Despite having two Body Shop stores in towns nearby, recently when online, I've found myself compulsively checking the Body Shops online website. Although previously I have always been a fan of going into the Body Shop stores (there was something about the amazing smell and getting to try out all the products using the samples that I couldn't resist), after a few orders from the online store I have become completely converted by this new shopping experience.
Although some people might think that shopping online takes all of the fun out of actually going into a store, there are so many hidden advantages of ordering from the website, apart from just the convenience! Although the stores do often have good promotions on that force me to come in for a quick look, online there are far more, such as, spend £30 online and receive £10 off. The other major advantage I have found is that online you can read customer reviews of new products you want to try before you buy them, to check it is right for you, they even give it a rating out of five so you can easily see the best product and find people with similar skin types to you and what best works for them. Personally, I prefer reading the honest review of a stranger rather than asking a retail assistant in one of the stores and being given advise, I always found I ended up buying why to many products with the assistants promise it would work wonders for my skin, which unfortunately was not always the case.
The site itself is very easy to use and its very well designed, you can either search for your favourite product or find it through categories or the range, if you have a favourite face wash, for example, if you look at what range it is in you can see all of the other products that range offers and the reviews of the as well. The only downside to using the site rather than going into the store that I have found is the cost of the postage, although you can normally get your shopping delivered free if you spend over a certain amount.
I have decided that it is abut time that I told you about one of my favourite websites and that is www.thebodyshop.co.uk
I will begin by saying that, although I love The Body Shop products, they are a bit too expensive for me at normal price so I wait until there is a special offer on before I buy! I am a member of Quidco and always go via their website when I buy from the Body Shop online and receive a further 18% cashback. I also have a Love Your Body Card for 10% off but more about that later.
Anyway let me tell you about the website itself.
The Home Page
When you initially log on to the site the home page appears. This always shows the current special offers together with all the various tabs needed for browsing the site.
Across the very top of the page you have - party at home, find a store, rewards card and values & campaigns.
Just below that there is a horizontal list of tabs which will take you directly to all their various product ranges and these are gifts, bath & body, facial skincare, fragrance, make-up, hair, men's, shop by range, favourites and special offers.
Below that there is a link to register or sign in which gives you the opportunity to register and save your details so you don't have to type everything in each time you shop. Of course if you have a rewards card this is also registered so that the discounts are applied automatically each time you shop online.
At the bottom of the page there are all the usual links to the customer services pages, about us, terms and conditions, contact us etc.
The home page is very user friendly and all the browsing opportunities are self explanatory so I'll just tell you a bit about the site.
Values & Campaigns
This section gives a lot of information about their values and campaigns and it makes very interesting reading.
The Body Shop has always been passionately ethical in all its dealings. None of their products are tested on animals either by the Body Shop or by any of their suppliers and they actively campaign against cosmetic animal testing.
There is a lot of information about their Community Trade initiative, launched in 1987, which was one of the first examples of a fair trade organisation. Briefly this means that they source the best ingredients grown by local farmers often using traditional methods thus helping to preserve their way of life and build a better future for their communities. You can actually discover, via the website, the source of each of the ingredients that they use in their products.
Their current campaigns are aiming to help put an end to child sex trafficking, stopping HIV and putting an end to violence in the home.
As I said earlier there is a wide range of products available on the website and for each one there is a clear picture with zoom facilities, a comprehensive description and a price.
There is also a full list of ingredients including the 'key' ingredients and their sources and instructions for use.
There are also customer reviews of the products and the opportunity for you to post your own review.
I won't go into great detail here as this review would end up being far too long.
The Shopping Basket
Once you have added your choices to your shopping basket you can then view the basket to make sure everything is as it should be before you checkout.
The shopping basket clearly shows what you have chosen - the fragrance, size, the number purchased and the price - and you have the chance to remove or update any items before you go any further.
Discounts are shown at the bottom of the list of purchases and there is also a box at the top of the page in which to type any voucher codes that you may have.
The delivery charges are clearly shown together with any offers of free delivery which kick in if your purchases are at a certain level. This is usually £25 but does vary from time to time - they even offer free delivery on everything on occasions.
The Rewards Card
I have done a full review of the rewards card if you are interested in it. I have had one now for four years and I renew it as soon as it expires as I have been so impressed with it.
It is called the Love Your Body Card and costs £5 per year. For this you get 10% off all purchases either on line or instore plus £5 off a purchase in the month of your birthday - which effectively pays for the cost of your card so anything else is a bonus in my view.
As I said earlier, if you have a Love Your Body card and have registered your details on the site, the 10% discount will automatically be applied to your shopping basket.
Incidentally as a bit of extra information you also get a stamp on your card every time you spend more than £10 in store and after 4 stamps you get an extra £5 off and after 8 stamps you get an extra £10 off. Sadly this does not apply to purchases made online.
Once you click onto the checkout page you will be asked to register or to log into your account.
This is all pretty straightforward as you need to give your name and address so that they know where to send the order. Then you have to give details of your credit or debit card for payment.
The site is secure and I have never had any problems in this respect - in fact I have never had any problems with the site at all.
You will get a conformation e mail pretty much straightaway.
I always opt for the slower free delivery but my parcel always arrives within a few days and there have never been any problems with anything that I have bought from this site.
I use the web site on a regular basis when there are good offers available. If you keep your eyes open you can get some really good deals. For example by taking advantage of a Body Shop offer including purchasing enough to get free postage, using my rewards card, applying a voucher code and going via Quidco I got 200ml body butters for £2.84 each as opposed to the normal price of £12.50 each!
So there you are a web site that is well worth a look.
I have recently become a bit of an online shopping addict since discovering online discount codes (discount codes are issued by the retailer and you type the code in at checkout to give a specified discount on your shopping). I would never usually consider shopping at The Body Shop but they have got to be the number 1 online retailer for discount codes, the most recent one I used was for 50% off as well as free delivery and it worked alongside other current offers meaning overall the toiletries and gifts I bought cost less than what I am usually willing to pay but are much better quality. The wide selection of offers and the frequency of the discount codes definitely makes The Body Shop online an affordable option in comparison to shopping in store.
Thebodyshop.co.uk is a simple, clean website that is very easy to use. I also find it looks colourful and attractive with natural images dotted about to represent the natural elements of their products. The home page usually has several offers displayed with clickable links to the products included in the offers, supposedly to make it easy for you to know what is included in the offer but I have occasionally found that these miss some products out so don't rely solely on this information. All the products are sorted into categories and these are displayed as tabs across the top of the site. There is also information on their reward scheme, store locations, The Body Shop At Home service and information regarding the companies ethical stance. All the information is displayed in an easy to navigate manner and is easy to read an digest.
The downside to shopping online especially when it comes to a cosmetics company is that you can't ask an assistant for help. The body shop have done everything to overcome this by providing clear images of the products alongside clear, concise explanations of the products. For skincare decisions they provide an online questionnaire which proved very useful for me and echoed exactly the guidance I had been given in store. Customer reviews are also provided to help make a decision and so in some respects the advice is better than you would get in store as it impartial.
I have made several orders with thebodyshop.co.uk and have been very impressed with the service. I have received all my goods in excellent condition and well packaged and all within the allotted delivery times, most have even arrived before they were due. The email communication from the company is also good. You receive a prompt order confirmation and an accurate order dispatch notice. I cannot comment on the returns process as I have not yet had need to use it which I think speaks for itself.
Overall I am very impressed with The Body Shop's online service. I would probably not consider shopping in store but I see myself shopping with them online for many years to come.
he retailer and you type the code in at checkout to give a specified discount