Best Buy

Best Buy: Quick Click

Best Buy is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To stay in business so long and compete with online retail giants such as Amazon, Best Buy must be providing a user friendly web store. This Quick Click investigates Best Buy’s website to see if it has unique features contributing to the company’s continued success.

Tasks:
– Find a 2015 model Macbook Pro
– Learn details about return policy
– Find daily deals
– Locate a nearby store

Task 1:

Path Followed:
I immediately resorted to the search bar for this task and entered ‘MacBook Pro 2015’. Although there was a message that no matches were found, there were 46 items displayed.

results
Search Results

Since my first attempt was unsuccessful, I navigated to the Best Buy outlet section and selected the laptop category. After filtering by brand I saw that some of the results indicated that they were versions of the latest model. This would be helpful if I was looking for a refurbished version of the most recent model, but did not help me with my goal of finding a 2015 version.

latest model
Latest Model Labeling

I clicked on one of the results and had to use Apple’s website to verify that the model number corresponded to a 2015 version of the laptop. By chance I correctly selected a 2015 model even though there was no sign in the technical details that it was an older product.

Observations:
– After looking closer at the results from the original search, one of the listings was a 2015 model MacBook Pro, but there was no indication on the product page or listing. This is could be dangerous as a customer may accidentally buy the previous year’s model without realizing it.
– There should be an indication of the laptop’s release year other than the model number

Task 2:

Path Followed:
I originally hovered over the ‘Services’ header, but there were no links related to return policies.

Services Sub-menu
Services Sub-menu

At the bottom of the page under an ‘Order and Returns’ header I followed a link to view the ‘Return & Exchange Promise’. This lead to a page with illustrations and detailed information about returning or exchanging items.

Observations:
– The return policy link could have been better located under the ‘Support’ sub-menu header
– The ‘Return & Exchange Promise’ page had tables with lots of relevant information related to special considerations for different types of purchases. Having the information in one spot could save a user the frustration of navigating to multiple pages.

Task 3:

Path Followed:
Hovering over the ‘Deals’ header revealed options for both the ‘Deal of the Day’ and ‘Hottest Deals’. Each menu item had explanatory sub-text, but the difference between the two links is not fully clear. For example, can a deal of the day also be a hot deal?

Deals Menu
Deals Menu

Ignoring this issue, clicking on the ‘Deal of the Day’ link completed the task because it displayed special limited time sales that change each day.

Observations:
– The difference between ‘Deal of the Day’ and ‘Hottest Deals’ could be clarified by better sub-text

Task 4:

Path Followed:
I immediately clicked on the ‘Store Locator’ link and entered my zip code in a search form. Multiple results appeared in a scrollable list format accompanied by a map in a similar layout as Google maps. Clicking on different options in the results list updated the map to show the selected store location.

Observations:
– If users are familiar with Google maps’ interface the store locator page will be intuitive to use
– Although there is an option for the website to ‘Use My Current Location’ if a user’s browser does not allow websites to use location data they will see a warning message

Conclusions:
Best Buy’s website follows many design patterns of other online retail stores and is mostly successful at providing a user friendly experience. The website could use more precise language in search results and sub-headers, but overall it is simple to navigate on the site. As consumers increasingly use the internet to buy products Best Buy will have to continually improve their website. In the future the company may consider adding location and store based features that assist customers who access the website while in stores. With iterative improvements to the website and stores Best Buy may be around for another 50 years.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂

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