Best Buy Doesn't Want My Money

Today I finally decided to splurge for an Xbox 360. I did some research on Amazon and then thought I'd check out another site or two to compare prices and deals.

The first site that popped into my head was BestBuy. So, I popped on over to their site to try and buy my new console.

  1. Scanning the global navigation, I quickly spotted the "Games & Toys" option.
  2. I hovered my mouse over it and immediately saw "Xbox 360" at the top of the fly out menu — click.
  3. On arriving at the Xbox 360 page I scrolled down past the main promo area telling me that "The future is now" and offering to show me how to connect my video game system to my HDTV, looking for a list of consoles.
  4. I scrolled down past the "Featured Offers" which all appeared to be game-related. Once I've got my console I might be interested in this area.
  5. I scrolled down past the "Games for Everyone" banner which looked like some sort of ad.
  6. I scrolled down past the "Featured Games" and the "Coming Soon!" sections.
  7. I scrolled down past the "Need Help?" section.
  8. And arrived at the bottom of the page, with no console in sight to buy.
  9. So I gave up and bought it from Amazon instead.

Posted on: November 6, 2007 | 13 Comments

Recent Entries in "Usability"

13 Comments Posted

Or you could have clicked on the hardware link in the yellow shaded "Shop Xbox 360" box to your immediate left.

Perfect example of how ecommerce websites are so overloaded with products that the only real way to find what you're looking for is to use the 'Search' tool. You try and compete offering every mainstream gadget possible, yet forget to check whether or not users can easily find what they're looking for.

BTW, what game(s) are you planning on playing?

As the first commenter mentioned, they've placed the consoles under the hardware link. Games and toys (primary nav) > xbox 360 (flyout) > hardware (sidebar nav.) They have to make sure all navigation types are represented. :)

On the plus side, 360s seem to be selling at fixed prices at the moment, so at least you didn't spend extra.

LOL, that was too funny...

It actually made me go to the Best Buy page and see exactly what they were referring to and I would have to agree, there should be an easier way to navigate or purchase what you want. There's WAY too many "other" things going on with that site.

All the more reason to get it somewhere else...

Scott & Scott — yes, it's my fault that I expected to see consoles on the main Xbox 360 page and didn't see the link in the sidenav.

My point is that even though I could have taken the time to look around to see where the consoles link was, I didn't because it was easier to just go to another site.

Derek — I'm an FPS guy which is why I've shied away from consoles. However, I do want to play Halo 2 & 3, even though I'll have to fight with the controls.

I also love Burnout, so it'll be good to play that in HD. Crackdown sounded good, as did Dead Rising.

The big game for me, though, will be GTA4. Can't wait for that!

Isn't this being a little needlessly picky mate ? Typing in xbox gets you there, following the links gets you there if you take time to read them and it makes sense that they rank the games higher than the consoles, because they probably sell a lot more games over the internets than they do consoles.

Stephen — this is pretty standard behavior for how many people use web sites. If you're not designing your pages for this type of information foraging then you're losing sales.

I'm betting that I'm not the only person who struggled to find the hardware link from this page.

No doubt, some people looked around and found the link in the left nav. However, I'm sure that others, like me, scanned down the page, gave up and went elsewhere.

Personally, I don't consider thinking about usability issues like this being "needlessly picky".

How exactly did you find it on the Amazon site?

I searched for "xbox 360" and clicked on the result I was looking for (the top one).

One of my sites, cdmaximum.com is an one off amazon affiliate site built internally (using mrrat's old script) and contains our own cart until checkout time. I tried and make it easy for users as much as a i can. For the games section, i have it all broken down into the product categories. On the main page of games, i also have some of the leading games and game consoles. Being a gamer, electronics, and music fanatic; this I've tried to put it into perspective of what would I or my friends want. Hope that helps. Note: I don't make any money on the site personally. I use the site to supplement what I pay for music promotions. Which 1 single small magazine advertisement can be a home mortgage unto itself, running about $600 per month.

Sounds like laziness to me. I found the console using nothing but links in about 10 seconds. Games & Toys ->Xbox 360 -> Hardware
The very first item was the console system.
Best Buy is a perfect example of a very well organized site that maximizes its selling potential by putting the most frequently sought after items on pages that aren't buried in the site. Unless Amazon just happened have XBox 360 on the very first page, which it doesn't presently, I don't know how you would find it by doing nothing but clicking faster than you could on Best Buys site. Both sites have searches and both return the desired results immediately.

hmm... I thought I'd follow your footsteps for myself. They have been added after you visited the site but... they are there now, just in time for the holidays!

Anyway, in the Featured Offers you skipped over, you might have seen these 2 items:

New! Xbox 360 with 2 Games
Get the next-gen console complete with Forza 2 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.

New! Xbox 360 Arcade
Get the next-gen console system complete with five old-school games.

Max — hurray! Believe me, these offers were not there when I looked.

I love the comments that suggest it's laziness on the part of the user for when they can't find something. Shows that there will always be a job for usability consultants.

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