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B&Q recently launched a standalone next-day delivery service which is designed to compete with retailers such as Screwfix. Problem is, it has also introduced a kind of into / portal page for visitors to choose which B&Q site they want to use.

Click on B&Q's homepage from a search engine, or head straight to diy.com and this is what you will see, and visitors now need to choose from the three options before they can start shopping:

B&Q intro page

These options are: reserve and collect instore, plan and order your kitchen and bathroom, and shop online for next day delivery. Click on one and it will open in a new window, which is both annoying and unnecessary.

However, the only option of the three that does what it says on the tin is the next day delivery option, which takes you to this site, with around 12,000 products which, unless you order after 6pm on a Thursday, will be delivered to you the following day.

The problem with the other two links is that they don't deliver on their promises. Go to the reserve and collect instore option, and you will find plenty of products, like the rattan bed below, that are only available for home delivery, so what's the point?

Likewise, by clicking on the kitchen and bathroom link, you would expect to see just these sorts of products, but instead you get the same page as the reserve and collect link, which means that two of the three descriptions are completely meaningless, and will probably just confuse and annoy customers.

I'm not really in favour of intro / portal pages anyway, as they just add another unnecessary step between clicking on the site and actually beginning to shop.

Tesco is one retailer that has such an entry page, but it at least has enough different departments (Direct, clothing, wine, financial services etc) to justify it. In B&Q's case, I don't see the point, and would like to know the thinking behind it.

Graham Charlton

Published 15 May, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

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BFG 9000

"Compete with Screwfix"? - you know they're the same company right?

TTFN

BFG

about 7 years ago

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Jon Purse

Even odder - they're offering 10% off in-store, but (apparently at least) not online...  Would've thought online would be their most cost effective channel??

about 7 years ago

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Mike Page

The reserve and collect service on the site is pretty useless too.  It looks like the store only reserves items at close of trading.  So even if there was stock when you reserved it the chances are that when you go to pick it up some one else has got there first.  On the couple of occassions I used it (for items with low stock levels) both times I've had wasted trips.  Could be bad service at the branch, but I won't be reserving online again.

Even though B&Q and Screwfix are one and the same (Kingfisher group)  B&Q will have a long way to go to get anywhere close to Screwfix's service.

about 7 years ago

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Anonymous

I like the concept - it helps me to get to the service/offering that I am interested in. 

Where it falls down is oepning a new window and not actually taking me to the choice I've chosen. 

If applied correctly this is the helpful approach that more retailers / multi-proposition organisations should employ.

about 7 years ago

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Christian Sayers, . at .

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Appears to be a clumsy way to bolt on a B&Q re-skinned version of the Screwfix site running on a different domain (just look at the delivery zone map on each site).

There are not even any instant visual differences between the 3 routes resulting in users having to read all the copy to understand what is going on.

about 7 years ago

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