September 10, 2004, 12:00 AM

Circuit City aims for easier shopping with redesigned web site

Because the old CircuitCity.com was getting overloaded with information and features and becoming difficult to navigate, a redesign launched this week makes it easier to find, research and compare more than 1 million items, Circuit City says.

Because the old CircuitCity.com was getting overloaded with information and features and becoming difficult to navigate, a redesign launched this week makes it easier to find, research and compare more than 1 million items, Fiona Dias, president of Circuit City Direct and senior vice president of parent Circuit City Stores Inc., tells Internet Retailer.

“We did a lot of research with customers that indicated our online shopping experience was not good, not intuitive,” Dias says. “We had added a lot of features, but that made the site unwieldy for customers to use. So our goal with the redesign was to make the site easier to use.”

Two of the most important new features are new systems of comparing products and of writing and reading customer reviews, features that focus groups revealed were in high demand, Dias says. While these features could be difficult to find under the old site, they’ve been made more conspicuous on product pages and loaded with additional features.

Shoppers can now view more products in a single comparison, up to five, and information is better organized by categories, such as details on sound and picture quality for TVs. The site now also offers a glossary of technical terms to help shoppers better understand product specifications. And though CircuitCity.com has long offered educational articles on the products it sells, it now provides access to them through a “Click & Learn” feature prominently displayed in the top right section of the home page.

The customer review feature can now be accessed from multiple pages instead of in a single, hard-to-find spot, Dias says. “If you’re on a product page, you can pull up the reviews, and the system will ask if you want to write one,” she says.

Navigation of products was also made easier, Dias says. A shopper looking for digital cameras, for example, can now scroll down lists of hundreds of digital cameras sorted by price, brand or other attributes. “They now have multiple ways to get to the right assortment of products,” she says.

The new site was designed by New York-based R/GA, then developed by BroadVision, Redwood City, CA, on BroadVision’s newest e-commerce platform. CircuitCity.com’s in-house IT staff provided quality assurance.

The new site took about 11 months from conception to launch, though the first five months involved mostly consumer research, Dias says.

 

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