Offering highly competitive prices in a crowded marketplace, Outpost.com ranked No. 1 in the Computing category of the first ever Forrester PowerRankings announced today by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Forrester PowerRankings combine survey data from online consumers, rigorous shopping-experience tests, and unbiased expert analysis to provide objective rankings of the leading eCommerce sites. The companies following Outpost.com include Beyond.com, BUY.COM, CDW, egghead.com, Micro Warehouse, Dell, PC Connection, Office Depot, and TigerDirect.
High marks across most scoring areas earn Outpost.com the leading position. Customers are most attracted to the company’s low prices, six clicks to purchase, and free overnight shipping. Although Outpost.com’s customer service scores were hampered due to a slow response to email inquires, customers appreciate the site’s efficient checkout procedures.
With multiple navigation options, a quick checkout process, and buyers guides, Beyond.com captured second place. BUY.COM ranks third with good prices supported by guaranteed price matching as well as rapid checkouts. In addition, BUY.COM customers appreciate the availability of order and inventory information. CDW ranks fourth, displaying innovative pop-up menus for easy navigation, product reviews, and side-by-side product comparisons. Despite poor customer service marks and minimal features, egghead.com still made the top five with impressive transaction functionality.
“Outpost.com and Beyond.com lead with good prices and easy checkout,” said David M. Cooperstein, Consumer eCommerce research director at Forrester Research. “The bargain seeker, who is not particularly concerned with ease-of-use, will know to visit BUY.COM. Based on various criteria, shoppers will easily be able to find the site that is right for them.”
None of the remaining five sites stood out in more than one scoring bracket. Micro Warehouse ranked six, combining average features and content and offering limited navigation options. Brand leader Dell has a strong presence in the PC market, but it trails behind in software and peripherals and earned a seven. Although PC Connection placed first in customer service, low overall scores resulted in a rank of eight. Office Depot came in nine, with limited navigation and site failure, and TigerDirect came up last, with limited product information and inaccurate order information.
Forrester PowerRankings use consumer survey data from Greenfield Online’s 400,000-person online panel to identify the most popular eCommerce sites. The online shopping experience for each site is then evaluated by a team of Forrester shoppers who perform a series of rigorous tests in eight areas. The Forrester shoppers’ experience and consumer data are then synthesized to generate an overall PowerRanking.
Forrester PowerRankings are currently available for online brokerages and seven major retail categories: Apparel; Books, Music, & Video; Computing; General Merchandise; Health; Flowers; and Toys & Games. Forrester plans to add more categories to PowerRankings in the weeks ahead. Additional information about each of the categories, including a complete set of rankings and scores, can be found at the PowerRankings Web site — http://powerrankings.forrester.com.