Since I covered an example of a bad B2C website last week, let’s take a look at a couple of good B2C websites and what makes them good.
- L.L.Bean – This site has been one of my favorite consumer websites for several years. Why? Because I can always find what I’m looking for. If I need help there are multiple different ways to contact the company: email, phone, online chat which are clear from every single page. I can find products by their catalog number, by searching, by browsing (in multiple categories). Browsing allows the ability to narrow your choices by several different types of information (dependent on what you’re looking at) – for example, on comfort fleece, I can narrow my choices by department, attributes, price and colors. When I add an item into my shopping bag, I can label it with different names if I have items going to different people and during checkout it will ask me for different addresses and gift card information. I also can save items in my bag for later if I’m considering different items or shopping around. They have details on every product including the ability to zoom in to see more detail. L.L. Bean is a catalog company so if they lose a visitor off their site, they’ve lost a sale. You can’t get much more customer-centric.
- Lands End – Also a catalog company, Lands End has many of the same functions as the L.L. Bean website (they compete on many of the same items). I think their display of items is somewhat better since they offer several different views of each product and offer recommendations on how well something will fit you (based on your personal measurements). They also offer the same great customer service options and abilities as far as finding products.
Obviously eCommerce sites are going to be very different than other B2C websites and different from most B2B websites, but they are very good at being customer-centric since they must be so to compete. Most B2B websites are also selling products, but often forget to offer good customer service and to think about what their customers want when they are on their website.
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