Pick one of your favorite brands and go to its website. How would you evaluate the site? How well does it score on the 7 C’s of design elements: context, content, community, customization, communication connection and commerce? Give examples.
For the following discussion purpose, I’ve chosen Themeforest (https://themeforest.net/). The brand has been able to establish itself as a one-stop solution for the global community of designer and developers. With more than 50 thousand digital products listed required for creating your next online empire, the platform has been able to help business and freelancer build their profile while also helping aspiring developer, business or general people by helping them have their digital presence feel.
Context, content, community, customization, communication, connection and commerce are the design elements to complete the 7C of it (Eun Lee & Benbasat, 2004). They play a vital role when it comes to evaluating any website or digital presence of a brand. The following post analyzes Themeforest based on all the elements below:
Context: It looks basically on the design of the website. The home page for the website is pretty simple. Using CDN (Content Delivery Network), they’ve been able to ensure that the website loads as fast as possible from anywhere in the world. They’ve used a visually nice layout and easy navigation and search option to the user. They’ve tried to stay away from flashing unnecessary animation but have used it to the right amount.
Content: As per the name itself, this looks into the information that’s portrayed in the website. Themforest.net as it targets the developers and other normal users have used the content in a way to appeal to both these categories of user. They’ve separated properly the themes by the category people would like to explore. It includes extra information and connects with other services it provides along with help and the information on how to get started on selling yourself.
Community: The business doesn’t have a tailored community for the website along but does include an overall community of the parent company. They, however, do have a discussion board for individual items. Aside from that, the business also maintains a blog and forum to connect with and allow people to network or help each other.
Customization: The business doesn’t allow direct customization feature within the website at the time of purchase itself. However, people do have an option to pay extra amount such that the team at Themeforset.net would take care of the website for you.
Communication: The business makes use of the blogs to communicate with their user along with social media posts. However, they don’t seem to have a proper contact form or other contact details directly visible on the website at first look. There is a way for the business to communicate with the customer/user but doesn’t seem to provide clear means in the website to communicate directly with them.
Connection: The business has made use of social media as in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to connect with the customers. They have again used the parent company account and haven’t created a separate account for their own platform which is something people may not like that much but have worked for them.
Commerce: All the product price along with the add-ons available for it is all visible in the website. Customer can preview the theme as well in the same platform before their purchase. They can make the payment and receive the item instantly all within the website itself. So, the commerce element works perfectly fine for the business.
User interface which a customer sees the time one loads the website is analyzed for Themeforest.net on the basis of 7C’s of design element. The business flairs pretty well in this rating as it has a proper system in place for all the seven design elements. However, there are rooms for improvement by adding more personalized experience by checking in user past records and displaying records based on the same. The communication channel can be made better as well by clearly providing a way to connect with them if and when needed.
Eun Lee, Y., & Benbasat, I. (2004). A Framework for the Study of Customer Interface Design for Mobile Commerce. International Journal Of Electronic Commerce, 8 (3), 79-102.
I like the brand created by converse shoes. I have used it multiple times. It has a good design, is comfortable, has a lot of varieties, has a brand of its own and has a good story base for its customers.
Its website "http://www.converse.com/uk/en/country-language-selector” opens up to option of selecting location and language. Three different location mainly, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific countries have been mentioned. I chose America under North America and was greeted with 25% off sales flier. The evaluation of converse websites 7Cs have been presented below.
Context and Content
In the variety section I checked out men’s and custom men’s. There was price difference in these segments. The custom was slightly more expensive as compared to the casual. There were clothes and other accessories in addition to the famous shoes. The website was very bright with numerous color and design.
The sight had varieties for men, women, boys, girls and custom which is a strong form of modern marketing. With a range of variety in both design and color to suit all age and all gender their customization has been met.
Communication & Connection
They have tried to communicate to all age group but mostly young people. Their free spirit and outgoing in nature advertisement is targeted for youths of all countries. Their topic of "which shoes are you?” has gathered a lot of connection and communicated to the youth. Even celebrities wearing converse is another subtle communication and connection technique which has been very effective. Having a converse is more about making a statement these days.
