The results are finally in! Three websites, Brothermall, Epson and Dell, have been reviewed based on their ability to advice which printer model would be able to best meet their customer’s needs, provide information regarding their products and services, purchasing products over their website and uniqueness in the features offered.
Meeting Customer’s Needs
BrotherMall: The website of BrotherMall.com provides a wide range of inkjet, laser and multifunction printers. The information given by Brothermall for each of the printer models available is short yet able to provide information about the printer model that the customer is looking for. Unfortunately, the printer models shown in the Brothermall website have been grouped rather broadly. In order for a customer to find which printer model would serve his or her needs, the customer would need to go through every printer model to make his or her decision.
Epson: In the case of Epson’s website Epson.com, the printer models have been grouped based on what the primary printer function that the customer is looking for. Once a customer clicks this link from a menu in Epson’s homepage, he or she is then brought to a page that would further narrow down his or her search. From here, he or she is taken to a list of Epson printers that would match his or her needs. But this would only go as far as printer models. Other products such as the Epson.com product line for their compact photo printers, the customer would need to check each and every product to determine which one is best suited for them.
Dell: Among the three, Dell.com takes the lead in this category. When a customer visits the website of Dell, he or she would be immediately presented with a long list of categories. These categories are based on what Dell has considered as the most important need met. In the website of Dell.com, customers can browse through different printer models based on their function, price and printing speed.
Product and Service Information
Brothermall: The website of Brothermall.com contains a customer service page that provides a list of links which aims to answer all the inquiries of a customer. Each link is properly categorized based on what the information is about. Apart from providing commonly asked questions such as shipping terms and conditions and technical inquiries, Brothermall’s website also provides a free download section where a customer can download a warranty form, get a copy of a manual for a specific printer model, inquiring about the status of products purchased and information on how to properly dispose of used ink and toner cartridges. In all of the pages of these links, Brother included their contact information including their office hours.
Epson: The upside to the website of Epson.com is that it provides tips on how to use the different products offered in their website to create great professional-looking projects. It also provides comprehensive information on the positive points of each of the products highlighted in the different tips offered in the website. The downside of this website comes when the customer would need to inquire about some technical information about a particular product. Unlike the two other websites, Epsonusa.com does not provide a page for customers to get this information. Instead, the customer would need to email the company directly on their inquiry and wait for a response from the company’s customer service.
Dell: Once again, Dell beat the two other websites in this category. Not only does Dell.com provide technical and product information on their website, it also provides resource articles as to how the products offered in Dellcom would be able to assist budding business entrepreneurs kick start their business. In the event that the customer is not able to locate the information he or she is looking for, there is no need to email the company’s customer service and wait for a response. Dell’s website has a live chat feature that allows customers to get the answers they are looking for on a real-time basis.
Brothermall: Although the interface used by Brother.com for a customer to make a purchase is easy, you are required to first sign up for an account before making a purchase. After you have signed up, the purchasing process is relatively easy because all of your information has already been included when you sign up for the membership. But the idea of waiting for your account to be activated and the process of verifying your account information can be rather disheartening on the part of some customers. One thing good about the website in terms of purchasing products is that it provides the most comprehensive information in terms of shipping, return and exchange policies.
Epson: In the case of the website of Epsonusa, purchasing is relatively simple and straight to the point. There is no need to sign up for an account before making a purchase. However, additional fees and charges are written in extremely small text making it rather difficult to read and understand. The good thing about this is that Epson provides a separate link to allow customers to review all the terms and condition before making a purchase. The straightforward purchasing feature offered by Epson’s website does give it the lead in this category.
Dell: Shopping in Dell’s online store proved to be the most frustrating among the three. While the interface is just as direct as the other two websites, the downside is that there is no option for you to override the "Customize It" option. In short, before you are able to make a purchase, especially if you are planning to purchase a printer online, you are required to add on other products along with it at Dell.com. While this does provide a relatively big discount than purchasing these products separately, the website in effect forces the customer to buy products that they do not feel they need or do not have the budget for.
Brothermall: Brothermall.com strongest feature is that apart from offering special discounts and free shipping on selected products, it also offers customers a chance to win up to $1000. This sweepstake is open to all and no purchase is required to join. Another plus factor on the website is its special offers page. Here, customers are able to avail of the latest discounts as well as avail of free items along with their purchases.
Epson: One of the plus factors of the website of Epson.com is that it offers rebates on purchases that are made online. Rebates range from $50 to as much as $3000. Another feature of the website is the reorder list. Previous customers are able to place an order for products that they have previously purchase with ease. This saves the customer time in having to do the entire purchasing process from the beginning. On top of this, Epson also offers customers a chance to help save the environment. Through its recycling program, customers are given a coupon for every piece of Epson equipment that they send for recycling which they can use on their next purchase.
Dell: Apart from the online chat feature, Dell’s website, Dell.com, has a number of different features that have been proven useful for customers. Some of these features are tips and resource materials on starting your own business, tips on what to look for in certain computer equipment depending on your need, resource materials on different software programs such as Microsoft Vista and assistance on improving one’s credit line.
And the Winner Is…
Of the three websites, Dell has proven to be the best in catering to all the needs of its customer. While shopping online did minimize its standing, it had nonetheless exceeded expectations in terms of providing information and resource materials to customers making them able to choose the perfect printer for them.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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