Thanks to the collapse of Woolworth's wholesale arm EUK, retailer Zavvi was forced to suspend much of its web sales earlier this week.

Chris Lake criticised Zavvi on this blog for the way in which it handled this news online, just putting a message on the homepage and leaving the rest of the site as it was.

Having just had a look at the Zavvi website, it seems someone at the company has taken note, as there has been a big improvement..

The homepage message is a little clearer now, and assures customers that the website 'still has a limited range of DVDs, music and games on sale', which is  better than the vague message about 'unable to guarantee availability' placed on the site on Monday.

One big problem was that, though customers accessing the site via the homepage would see this message, visitors arriving via search engines may well bypass it.

This meant that users were able to place an item in the basket, register and start the checkout process before finding out that it was unavailable, a source of frustration for potential customers.

The message in now on display throughout the site and, better still, out of stock items, such as this Will Young CD, have no 'add to basket' button on the product page.

Also, products that are in stock are given prominent promotion throughout the site, so users can browse through them:

The loss of such a key supplier at this time of year is a massive blow for Zavvi, but at least it looks like it may salvage something from the situation thanks to these improvements.

Related articles:
Online Christmas retail is far from freezing this year
Has retailer Woolworths closed its website?

Graham Charlton

Published 4 December, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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