Everyone is talking about the challenges that e-commerce present to channel partners the world over. In India, more and more channel partners are gearing up to leverage their core competencies with the benefits that the Net offers. While many have already launched their web sites, others are waiting in the wings.
Those setting up their web sites today have one advantage that the early starters probably did not have. The freshers are in a position to learn from the existing web sites and can therefore avoid making the past mistakes. This helps them to improve the quality of their sites and make it more user-friendly. Here are some sites that have managed to do just this. You can improvise on these ideas while setting up your own web site.
Allied Digital Services Pvt Ltd specializes in computer and data communication products. It is a pleasant experience to visit this intelligently and professionally created web site.
The best thing about this site is that it does a lot of virtual hand-holding for customers. It guides the end-user to taking the right decision before purchasing a new PC through the ‘Buyer’s Guide’ link. The ‘Networking’ segment gives information on networking services and its products. End-users can scan the various services and support options that the company provides under the ‘Services’ and ‘Support’ sections respectively.
The company has created various links wherein it mentions the various awards and achievements it has achieved since its inception. So you have segments like ‘Quality Standards,’ ‘Clients,’ ‘Awards’ and ‘International tie-ups’. There are not many users who would want to go through numerous links that glorify the company. Instead what Allied Digital can do is club all these segments under a modest ‘Company Profile’ section with a crisp format, which might make better reading.
The most appealing segment is ‘Build Your PC’ which is graphically well designed. Here the customer gets to see the configured Celeron and Pentium computers with the price tags. One can also customize the PC according to personal requirement and budget by just clicking onto ‘Customize and Price’. In the same segment you will find terms and conditions of ordering, delivery and mode of payment. Links like ‘FAQs’ and ‘Products’ are still under construction.
Basically a well-constructed site where nothing much seems to be missing as far as online computer selling goes except that the site says the payment has to be 100 percent advance without saying in which mode the payment has to be made.
RP Tech is a distributor of Logitech, CNet, Asus, Actima, Sony, Acer, Prolink and many other products. The company also boasts of a wide network of dealers across the country. However for such a well-known name, the company’s site
www.rptechindia.com could do with some re-designing.
To start off, there are two home pages on the site which is very confusing. Also, one set of product information is repeated under three different segments, namely, ‘Products,’ ‘Brand logos’ on the home page and in the ‘Product Range,’ on their online portal
http://rptech.pinkline.net, which is yet another site by itself!
But what is really surprising is that prices of various products are missing in these links. This is one vital piece of information that often helps in clinching online deals.
There is another category in the online portal links – ‘Build a Computer’ section where one has to choose components like cabinets, display cards, gaming devices, motherboards, hard disks, printers etc and match them for the necessary configuration requirements. Despite having a variety of brands under its belts, not all products are mentioned here, which gives the user limited choice.
RP Tech has hit on the best online method to garner database. Customers have to register themselves with the site to benefit from categories such as ‘Running Schemes’ and ‘View Shopping Cart’ sections. However, certain links like ‘Branches’ and ‘Partner Us’ segments were not accessible.
RP Tech site could become much sought after if certain changes are brought about. For starters, a site guide could make surfing easier for visitors. Besides, there is a need for a link that could throw some light on ordering procedure, delivery time, servicing facilities and mode of payment etc. This could be in the form of
www.compunics.com is a complete online shop of the Compunics Group of Companies catering to both the corporate sector as well as individual IT enthusiasts. They supply a wide range of computers and peripherals. Acknowledging the fact that IT and communication technologies are converging, they have also ventured into marketing mobile phones.
The site lists products under various categories. So you have segments like ‘Home Computers,’ Office Computers,’ ‘Inkjet Printers,’ ‘Laser Printers,’ ‘Scanners,’ ‘Plotters,’ ‘Storage Products,’ ‘Internet Services,’ ‘Dot Matrix,’ ‘Modems,’ ‘Ink Cartridges,’ ‘Toner Cartridges,’ ‘Notebooks,’ ‘Software,’ ‘CD Titles,’ ‘Computer Parts,’ ‘Digital Cameras’ and ‘Cellular Phones.’ All these sections have separate links of each brand of products giving an insight on their configurations and cost details.
While these help users who are looking for a specific product category, some of the segments could be clubbed together. So segments like ‘Home Computers,’ Office Computers’ and ‘Notebooks’ can be put down in one category called ‘PC’. Similarly all the printers could be under a single header. Information on ordering procedure and payment can be attained from the ‘Questions’ link.
Tip of the fortnight
Most sites provide costs only in Indian currency. But its essential that the products’ cost is also given in foreign currency (preferably in US$) on every online shop. This is largely because the Internet is a global medium which can attract buyers from various parts of the world.
Jasmina Khanna is a freelance writer and can be contacted at