Best Buy and Circuit know that the better their web sites are, the more sales will increase. Both are in a battle to ensure, especially during the holiday season, that customers can buy, buy, buy from their web sites. I would HIGHLY suggest that you analyze how they are improving their web sites – as a TOOL to increase revenue.
USA Today writes Alan McCollough, chief executive of Circuit City Stores, is relying heavily on Circuit City’s Internet prowess to revive sales and woo shoppers. The company recently overhauled its Web site, tripling the number of products available for sale to more than 1 million. It is also offering shoppers a “seamless” buying experience by closely linking marketing efforts and providing similar signage and product information in stores.
Although online sales are still a small part of the company’s total revenue, they are growing fast and becoming more critical to Circuit City and its rivals. This year, total Internet sales of electronics are expected to rise 32% to $7.5 billion, slightly faster than the rate of all retail sales online, according to a Shop.org and Forrester Research report.
The study also found that sales of consumer electronics are more likely to migrate to the Web than those of other large retail categories, such as music and videos. In 2004, about 12% of all consumer electronics sales are expected to go online, compared with less than 5% of the entire Internet marketplace.
Circuit City competitor, Best Buy brought in one of the industry’s top guns, Sam Taylor, who immediately went to work on a Web store that some critics say has been the retailer’s weak point.
Taylor, known for his work on Lands’ End’s pioneering Web site, streamlined the site’s check-out process and made other improvements to the BestBuy.com’s search engine and navigation. Asked what he thought of CircuitCity.com, Taylor said:
“There are three competitors we talk about: Wal-Mart, Dell and Amazon. I’ll just leave it at that.”
According to an August survey by Keynote Systems, which measures Web site performance, customers indicated they were much more likely to purchase from CircuitCity.com than BestBuy.com. They gave Circuit City high marks for simplifying the search, navigation and checkout processes while complaining that Best Buy’s site made browsing and buying difficult.