The U.S. online shopping world's biggest day is here, but will strong web sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving cut into Cyber Monday's take?
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Making shopping for complex products simple is the aim at Shopping.HP.com, the e-commerce site of computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. “Customers are never more than three clicks from the product they want,” says Suresh Subramanian, vice president and general manager of HP Direct. Home page navigation has been enhanced to guide shoppers. Hover over the Laptop tab and a box appears showing images of portable PCs with notes about which ones are for “everyday computing” versus “high performance.” Product pages are packed with information, including tabs for access to specs, customer reviews and warranties. Many include videos. The page also shows recently viewed items so shoppers can quickly go back. A new Express Store offers ready-to-ship items that can be delivered the next morning.
Considering Newegg Inc.’s core customer base of I.T. experts-presumably versed in knowing what makes a great web site-it’s easy to see why it excels at helping shoppers quickly find what they need and complete a purchase. Newegg’s information-heavy yet uncluttered home page is an easy jumping-off point for the retailer’s broad range of computer and consumer electronics products, and at the same time it surveys shoppers for what they’d like to see online. In a test by Gomez Inc. of how long it takes shoppers to find, configure and purchase products on retail web sites, Newegg beat the average time by better than half. To top it off, Newegg in 2009 became the first retail site to receive the National Federation for the Blind’s gold-level certification for being accessible to blind people.
Manufacturer Philips Elec-tronics N.V. launched a new shopping site last year that showcases all its products, aiming to live up to its slogan of “sense and simplicity,” says David Zanvettor, e-commerce and digital marketing leader for Philips’ North American consumer products unit. The site has a clean, contemporary feel, and product pages provide detailed specifications. A compare feature lets visitors see the specs of several products side by side. There are also brand-specific features, including subscriptions for refillable products, such as brush heads for electric toothbrushes. Nor was design ignored. Behind the product image on the home page hero shot recently were gently floating bubbles and undulating wave lines. “We wanted the front page to really grab the consumer,” Zanvettor says.