Best Buy’s “JIll” Goes to the Web

Best Buy is having great success using personas to redesign
their stores. Let’s see how they do with
using personas to design their website. (At Future Now this is one of the most important parts of our Persuasion

 In my last post I talked about “Jill”, the soccer mom
persona created by Best Buy
. She lives
for her kids and is intimidated by electronic stores. Let’s see what kind of an experience Jill has
on the website. I’ll give her two
tasks. One is to find a Barbie Digital Camera
for her daughter. The other is to
research a new TV. 

 Note – one of the main ways in which women use the web is to
do research on products they’re interested in – especially in an area where
they feel intimidated and want more knowledge in order to feel more comfortable
and confident making a purchase decision.

 So – Jill goes to the home page in search of a Barbie
Digital Camera. In the active window
(main center area – the prime real estate) she clicks on “SAVE 10% ON DIGITAL
CAMERAS”.  I’ll tell you right now – this pathway is a
dead end. She sees a lot of digital
cameras, but none of them are the Barbie Digital Camera she’s looking for.

 If she gets frustrated, she may go to the site search and
type in “Barbie Digital Camera”. In this
case, the site search does a fabulous job and pulls up the product right away.

Or – she may go to the left hand navigation, and click on the link to "Toys".


I could argue that a camera is not a toy – and a better
choice of verbiage might be “Kids”. In
any case, this takes her to the “Toys” landing page. In this section, the color scheme changes to
red, orange, and, you guessed it, pink. (At least Best Buy is consistent with their stereotyping) Now she must decide which category to click
on to search for her Barbie Digital Camera. She must choose between Interactive Toys, Handheld Games, Learning Toys,
RC Vehicles or Kids Electronics. This
is not an intuitive choice, but by default she may guess Kids Electronics. If she does – she’s going in the right

She’s greeted with the text

 “Stocked with Barbie, Bratz,
SpongeBob, and more, this is the place to find the kid-approved products
associated with some of the most popular kids’ shows and stars.”

 Excellent! She’s definitely in the right place, and by
scrolling, she finds her Barbie Digital Camera. 

 On to task number two –
researching TVs. We know Jill is
intimidated by electronics, so she’s going to want to gain some more knowledge
before she goes in the store so she won’t feel stupid in front of the sales
guy, and will have more confidence in her purchase decision.

 So, on the left hand navigation
Jill sees Electronics and under it “Televisions”. She clicks on this and lands on the
Televisions landing page. She can Shop
By Category – let’s see HDTVS, Flat-Panel Televisions, Projection Televisions,
Combo Televisions – YIKES – this is looking really scary. What’s the difference? There’s another category – Understand TV
Technologies. Ok – this looks better –
this should have the research info she needs. But wait – look up there – a link that says “Shopping Assistants” – perfect! Maybe this will link her to that cute
shopping assistant in the pink shirt she sees in the store. She clicks on this link and lands on a page
that looks promising at first.

 “In search of that great digital
camera, TV or PC? Not sure where to start when there are so many to choose
from? The Shopping Assistants will narrow the field!”

 Terrific – then she keeps reading

 “With a few quick questions,
these online product filters sort through our selection to find the
products that match your answers — it’s that easy!”

product filters???? What the heck are
those? They sound really scary. So Jill goes back to the Televisions home page
and tries Understand TV Technologies. She clicks on Plasma and is greeted by this copy

 “Plasma displays function differently than any other TV
technology in that they actually produce light independently at each pixel on
the screen, as opposed to projecting a separate light source through or off of
other elements to conjure a picture. A plasma "screen" is actually a
dense network of individual cells, three for each pixel of the display (coated
with red, green and blue phosphors, respectively).”

 Jill is
now thinking online product filters don’t sound so bad. But if she keeps reading she’ll see
Strengths, Considerations, and The bottom line – these are a little less
confusing, especially The bottom line. (though The bottom line was below the fold in my broswer, and she may not have seen
it) I might make a suggestion that
they include a category called “Plain English”. But they are at least making a real attempt to
simplify the information, which is key to Jill. One other problem – there’s no clear call to action to
tell Jill where to go once she finishes reading the information.

would make it even better would be a comparison chart with different types of
TVs so she could get a clear idea of what the differences are. 

overall – does a pretty
good job of meeting Jill’s needs, at least as far as finding the product and
information she’s looking for. Check out
process is a whole other story we’ll have to save for another day. But kudos to Best Buy for doing a better job
than most in accommodating Jill on their website. 

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16 Responses to Best Buy’s “JIll” Goes to the Web

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  14. Earl says:

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