Company: Xerox Corp., Rochester, N.Y.
Target audience: Technology decision-makers
Key Web executive: Fred Heller, VP-general manager of Xerox.com
No. of employees who work on the site: More than 100 companywide
Last major redesign: January 2001 for overall look and feel; product area overhauls in May 2003.
No. of pages in site: N/A
Online product demos and specs can look slick and fancy, but unless customers know why they should choose one copier over another, chances are you aren’t going to make a sale. To avoid that problem, Xerox.com includes plenty of highly useful price comparisons and interactive demos on its site. The company’s customers require such product comparisons and ask right up front about return on investment, said Fred Heller, VP-general manager of Xerox.com.
Xerox tightly integrates its online and telephone support. Telephone support reps can walk customers through their prepurchase research, Heller said, answering questions by telling and showing.
“Telephone salespeople have found early on that having virtual demos on the site really helps them work with customers in an in-depth way—exploring with them and giving them a way to actually see product features.”
Demos have been a part of the Xerox.com site for more than five years, and the company’s designers got them right from the start, Heller said. “They were never just movies that you passively watched. They had buttons so you could click to zoom in on features that are important to you.”
Today’s demos also embrace the globalization of Xerox’s overall business, using a more universal visual language. “We definitely make sure it’s easy and efficient for the global market,” Heller said.
—Karen J. Bannan
Shane Ginsberg: “Each product page is comprehensive. All products are presented in the same format. You get intellig-ible details, competitive info, product benefits, comprehensive—including human—support and various purchasing options (including “pre-owned”). There are great product descriptions and benefits in plain English. Smart customer acquisition; after filling out a profile, you can send any file for printing. They get your info, you get a print.”
Jakob Nielsen: “The site is quite aggressive with its product and price comparisons, but that’s the kind of thing that customers want. They are very clear about the actual benefits of each product; they use customer-centric language. That’s something that’s often overlooked when you’re reading about technology. They include information about total cost of ownership. The product sections are very nicely done.”