Apple website a poor online experience?

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. macrumors bot

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    #1
  2. Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    There's not much in here about Apple -- just that little list at the top where thay come in above IBM.

    But I would agree. I find their site slow-loading, confusing, clumsy forum interface, poor use of colour for navigation purposes, search a bit picky...
     
  3. macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #3
    I remember back in the day that Apple got some mad props for having a simple and straight forward site. I guess in terms of trying to find the perfect computer for you though, their store isn't the best. I've also noticed that the search function in the Apple Online Store is really bad.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    zulgand04

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    #4
    I find Apples site alot easier to find and use as a educationa user then dells that takes 50 steps just to get what you want then starts to preconfigure things you don't want it to.

    Dell sucks
    Apple good
     
  5. NOV
    macrumors 6502

    NOV

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    #5
    I agree...especially the Dutch localized version of the store is a mess. What disturbs me most is the fact that a lot of items haven't been translated and regularly you'll find bits of all kinds of languages throughout the site.

    Lately I also had a strange experience when I tried to order a blue tooth equipped Mac with a blue tooth mouse/ kb. It came back with a strange message that I couldn't order the specific set up and something was missing. But it left me in the dark about how to correct the order.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #6
    What percentage of the study subjects were Apple users? I bet the most common complaint about Apple's site was this: why can't I buy a windows computer? Dell's site is unbelievably complicated: I find it practically impossible to figure out what computer I'm buying, and what the difference between their various models is. If you know nothing about computers, I suppose it might be satisfying: whatever your budget, we've got a computer for you!
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    #7
    this is stupid

    This is silly.

    #1 Dell is ONLY a store, no one goes there for news and cool info.

    #2 Apple's store is totally different from their normal site

    #3 Anyone ever tried buying something from the Dell store? It's got to be the WORST buying experience I have ever seen. How can it come out on top? Compare it to the Apple store and it's night and day...the choices are easy to see on Apple's site, and all the options make it SO easy to buy something. In the Dell store you get lost on the first page. You have to answer what kind of user you are...what if you are both home and business. Okay, now, wait, there's 8 models to choose from, but they all sort of look the same, now what? Okay, I picked one, but there are 3 pages of options, and some don't make any sense...now what?

    This stuff just makes me shake my head.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    When I read the article before submitting the link, I kept questioning "what metrics?" They never explain anything about their methodology in testing and quantifying what is good and what is poor. If they're saying that Apple doesn't have as many computers from which to choose and that makes a bad experience, I think Dr. Brown should go back to school.

    There are times when I find the Apple site frustrating. They don't provide end-to-end solutions. They don't care about people who already have a computer, in that, they make it difficult to find video cards and other hardware that would be an upgrade. However, if you're buying a computer, it's simpler than most, and that definitely includes Dell's site.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #9
    Maybe the guy who interpreted the results was holding the paper upside down. The actual results show that Apple is second only to IBM and Dell is scraping rock bottom.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

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    #10
    The only things I really find bad about Apple's site is that:
    - search functions sucks!!!!
    - forums are a little messy
    - sometimes hard to detailed information

    Dell is even worse imo.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Dell's page has always struck me as kind of cluttered and confusing -- but part of that is probably just that they have too many models. And it takes too many clicks to get to any info on the damn computers! The Apple page has more useful marketing type stuff and cleaner design so you can find your information, pick a Mac, and buy it.

    IBM really is lousy -- their computers are good, but their website makes it kind of hard to buy one.
     
  12. macrumors member

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    #12
    I totally agree and was very surprised to see Apple at the bottom of the list. I used to try to see what it would cost to pick up a Dell laptop comparable to Apple's laptops, but after configuring one machine for about 10 minutes (only slight exaggeration) I decided I had much better things to do with my time. Dell's site was muchos frastratos in my opinion. Way too many choices for me, but you should see how long it takes me to pick out a deodorant or a tooth brush. :) Also, the overall appearance of Apple's site is so clean and simple, and Dell's is just... ugly. Amazon's isn't too bad though and generally works very efficently.

    Improvements:

    1.) Apple's site could use some work in the discussions, but I haven't yet been to a site that let me search the forums and quickly find just what I'm looking for.

    2.) Put a link to the retail store locations on the online store site. It's on the homepage at the very bottom. A store locator link should be prominently displayed on any online store page.

    l8r

    edit: logic
     
  13. macrumors regular

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    #13
    Dell store take 2

    What has always surprised me about the computer market is that when you are a video professional, or use your Mac for serious heavy duty work and need a beefy machine...trying to go and buy a PC with the same stuff is STILL expensive.

