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Q: Improvements of transactional websites ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Improvements of transactional websites
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: tornell-ga
List Price: $80.00
Posted: 12 Jun 2005 03:56 PDT
Expires: 12 Jul 2005 03:56 PDT
Question ID: 532437

I would like to have you list 5 improvements that could be done on
each of the following websites:
Homedepot Supply ( Tools & Hardware Section

The focus should be on a new business customer from mainland US coming
to the website, wanting to purchase a professional tool online.

Dimension that could be considered: product information and selection,
navigation, ordering process, reliability, services/guarantees.


Request for Question Clarification by tox-ga on 14 Jun 2005 00:29 PDT
Hi Tornell,

I just wanted to give you an update on the progress of the answer.  I
have been working on your question since you posted it and so far
completed 3 sites.  I will finish the other two sites and post it by


Clarification of Question by tornell-ga on 14 Jun 2005 00:41 PDT
Thanks a lot! I look forward to the answer! Regards, tornell
Subject: Re: Improvements of transactional websites
Answered By: tox-ga on 14 Jun 2005 14:14 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there,

The following outlines 5 ways to improve each of the five websites on
the list.  If you require clarification on any part of the answer, or
would like me to go into additional detail on a topic, please let me
know and I'd be happy to help you until you are completely satisfied.



?	All the important links / text should be in either primary color
(red / green / blue) ? red / blue ? or darker hues of the primary
color if they can?t be in black.  Bright secondary colors like orange
doesn?t make sense aesthetically and makes it difficult to read.

?	Recognizable brand names should always be shown in pictures with a
brief description preferably on the front page.  Pictures can speak a
thousand words, and can attract customers who weren?t even thinking of
purchasing anything to consider the advertised products.  Consider
pop-up windows if a special promotion is taking place

?	Pricing should always stand out the most on the product information
page along with the product name and the availability.  Customers
should not have to check twice for pricing or the name.  Moreover, the
templates should be fixed so there is enough space between listed

?	When using Adobe Acrobat PDF files for catalogs, make the catalog
downloadable to the user?s computer directly rather than having the
file open in the explorer window.  The latter option can create an
uncomfortable and bothersome browsing experience due to resolution

?	When a certain product is sold out, the customers should be given an
option to get a notification when it will be restocked via e-mail. 
This is easily done through linking the stock database information
with the customer account.  The e-mail should contain the specific
information about the desired product as well as the direct link to
the product page on the website.

>>> Fastenal Products

?	Product page lacks pictures of the described products.  

?	Product search engine is too basic to make refined searches. 
Possible options could include ?search for product ID number? for
returning customers who know exactly what they want or ?search for
manufacturer brand?, etc.

?	Order form should have the prices of the possible shipping options
for the user?s convenience.  It is highly unusual for the users to go
back and forth between the order processing pages just to see the
differing options.  Also, the customer should be able to check the
final pricing before having to input the payment options and

?	Even an internet-savvy users can have problem browsing through a
website when it has so many categories of information which are
further divided into sub sections with diverse product lines.  A
sitemap page explaining each sections of the site should be created
and linked on the main page to make the website more accessible.

?	The main webpage?s space should be better used.  Upper-half of the
front page?s space should not be used for branch location or a single
promotion.  The front page should include more information on specific
products or promotions that is going on at the moment.  Also,
customers  should be able to directly access the catalogue and the
online store from the front page for added convenience.

>>> Homedepot Supply 

?	Information on the front page should be kept in such a way that most
of it fits in a fully expanded browser on the resolution of 1024 x 768
(typical resolution for 17? desktop monitor screen, and 15? laptop

?	The catalogue and order forms have lots of horizontal spaces unused,
while the information displayed on each pages seem too crowded. 
Templates should allow for enough spaces between important information
for better reading of the customers.

?	Each product page should have links to related products.  It is also
recommended that the homepage of the manufacturer to be linked in each
of the product description for added sense of security.