With so many youths preferring to own at least one product, more preferred with shoes, has been a huge success for the product. Having a history of over 100 years the shoe is in a line segment of its own and is not going away anytime soon. With premium price for its original product their commerce is very high. "The 105-year-old brand has grown at breakneck pace since Nike rescued the company in 2003, two years after it filed for bankruptcy. Since its cultural heyday in the '80s, the hip sneaker has experienced a rebirth. (Lorenzetti, 2013)” It has after its rebirth gone to make 1.4 billiion dollars in 2017.
This product is something that is a very good case study for the 7 Cs of marketing. We can learn a lot from this products life cycle and promotion.
Lorenzetti, L. (2013, September 28). How Converse went from bankruptcy to a $1.4 billion business. Quartz . Retrieved from https://qz.com/129238/how-converse-went-from-bankruptcy-to-a-1-4-billion-business/
In this discussion, I will evaluate the website of Alibaba.com. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Dominates Chine’s E-Commerce Market, which by one measure i.e. how the biggest in the world. The best way of understanding Alibaba is as a mix of Amazon.com, eBay, and Paypal with a dash of Google thrown in all with some uniquely Chinese characteristics. Unlike Amazon, which buys goods from suppliers and sells them to costumes, Alibaba has always acted as a middleman, connecting buyers and sellers and facilitating transactions between them (Frick, 2014). While it isn’t an auction company, its middleman role is similar to the one played by ePay.
It is important to clarify what a customer interface is and what part it plays in our e-commerce analysis. With regard to the interaction between humans and computers known as HCI "human- computer disciple concerned with the design, evaluation, and implementation of an interactive computing system for human for human use and with the study of the major phenomenon (Felix, 2009). The 7C’s framework includes seven elements each representing a common of the interface.
Context - (Website Design)
It is website layout and presentation to the user. Includes both functional and aesthetics aspect such as
Alibaba page layout
Its Visual theme is nice.
Ease of site Navigation
Alibaba Website Animation is so good.
Content: (Information on the Website)
What the website offer in the Alibaba.com. It offers its customers
Detail Product Information with size, cost and company name.
It has own payment system Alipay so the customer can pay the cost of product easily form this payment system.
It has clear content of their web, product details, shipping charge, and others.
Community: (Communication between Users)
Alibaba represents user to user interaction via interactive and non-interactive communication. In Alibaba when we order the product, we can communicate with Alibaba representative and we can talk with him/her either phones or message. Then we can also negotiate its price and discuss over its shipping place and charge. Alibaba provides different Scheme:
Through Social site
Customization: (Extent to which the site can be customized)
It is ability of the Alibab.com to be customized or personalized for each individual users either by the website itself or the user.
In - site Setting
Communication - (How user communicate through the website)
In Alibaba, site to user communications defined in several forms.
Broadcast: One-way information exchange from an organization to the user (e.g. Walky-talky, Radio, and Television Communication)
Two-way communication: Two-way communication between an organization and its user e.g. customer service query and customer wants to know about product and price detail.
Hybrid: A combination of two and above e.g. freeware distribution
Social site communication like Facebook, Insta Gram, and Twitter.
Connection - (Relationship between this and other sites)
Alibaba deals with the site - to - site linking including
External Content Display
A social site like Facebook, YouTube, and Google.
Commerce - (e-commerce functionality)
It is the interface that supports services taken into consideration during business transaction. Alibaba has different model:
Security through CCTV monitoring and Sensor
In Alibaba, the 7C framework looks specifically at customer interface elements - what the user sees and it was for this reason that it was chosen as the reference model for our e-commerce analysis. In this sense, the interface elements encapsulated by the 7Cs represent the method through which business (McFarlan, 2001). Communication with customers to deliver the core value proposition each company wishes to convey.
Felix, O. (2009). Alibaba’s Taobao (A). Harvard Business Review .
Frick, W. (2014). Alibaba Looks More Like GE than Google. Harvard Business Review .
McFarlan, F. W. (2001). Alibaba.com. Harvard Business Review .
For any website intended for sales and commerce, the 7 Cs of design element should be considered to drive the traffic to website, appeal to target market and creating lasting experience to make the people revisit the site (Novak , n.d.).
For this assignment, I have chosen the website of L’Oreal Paris and analyzed it on the basis of 7 Cs:
1. Context: Context refers to the site layout and presentation to users. It includes functional and aesthetic aspects like page layout, visual themes, ease of site navigation, color schemes and animation (Yang). The website of L’Oreal Paris good is visually appealing especially to the females who love to feel and look good. It is simple and the color is also eye pleasing.