    I decided I probably should add a cheap PC laptop to my collection just so I could test stuff on it. When I started looking, all the cheap laptops had lousy graphics or other missing features. When I finally got what I wanted, it was about the same price as a PowerBook. Maybe apple can't compete in the cheap market where the actual use of the machine is simply for web and games, and the price is what matters for the buyer, but in the pro market, where you really want to get work done, the price difference is gone, and apple's buying experience is MUCH better. I just have to wonder how much dells sales would INCREASE if they overhauled their store and made it more streamlined. It's just a giant mess now.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

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    #14
    I agree, although the apple site is not the fastest, and the search function is terrible.
    I agree that buying a first time computer is a lot easier on the apple site.
    Also, when it comes to custimizing it, it is a lot easier,everything on one page that is directly computer related, and then the add ons (printers, additional softwear) on the next.

    There definetly is way to much on the dell site, I think the problem is that they show specs when they first show the picture of the computer, which is something they could avoid, the only problem is that with apple, the computers are distinctive so you can tell by the picture. Also, on the apple site (edu excluded) they show the prices of the computers so you know what computer you want by your price range.
     
  15. macrumors member

    powermac99

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    #15
    You've gotta be kidding me. The new search tool is so much better than that of any other store. Granted the old one was terrible, bringing up any computer on which you could install software for a search for "Microsoft Office" as the first options (hint: every single current mac), but the new version, which has been live for several months, actually shows Office as the first five options.

    Come on guys, you can't bash the new search, it's much much much better than anything else.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #16
    I have no issues about the Apple Store Online. Buy from there all the time, and why I do: free shipping to Alaska; easy to configure a system; easy steps to purchase from the student store; placing an order is easy, fast email comfirmation, tracking number email; navigation menu at the top appears on all pages for easy navigation. Did I mention easy? :)
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    #17
    I think Apple's site is laid out pretty well. Dell on the other hand just looks thrown together. The store looks like a mess.

    I really don't see how Apple scored so low.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #18
    I bet many people who participated in the study had been to Dell's site before. The numbers who had been to apple's site before would probably be drastically less. I didn't see this accounted for.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

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    #19
    http://search.info.apple.com/?search=Go&lr=lang_en&kword=&q=single user mode

    90 results? Too much for me. But I do agree that the new search function is better than the old one.

    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP...p8FIIRc2TN9UVH2fOAURzQ/0.0.9.1.0.6.11.1.0.0.1

    wtf? Why do I get results for the iMac, when I typed in eMac?
     
  20. macrumors 68020

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    #20
    All relative to instructions and tasks studied

    Interestingly (or not), the "Keynote" group isn't describing how they ranked the various sites, what instructions they gave their users, etc. It appears that the instructions were rather generic, like "Buy a computer with x and y and z", or perhaps even lethally specific ("Include Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Office").

    The far more enlightening studies take consumers about to make a shopping decision, study the steps they take to make their decision, and where they end up, and use that information to evaluate web site effectiveness. Generally, it seems that in most shopper-oriented studies Apple comes out either right at the top or 1-2 down in the list of competitors. I don't think I've ever seen a "9/10" rating (especially where Dell rated so highly).

    From my own personal experience, Dell's site is very nice if you have a specific set of pre-determined options that you want to include, written out on paper in the order Dell presents them. If you want to know what Option X means, you won't get a straight answer from Dell other than, "It's really cool and you need it," or, "It's cool, but Option Y is even better!". Dell's site is a horrible place as far as customer education is concerned. Given that it ranked so highly, I can only conclude that the study started off with a checklist of features and told their little hamsters to find their way through Dell's maze checking off the features as they came.

    Apple's site, IMHO, is significantly better than anywhere else I've shopped at giving very detailed information about the various options, at an intelligence level at least slightly above that of the Dell interns. Given that Apple performed so poorly in this study, I suspect that this didn't get accounted for, whereas it is absolutely critical in a real-world shopping expedition.

    In what real-world scenario would Sony's dense and confusing web site rate higher than Apple's? Unbelievable.
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

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    #21
    I wonder if all of Dell's competition was in-between Dell and the bottom. That would waken the conspiracist in me. Is Dell secretly behind the study and is Keynote just a marketing company without any science?
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    #22
    their help forums suck
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

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    #23
    Meanwhile, while I was doing work experience at an advertising firm, they were going on about how good the site was due to its consistency and uniformity and relative simple nature. Meanwhile, when i bought a computer off Dell, it was a piss poor experience.. So there ya go.. there's always two sides to the fence.
     
  24. Moderator emeritus

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    #24
    They're almost as bad as your post. :rolleyes:

    Whose help forums?
     
  25. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    hmmm... i always thought apple had a good website, sure i didn't like the forums or the search function, but i don't think amazon is any better. I find apple to be faster than amazon.

    whatever
     

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