?	Special services such as ?in-stock guarantees? should be openly
advertised in order to attract more customers and to increase the
confidence level.

?	The left menubar doesn?t have any features that allow users to
easily distinguish between each categories.  For example, if user?s on
the online shopping page, which requires him / her to log in, the user
account profile options should stand out.  Usage of different color or
re-arranging the order to highlight the important section are good


?	Frontpage layout appears highly unorganized and has a weak color
scheme.  Stronger and more contrasting color scheme is recommended to
give more distinguishing impression, while allowing better divisions
of content.

?	The links on top right portion of the page should be text links
rather than having representative icons for easier browsing.

?	The inventory listing under the product catalogue pages should
contain the price of each unit.  As it stands now, one must login, add
the items to the basket, then proceed to the checkout page in order to
get the listing.  This doesn?t make for a pleasant shopping.

?	Currently, the site requires the customers to register and login in
order to access online documents that provide technical details of
each products.  If the customer then decides that he / she wants to
place an order after that, the customer is required to register for a
full account if he previously only made the account for the downloads
of online documents.  This process is largely redundant and
unnecessary.  It should be addressed as soon as possible.

?	Often, there are times when certain line of products are recalled
for various reasons ? faulty specification, unfit quality and
sometimes even the yield rate of products.  All of these products are
labeled with different revision labels, and sometimes have key
differences with their predecessors that can make the product unusable
in certain instances. Information of such product recall and revision
history should be kept on the website to be accessed readily.

>>> Hardware & Tools section

?	Currently, the directory listing under the Hardware & Tools Section
is not as flexible and hard to browse through as there are too many
subcategories.  A better and more advanced search engine is required
for better access to the information on the site.

?	Search options should include options on how to sort the search
result according to the user?s preference, rather than relying purely
on the automated scripts.

?	?Lowest price guarantee? along with other special promotion features
should be advertised with more detail and distinction. Currently, the
front page and other product listing pages have too much information
with varying topics to distract the customers away from such
advertisements.  Rebalancing the text and image load on each page
should be considered for optimal browsing experience.

?	Customer review and feedbacks on each product page is a beneficial
feature as long as the content of the posts are kept in check
vigorously in terms of quality.  Unprofessional reviews with poor
voice can often lead the users to believe the testimonials were made
up, or doesn?t hold enough credit to influence their purchasing

?	Ecosystem preservation is an increasingly important issue.
Highlighting environmental friendly products could further boost the
seller?s image.

Request for Answer Clarification by tornell-ga on 14 Jun 2005 14:41 PDT
Thanks for a very good answer. In the next couple of days I will dig
into your proposals and see what I think myself. Maybe some
clarifications are needed then as well.

For now just one question: With all this insight, what is your background?

Request for Answer Clarification by tornell-ga on 14 Jun 2005 14:46 PDT
Hint: I have listed a separate question for you (ID 533328). I would
be great if you could take that one on as well!

Clarification of Answer by tox-ga on 14 Jun 2005 20:06 PDT
Hi Tornell,

Thank you for your kind words.  I used to be a web designer/programmer
and then worked as a web consultant / administrator for larger network
sites.  With these types of questions, I also gather opinions of
personal contacts who are currently professional web designers.

I will look into the other question right away.


Request for Answer Clarification by tornell-ga on 15 Jun 2005 14:35 PDT
First clarification! You mention the following:

"Often, there are times when certain line of products are recalled
for various reasons ? faulty specification, unfit quality and
sometimes even the yield rate of products.  All of these products are
labeled with different revision labels, and sometimes have key
differences with their predecessors that can make the product unusable
in certain instances. Information of such product recall and revision
history should be kept on the website to be accessed readily."

Do you have any examples of web sites that have implemented this?


Clarification of Answer by tox-ga on 19 Jun 2005 11:21 PDT
Hi there,

The website that you mentioned on the other question, BOSCH Tools is an example:

tornell-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great and fast answer!

There are no comments at this time.

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