Last week I asked list members to take part in a short survey regarding
terms I found while benchmarking e-commerce clothing sites.
The two terms (both used without explanation on www.nordstrom.com) were
'French front shirt' and 'placket shirt'.
The survey had 287 respondents, 40% male and 60% female. Exactly 5 women
(1.7% of respondents), all over 40 years of age, knew for sure what a
French front shirt was, 31 respondents (10.8%, predominantly women) had
a vague idea, while the balance of respondents (87.5%) had no idea.
Plackets faired a little better. 60 respondents (20.9%), again mostly
women over 40, knew what a placket was. 36 respondents (12.5%) had a
vague idea and the rest (66.6%) said 'no'.
So, there you have it, if you want to buy a man's shirt on the Nordstrom
site, you need to be a women over 40<g>.
(I bet you're dying to know now, so here is what these words mean - a
placket is the strip of cloth behind the buttons on a shirt or blouse. A
French front shirt has no placket. Both are discussed in this Wikipedia
article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placket. But the take-away for
e-commerce sites is avoid words that customers do not understand!)