nicolas leroy

Pronto introduces new brands

July 09, 2009

Long time I hadn’t visited Since my last visit (mid-08?), the look&feel of the homepage has not changed that much, but surprise, the category pages have a brand new layout. Also, the site structure has completely changed, being now split into 4 different brands. This change has been introduced in June 09 according to this press release:

Pronto is excited to announce the launch of three unique new brands under the Pronto umbrella. On June 18th,, and will be introduced to the over 14 million consumers shopping on today.

What does this mean to your Pronto Merchant Solutions program? Initially, the launch of these new brands is predominantly a change to the look and feel of existing categories on Pronto. The underlying search functionality and data will not be changing. As a result, you should not expect any material changes in your click volume or click quality. Over time, however, we hope that the more tailored consumer experience will significantly increase the qualified traffic Pronto drives to retailers like you.

Some details below…

New layout for categories

I must say, I love it!

In fact, seeing and interacting with this new design makes me think of this article “web design is 95% typography” where the author explains “95% of the information on the web is written language […] A great web designer knows how to work with text not just as content, he treats text as a user interface”, mentioning Google, craiglist, flickr… as examples. I think Pronto has greatly applied this idea of “text as a user interface” in this redesign.

2009-07-05_2037 by you.

New site structure

The site is the starting point of the Pronto experience, but quite quickly you are redirected to one of the following domains:

Those three sites sport a similar but slighty different design, an approach that has been retained by the new AOL Shopping launched in April, and that I find really interesting as those universes target different kind of people.

I don’t know what to think about having new site domains. I imagine it has been driven by SEO considerations (restart indexation from scratch to clean up Google index? link building between domains? get reasonable number of URLs per domain?), but it is not neutral from a branding perspective and also for the search experience…

Each site acts as a silo in terms of search index. Searching for “ipod” on ProntoTech logically brings all the Apple products, while performing the same search on ProntoHome brings Ipod accessories related to home stuff (i.e: desk lamp with Ipod dock) but no link to ProntoTech. Doing the “ipod” search on the main site redirects to ProntoTech.

There are also some weirdies: searching for “levis 501” on the main site redirects to the ProntoStyle universe, while searching for “red sneakers” brings a search result page with the “classic” Pronto style. Also, some categories that don’t fit in the new universes are still hosted on the main Pronto site (i.e: baby categories). Quite confusing, but hopefully, those issues will be fixed in the near future…

Overall, a lot of interesting ideas in those changes :)

2009-07-05_2038 by you.

1 commentaire

Tom Cortese
on Jul 27, 2009 / 6pm
Thank you for the detailed review of our new brands. Keep an eye on the sites. We think we have a bunch of great new stuff coming down the pipeline straight through the end of the year!
Tom...Pronto's product guy