2. Content: It is the text, pictures, sound and video contained in the website. It deals with the offering, appeal and multimedia mix. The homepage of the website contains sliders for different product category offered. The pictures are great however the text could be even better. As we click on the product category, the list of products belonging to that category are displayed along with images that makes the search process easy.
3. Community: Community represents user-to-user interactions through interactive and non-interactive means of communication like instant messaging, forums and e-mails. The customers can send feedback and reviews through the site by using their e-mail ids.
4. Customization: Customization is the ability of the site to be personalized for each individual. However this option is not available on the website of L’Oreal Paris. But we can go to the product line we want to know about in a click.
5. Communication: The one-way or two- way interaction allowed in the website constitute to the communication. The website communicates well about the product offerings but the customer query service is lacking in the website.
6. Connection: Connection deals with site-to-site linkage. Here the website provides link to other social media accounts of the company. In L’Oreal Paris website, we can easily find the link of its Instagram, Facebook and twitter account.
7. Commerce: It supports customer service. The customers can easily purchase from the website, see the orders placed earlier and track the ordered items.
To conclude, the website of L’Oreal Paris is designed considering the 7 Cs of design elements and it scores well on almost all the criteria.
Yang, C. H. (n.d.). Analysis of E-commerce Site Using 7 C Framework. Retrieved from Research Bank: http://unitec.researchbank.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10652/3592/MComp_2016_Chih-Hsiang%20Yang_1356546_Final%20Research.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
According to Rayport and Jaworski’s 7C’s (2001), the seven design elements of a customer interface are context, content, community, customization, communication, connection, and commerce. Here, they have described the elements as context, sites’ layout and design; content, text, pictures, sound and video, that WebPages contain; community, the ways sites enable user to user communication; customization, site’s ability to self -tailor to different users or to allow users to personalize the site; communication, the ways sites enable site to user commendation or two way communication; connection, degree site is linked to other sites; and commerce, site’s capabilities to enable commercial transaction. To ensure that the website is being visited with consistency, the companies should also focus on constant change of the site. They need to add new features, new products, and new pages, which keeps the customers up-to-date about the company’s latest products and news.
7Cs analysis of the RALPH LAUREN website
For the purpose of this discussion on the 7Cs of a brand website, I have selected one of the most popular clothing brands in the world, Ralph Lauren. The brand is named after the founder himself. Clothing, shoes, and accessories for men, women, children, and babies are the main products of Ralph Lauren (Bjørn-Andersen & Hansen, 2011). The brand has also got fragrances (Cologne) for men and women. Now, let’s analyze the website of the brand on the basis of 7Cs.
Figure 1: Home page of Ralph Lauren
As we can see in the above picture of the home page, the website is very simple in design, which I think is how it should be. The simplicity of the website makes it easy-to-use for the users or say customers. The color-codes and the theme of the site are also very simple. The images used and the slider makes the site more attractive in design. The best feature about the design is that the users can find everything on the first page they see likes men, women, kids, baby and so on.
The home page basically includes a slider of images each of which represents the categories of products for men, women, boys, girls, and babies. By clicking on the images, it navigates the users to the specific category. The menu bar contains items like men, women, boys, girls, baby, home, gifts, customize, brands and sale. These items also enable users to go directly to a specific product from the category. The items below consist of other extra information like shipping & returns, company information, company policies, contact information, etc.
Figure 2: Customize column of Ralph Lauren
Currently, the website contains user-to-user communication system. It includes the communication with the brand or the company. They can have live chat for their queries. The users would also find product reviews and ratings in this section.
One of the best features of the website is the product customizability. There is an item in the top menu section of the website called ‘Customize’. This section allows users to select and customize the clothing items. Users can modify things like color, size, logos, designs and play around with different features available in this section. After the users are satisfied, they can order the selected product from the website itself.
A brand should be able to communicate effectively with its customers through different channels. A website is one of the best and easiest ways to do so. The information about products sale, company policies, direct contact via email, phone number, company history, etc. are all forms of communication available on the website. If customers require assistance, there is a separate list of FAQs, service information, etc. Overall, the communication medium is very easy and I believe that the company provides proper responses to the customer queries.
