I recently found myself in the market for a new point & shoot digital camera after putting my last one through the wash. It turns out that cameras don’t need to be laundered.
I’m a huge fan of Canon’s Powershot point & shoots. Especially the ones with wide angle lenses because they’re great for indoor shots, food photography, and self-portraits. The image stabilization makes it possible to get away without using a flash a much longer exposures. Awesome. So, I researched the latest model from Canon and quickly figured out that it’s the SD880IS.
Once I knew what I wanted to buy, it was time to find a place to buy it. Being a Minnesotan, I decided to check out BestBuy.com. They carry the camera. Here’s how they present it:
Hmm. That’s disappointing. Let me count the ways:
1. No picture of the back of the camera.
2. Only two reviews.
3. I can’t see the price without adding it to the shopping cart.
4. No information about shipping costs.
5. No information about related products I may want to consider (perhaps there is a previous model that’s so much cheaper I’d go with that?)
6. Usually leaves our warehouse in 1 business day? So, I may or may not see the camera one of these days?
Compare this to Amazon’s Canon SD880IS presentation:
1. First thumbnail is of the back of the camera.
2. 98 Reviews
3. Amazon’s price, and three other supplier’s prices are displayed.
4. Free shipping is offered.
5. Related products are displayed along with the percentage of times people purchased them instead.
6. They explain when I can expect this to arrive if I purchase it now.
Online merchandising matters.
If both store’s prices were exactly the same, Amazon would win because they do a better job giving buyers the information they need to make an informed buying decision.
Oh, I did add the camera on BestBuy.com to the shopping cart in order to find the price. They charge 15.8% more for this product than Amazon, plus $6.75 for shipping so 18.5% more than Amazon.com. I also had to put up with a pop-over reminding me to $44.99 extended service plan for a $245 camera.
It seems like Best Buy has the buying power to be competitive on products like this. However, the bigger competitive challenge appear to be beyond just price.