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Having already opened a number of stores, US electronics retailer Best Buy launched its first transactional website in the UK last week.
I've been trying the new site out...
The homepage crams a lot in but is still easy to scan and navigate around. As well as featured products and special offers, there are some useful links under the 'Inspiration & Advice' heading:
The community section of the site is also clearly promoted, which is not always the case on e-commerce sites. It offers forums and product reviews, while links to Best Buy's social media profiles are easy to find.
Site search and navigation
Customers can access various product categories via the tabbed navigation. The drop-downs are OK, but the small text is difficult to select on an iPad.
The site search works well, dealing with misspellings and suggests sensible and relevant alternatives, while options are provided to narrow the number of results shown.
Best Buy has done the filtered navigation well: there are plenty of options to limit the scope of product searches and narrow the selection by brand, price or product feature so customers can end up with a manageable selection of results.
Adding the number of matching products for each filter type helps to narrow their selections without running the risk of returning no matching products at all. Also important is the fact that filters can be removed individually if customers need to backtrack.
One slight issue is that, on some items, the category heading and featured products are pushing the selected products below the fold:
Like several other sites, such as WHSmith and Woolworths, the gaming section has been outsourced to The Hut, which means that this product area has a separate shopping basket and checkout. This is a potential area of confusion for shoppers, but Best Buy does at least explain this clearly in a lightbox when customers click the gaming tab:
Unlike some other sites, it is made clear that a third party operates the site, and also reassures customers that any items will remain in their Best Buy basket for when they return.
The product pages aren't short on detail. Shoppers are given as much information as possible about products with a full product description and a list of technical specifications, though there are no customer reviews (yet).
The product pages link to the forum section, which would be a good idea if the product on the page was discussed. However, the topics discussed are mainly irrelevant to the Sony laptop on the page so I'm not sure how useful they will be.
Elsewhere on the page, cross-selling options are good, with relevant accessories and software displayed, while calls to action are clear:
Registration isn't compulsory; all users need to do is to enter an email address to enter the checkout, and creating an account comes later in the process.
This is a good way to approach the issue, as it removes any barrier to purchase while making it easy for customers to register if they want to. Further on in the process, Best Buy sets out reasons why customers should register; order tracking, promotions etc.
The checkout has been enclosed, and key information on delivery and returns is displayed throughout, including various security logos.
I like the way that Best Buy handles the delivery options within the checkout. A grid showing the days that items can be delivered, alongside charges for each day, so that customers can choose which day items are delivered. This information is also available on product pages so customers don't have to go this far to find out.
The Best Buy website contains some good examples of e-commerce best practice; product pages contain plenty of information to help customers decide on a product; there are clear contact options throughout the site, and the checkout process has been enlcosed to help shoppers to focus on the purchase.