It is simply related to the products and the brand. The social media has emerging and creating closeness to customers so far. The social media pages of the brand to Facebook, and Instagram has created closeness to the brand.
Figure 3: Facebook page of Ralph Lauren
The customers can directly order the products through the website. The product prices are available on the site.
To sum up, the Ralph Lauren website is one of the best examples of an excellent website for a clothing brand, which covers all the 7Cs in an appropriate way.
Bjørn-Andersen, N., & Hansen, R. (2011). The adoption of Web 2.0 by luxury fashion brands. Proceedings of CONFIRM, Paper, 34.
Rayport, J.F. & Jaworski, B.J. (2001). Introduction to E-commerce . New York: McGraw-Hill.
I have been following the products of Gillette for my assignments, so I would pick the same product for the site evaluation on basis of 7C’s
According to (Novak, 2015), University of Phoenix, Texas A&M University, A context determines the website’s design, layout, ease to operate/navigate and color (Novak, 2015).
The design of the Gillette’s website is user friendly. An individual can easily go to the page and know its history, make purchase, log-in, view its products, compare the products or even buy the products without hassle. The contents are clearly classified making groups like “shop products”, “discounts and coupons” making user easy to search the contents. The color used was in line with the pages and products.
Content includes all resources in written form, videos, pictures etc that articulates the organization’s objectives or boots customer’s buying decisions (Novak, 2015),.
The website of Gillette has details regarding the company and its products, side by side with the pictures. Besides, some informative videos to facilitate the shaving experiences are also included in the website. The highlighting part is its banner pictures, which covers almost 40% of the homepage and shows new range of razor of Gillette in an aesthetic manner. For the buyers of the Gillette’s product: price, details on delivery, shaving club terms and conditions and money return warranty terms and conditions can be found easily in the website.
Community determines the interactions among large people who have been in some way connected to the product and the company. This may include messages board, information of company, product review, advice etc (Novak, 2015),.
Gillette’s website has allowed interaction on various ways. You can connect by social media or directly write them an e-mail, while they also regulate a FAQ on their website. Beside this, Product reviews can be found on the individual products of Gillette. Whereas, one can also stay alarmed to Gillette’s NEWS and newsletter after signing-in in to its website.
Customization determines the degree to which an individual can customize the website of the company to create a personal area with his own preferences. Some websites have color change features, text size, accounts etc (Novak, 2015),.
Customization is an issue with the website however they offer 55 different languages to choose from the list. Nepali isn’t one in the list. Whereas for the member of Shaving Club, a few customization options might be possible.
This factor denotes the different means of communication integrated in the company’s website. Other means of communications may be Newsetters, offers, contest, chat, social media etc (Novak, 2015),.
Gillette’s website is full of lateral means of communication of Gillette and its products. They have social media buttons like Facebook, twitter, YouTube channel and Google plus. Besides, Gillette News and Newsletter can be received upon subscription. Similarly, the offers have one segment on the homepage itself. You can also have few surveys on the website, if you like to.
This factor represents the degree to which the website has some external links from the website. The customer trust is said to be lessened with high external links while press related or apps related external links though are acceptable (Novak, 2015),.
The website doesn’t have much of the connection to external websites. You can find the buttons of different social Medias on the website, connected to Gillette’s personal account/page on that social media.
Commerce determines the objective of website for commercial transactions and measures that applies further in making those transactions safe. To facilitate the online commerce transactions, the website must be designed in such a way as to convince the user on security and privacy of transaction. Several websites are known to be hacked or has chances of credit card number misuse, which obviously impacts the subsequent purchase decision from the website.
The website of Gillette promotes its sales in 3 ways. Firstly, it provides details of the product to people who can also buy it on stores. Secondly, you can buy the products of Gillette making some time frame plan, by preparing custom made mix of its products. Thirdly, you can buy the products online. The online buying is also made safe by adding different mediators for payment.
The website of Gillette has been developed in an effective manner, fulfilling the most of the requirements of 7C’s of a website. It is easy to navigate to desired page and make purchase decision. However, while I tried to purchase the product, it showed some error but still attributing it to some temporary problem; I can say the website to be user friendly.
Gillette Inc. (2016). Retrieved from Gillette Website: http://gillette.com/en-us
Novak, D. J. (2015). Seven Cs . Retrieved from Marketing Teacher. com: http://www.marketingteacher.com/seven-cs/