Search for Products that Have been Discontinued

14 June 2015  |  Essili

Searching for a favourite style nightie, bikini or bra set can sometimes be tough if it is a style that has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

In a bricks and mortar shop a discontinued item just disappears but online there is often a trail of links leading to a product that is no longer on a web site. As part of keeping a site tidy and up to date discontinued products are taken down and the website has the choice of redirecting the discontinued product page to a similar product page or leave it to generate what is called a 404 error message. Some retailers even create a custom 404 page containing an apology for the missing content and other useful information. In fact we do this as it is helpful and to redirect to a similar product may incur the wrath of Google who could consider the redirection unhelpful to the customer.

In truth, neither of these options is ideal. If you are searching for a particular style, landing on a page with a similar but not the same product without any explanation is confusing and frustrating. The custom 404 page is not a bad solution, but in a fast changing market or on a long established retailer like Essili the number of discontinued products resulting in a 404 page can be large and the information, even on a custom 404 page, too general to be of any real use to someone desperately seeking a specific product. 

On our old site, Ever-so-Sexy, we had started an archive but it was not really a good solution to the problem. As part of the rebranding of Ever-so-sexy we have been looking for solutions and improvements for all areas, discontinued products included.

In our view, customers looking for a specific garment that has gone obsolete need the following information:

  • The date that the garment was discontinued. This is a good measure of whether it is likely to be available anywhere else on the web. The older the discontinue date is the more likely that residual stock in the network will have been sold.
  • Possible alternative garments - plus a link to the suggested alternative.

After some thought we decided that the Blog would be the best way to pass this information on. So on the Essili Blog we are creating a discontinued products category so we can post news of products as either we or the manufacturers discontinue them. The Blog posts are dated and so they provide the necessary timeline and we will also provide information about possible alternatives when they are available.

We hope that you will find this new section on our Blog really helpful.

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