High Quality B2C Sites Three Examples Business to consumer websites can be varied and there are quite a few of them in the world but certain examples of B2C websites stand out from amongst the rest due to their approach to the business process. A study of some examples of good B2C websites is important because it helps in understanding why some B2C websites are more successful than others. The first example of such as website is apple. com which is the main website for Apple Inc. and acts as a B2C storefront for the buyers of Apple products.
I feel that apple. com is an example of B2C best practices because it is an inviting website which has great content for buyers of Apple products. While there may be times when the website is trying too much to make a sale, the information it provides and the buying experience is quite easy to understand in comparison to dell. com. On the other hand, the technology used by amazon. com to make recommendations and purchase analysis of previous users comes across as something very special for a B2C website.
Finally, the design and the open approach to sales used by jcpenny. com also get it placed it on my list of websites that have shown best practices for B2C. A Novel Example One of the more unique examples of B2C websites is the website of the company called 0800Handyman. The company is located in London and offers basic handyman services that may be required in the houses located near their base of operations. The website has a rather simple but pleasing design which clearly shows what the company offers such as plumbing services, electrical work as well as decorating and fixing work that may be required in a modern apartment or house.
This is certainly a niche market since the company provides handyman services as an online business for people in London city. The website guides the users towards making a call and getting in touch with live operators who can arrange a visit from a handyman to the house of the customer to perform any required services. The site also makes its email address quite prominent on the inner pages so that a buyer can get in touch with the company over email as a secondary means of communication.
While the image of the handyman traditionally has been something different, the company shows its employees to be wearing corporate uniforms and driving silver colored minis which have been given a paintjob that matches the company colors. I did note that the majority of handymen pictured on the website were indeed, men. Perhaps this is an issue with the diversity of the company or perhaps it is requirement of their image to keep ‘men’ as handymen.
In either case, I would think that having a few females within their group of employees can only help the company’s image and diversity in the long run. B2C Best Practices Galliers and Leidner (2003) note that a website can have a strategic role in improving the profitability and visibility of a company but only if the website is well managed and usable for the customers. These sentiments were also mirrored by Golden (2006) who reports that B2C websites often display some qualities which can be understood as best practices throughout the industry.
In fact, the B2C best practices can be exported to B2B websites in many situations. In this manner, I feel that the first best practice for a B2C website would be to improve its usability and to continually update and maintain its design in order to ensure that the user experience remains a positive one. Undoubtedly there is a lot of competition on the web as it is in the real world and a website which has broken links or a bad design would be unlikely to get many customers walk through the buying decision since their vision of the company’s brand would be quite damaged (Warholic, 2007).
The experience of visiting a bad website can be likened to a visit to a store where the clerks are unhelpful and the items placed for sale are lying about haphazardly without any order or method of locating the thing wanted by the buyer. Secondly, the importance of content cannot be highlighted enough. The right kind of content sends the right message to the buyer that the company has exactly what the buyer is looking for and that the buyer does not have to look any further to locate what s/he wants.
This is very important for those buyers who are seeking specific goods from a specific website but even for general retailers such as Amazon. com, the ability to search for a specific product or a specific group of products is very important. Amazon. com does exactly that with recommendations and suggestions which come up on search results and even when the user is viewing a specific item, similar or complimentary goods may be displayed to them on the same page on the side.
A third best practice would be to have a consistency in design and a consistency in the tone which is presented on the website. For example, Apple. com keeps a similar light hearted yet sales focused tone throughout its website with the use of positive, bright images and language which borders on humorous. Of course the tone changes to become quite serious when it comes to sections such as investor relations or legal disclaimers but for the general consumers, the tone is quite consistent whether the person is interested in buying an iPod or an iBook. Another best practice which is important for B2C websites is ease of use in terms of completing a buying operation.
For example, apple. com allows customers to customize and buy a laptop from them on a page where all the options and upgrades to the laptop are listed on a single page. In my opinion, this makes the process much easier for the individual who is buying a computer from them as opposed to a person who has gone to dell. com to buy a computer where there are many different options and selections to be made including the color of the carrying case a person would like to purchase with the computer.
All these questions have to be answered at dell. com before an individual can put down their credit card number to buy the computer. Finally, the last recommendation which can act as a best practice for a B2C website is customization. While an online retailer may have thousands if not millions of consumers in the virtual world, each customer expects individualized and customized service which is technically quite possible in the online world.
Amazon. com shines in this situation since their customization of recommendations for individuals based on their buying history shows that the company remembers what has been bought or viewed by the customer in the past and this it can predict what other things the customer might enjoy. This is the kind of behavior one would expect from the concierge at a high end hotel who remembers his/her clients as well as their preferences to help them customize their experience.
Of course these five practices are not the only recommendations and ideas which can be given to a B2C website but they can act as a starting point for those websites which seek to improve the user experience and get more visitors to turn into customers. Knowing how competitive the online retail world is, the further development of best practices and the development of online services could make the difference between one website being better than the other since the competition on price alone is all but over for generic commodities.
Word Count: 1,371 Works Cited 0800handyman. co. uk. 2007, ‘Award-winning handyman service for London’, [Online] Available at: http: //www. 0800handyman. co. uk/ Amazon. com. 2007, ‘Amazon. com’, [Online] Available at: http: //www. amazon. com/ Apple. com, 2007, ‘Apple’, [Online] Available at: http: //www. apple. com/ Dell. com. 2007, ‘Dell. com’, [Online] Available at: http: //www. dell. com/ Galliers, R. and Leidner, D. 2003, Strategic Information Management. Butterworth-Heinemann. Golden, M. 2006, ‘B2B Sites Can Learn from B2C Sites’, [Online] Available at: http: //goldenmarketing. typepad. com/weblog/2006/07/what_b2b_sites. html JCPenny. com, 2007, ‘JC Penny’, [Online] Available at: http: //www. jcpenney. com/jcp/default. aspx Warholic, J. 2007, ‘How Do B2B And B2C Use Branding Online? ’, [Online] Available at: http: //pwebs. net/marketing/articles/how_do_b2b_and_b2c_use_branding. htm