2. There are many key reasons for Rei.com’s success. Rei know what are they doing before all this begun; they did intensive research and decisions. The organization has members which already had a preference for shopping there because they have a strong catalog business. They include detailed information which customers would like to know from vendors and internally on how to use the equipment sold there and details to help customers compare the product they are buying.
Rather then outsourcing their website, they manage and construct their own website. By doing this, they know the organizations mission and goals and therefore manage and construct it in a way which will attract more new customers and keep old customers coming back for more.
Another key reason is that, rather then concentrating on varieties of product, they only concentrate with outdoor products such as camping, hiking etc. and this allows them to be professionals in what they do best.
For Rei’s future growth, they are coming out with their own brand of clothing line which not only caters for customers which interest is outdoors but also general customers. Products for outdoor activities is not the only thing Rei offers, they also offer the outdoor activities.
Customer’s can give feedbacks at customer review. Customers usually don’t earn profit from other customer’s purchase and this actually causes customers to trust customers. With customer’s review it helps the customers a lot to make their decisions.
As seen at the graph above, I gave the functionality of Rei.com website a 9 because it is almost excellent. All pages that I went in worked and but somehow there were a few which loaded fairy slow, either then that it’s quick. At the main page of the website, they do separate various categories to point the customer towards product offerings. Categories are separated so conveniently for customers to surf from products, brands, models and price.
A rating of 9 is given to this area of the website because for every single product that they offer has links that customers can easily find to discover more about the website and the products offered. Such as for each product u click, they have a section for related products of the one you’re looking for.
Easy of Use
It is easy to use but there are few parts which Rei needs to work on. They should provide a link for customers to create an account near the log in section at the top right of the site. Rather then having to enter the log in link and then only a link to register. If customers who are not good in computers, they might just visit Rei’s competitor since they can’t see any link to register for an account at the main page.
Alternative navigation to the same content is good with the search function provided. Very convenient if customers knows what they want and search it straight away. But Rei should provide links to the specific brand’s official website since customers might want to know about the products brand.
Ease of Purchase
Even though there is convenience with shopping cart, there are simply too many procedures that customers have to go through purchasing the product and not just one or two clicks to purchase.
I had tried using Internet Explorer 6.0 and Mozilla Fire fox 2.0 to browse Rei.com and these are the most popular browsers today.
Graphics are simple and they do not have any form of pop up advertising which is distracts customers. Even when my screen resolution is on 640 by 480 pixels, I can view the whole page with thought scrolling left or right.
They should consider that most computer users today does not use screen resolution on 640 x 480 pixels, with 1024 by 768 pixels resolution, there are certain words that is not easy to be seen.
4. Even though Rei is one of the top leading organization which specializes in outdoor product globally, this means they have a huge amount of competitors. The direct competitors for Rei would be sportsauthority.com, llbean.com, fogdog.com, and coldwatercreek.com.
Sportsauthority.com has a good website but they have no match for Rei.com. The number of brands that sportsauthority.com has is not even close to the number of outdoor brands that Rei.com offers. But they still put on a competition because customers might feel safer with sportsauthority.com because it has “Hacker Safe (r)” which Rei.com doesn’t have.
Llbean.com put on good competition with Rei.com because they provide free shipping in the U.S. They also provide activities but it is outsourced with various outdoor schools and partners which put on the competition. Since it is outsourced, Rei.com still has an advantage because they control and manage the activities they provide since they know better what they’re customers want. For products wise it is a very close competition since they provide the exact same line of outdoor products.
Fogdog.com has an average competition because outdoor brands of product that they offer is not as much as Rei.com but they have other types of sporting products which Rei doesn’t have such as archery/hunting, skateboarding, bowling, football, and softball.
As for coldwatercreek.com, competition is not that big since they are not specialized in outdoor products. They offer very wide ranges of products from entertainment to accessories, decoratives and clothes.
I think that even though Rei has a huge base of loyal customers, but they have to keep in mind with competitors. For example during festive seasons or holidays, if Rei can ship their purchased products only after a week of customers purchase. Customers might head to the competitors since they might provide faster shipping for their last minute shopping.