly side of things, we like the amount of written content they’ve included on the product pages as well.
Real customer reviews are another invaluable aspect of a successful ecommerce store, and Lululemon has a ton. They even respond individually to some of their unsatisfied customers.
The only real annoyance we encountered while browsing the site was that the text of the top menu was a little small, and the lack of a clear “home” button made navigating the site a more troublesome than it needs to be.
This is another area where Lululemon knocks it out of the park. They have their own hashtag (#thesweatlife) that’s been used almost 50,000 times on Instagram, and they feature those pictures in a gallery on their website alongside other photos that have been hashtagged with the names of their products, all of which is a fantastic way to cultivate brand loyalty.
Lululemon is also very active on Twitter and Facebook, responding to and interacting with fans and followers regularly. Really, the only thing they seem to be missing in terms of social media is more prominent icon placement on their homepage.