A one stop destination is understood as a store that offers a complete range of complementary products. As an example, supermarkets are one stop stores as they allow their customers to purchase everything from food and detergents to power tools and clothes. Within the cosmetics industry, a one stop destination store would be one in which the customer can find anything for personal care, including deodorants, lipsticks, waxing products and so on. The http://www.ulta.co.uk / website is one which can be considered a one stop destination store and can as such offer benchmarking opportunities in the analysis of the bobbiebrown.co.uk website. As the bobbiebrown.co.uk website only sells makeup products, skincare items, fragrances and tools and accessories, it cannot be considered a one stop destination.
8 -- E-mail newsletter -- customers are presented with the ability of leaving their email address with the company and receiving notifications of new products, offers and so on. It is however unclear if the company issues a regular newsletter to be sent to customer or whether it would only be sending fractions of newsletters.
9 -- Visibility through online forums -- the bobbiebrown.co.uk can be followed on Facebook. The brand strength is medium as the company can be followed on the social networking websites, but only on a single one.
2.4. The Product
Bobbi Brown manufactures and sells cosmetics products. The commencements of the product are described in the "About Bobbi" section, in which the makeup artist argues how she always found it difficult to identify the makeup products which actually looked good on her skin. From this desire, a base brown lipstick line was created. The products that followed were diverse and all focused on the idea of creating products which looked good on the skin.
The bobbibrown.co.uk website categorizes its product onto five sets, as follows:
Tools and accessories
Fragrance, and Best sellers.
Each category is represented by a radio button which introduces the user to a specific menu which offers various data on the sought products. Aside the actual products, the website also offers complementary services, such as the "Ask an Artist" option or "Customer Service."
2.5. The Target Market and Social Networking
The website of the cosmetics company does not offer information on the target market is strives to attract. Yet, based on the products it offers, it is safe to assume that it targets women. Furthermore, based on the product on the website's front page, it could be assumed that Bobbi Brown targets teenagers or women going to clubs who use strong dark colors to highlight their features. In fact however, Bobbi Brown targets women of all age categories.
One particular means in which the company reaches its audience is that of communicating with them through other online applications, such as emails or social networks. A social network is generically understood as a virtual community in which members interact. Bobbi Brown can for now only be followed on the Facebook social network at http://www.facebook.com/BobbiBrownUK.
2.6. Other Observations
Aside the already mentioned analyses of the brand, the design, the product or social networking, the bobbibrown.co.uk website reveals two other flaws. These flaws are smaller in importance so as not to comprise whole sections in the analysis, but still sufficiently noteworthy to not be left asides. In this order of ideas, the most notable observations include the following:
a) the bobbibrown.co.uk website and its articles do not reveal the date on which they were created or last modified. This means that potential buyers are unaware if the products sold are still available at the same rates as on the website or if these rates have suffered modification. From a more distant and broad standpoint however, the lack of specific information reduces the credibility to the user.
b) the website does not present factual information on the company, such as the number of employees, annual income statement, company history and so on. The lack of this type of information reduces the trust of the customer, but also minimizes the interest of potential investors.
4. Conclusions and Recommendations
The Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Company was born out of the founder's desire to create an improved version of the already existent cosmetics products available on the market. Given the emergent requirements of the it era, the owner of the cosmetics company found it imperative to launch its products and operations online.
An analysis of a website is a complex endeavor and it is constructed on several elements, such as functionality or designs. Despite the abundance of evaluation models in the specialized literature, fact remains that each website and each company is unique, meaning as such that each evaluation model should be constructed on the particularities of the website and the company. In the case of the bobbibrown.co.uk website, the evaluation model was constructed on five particularities: design, brand, product, target market and social networks. Additionally, the lack of factual information was also addressed.
All of the following recommendations are constructed on the bases of the website flaws identified throughout the previous section.
4.1. Design Recommendations
Based on the flaws identified throughout the previous section, two main recommendations are made:
The usage of the entire page, with the elimination of the white dead spaces, and secondly
The creation of a more appealing and natural, warm colored interface
4.2. Brand Recommendations
The online viewer makes his/her first impression as he/she first enters the website. At this stage, it is crucial that they be met with a strong brand which clearly communicates its aims. In other words, the Bobbi Brown brand could be added a new vision, such as "home of your favorite makeup." The brand could also be improved with the addition on the website of several methods of maintaining loyal customers. As a general marketing rule, loyal customers are more desirable than new customers as they generate lower costs, they generate revenues sustainability and they generate more new customers through word of mouth publicity (Woods, 2003). Given this status quo, some of the measures to increase customer loyalty on the bobbiebrown.co.uk website could include:
Increasing the functionality of the "Ask an Artist" menu as this is the most personalized application on the website and could easily generate customer loyalty
Offering rewards and promotional sales to loyal customers. This could be achieved through the integration of an online system to keep track of the customer orders and when these reach a certain level of loyalty (such as £200 for instance), the respective customer would receive free products or items at discount prices.
A third respect in which the Bobbie Brown brand could be enforced refers to the introduction of heart felt, true and honest texts within the website. It would, in this sense, be useful to integrate short descriptions of the product sets and categories or to state company goals, philosophies, commitments, ideas and so on. It would even be constructive to create a Bobbi Brown newsletter and to present it on the website. Finally, the last brand related recommendation is that of promoting the website and the company on more social networking websites.
4.3. Product Recommendations
The bobbibrown.co.uk website is in fact highly able to promote its products in a means that offers sufficient information as well as attracts the prospective buyer. Yet, a specification has to be made in that the product offering of Bobbi Brown is limited to traditional products. Still, in light of the recent social movements towards eco and bio products, it would be necessary for the British cosmetics company to develop its own line of bio cosmetics.
Another means in which the product strategy could be improved is that of the creation of limited edition products and campaigns. Such products and campaigns reveal an increased ability of attracting customers due to the sense of uniqueness -- the product or line of products is limited, and therefore special. The ability of the individual consumer to be the owner of a special product makes him special. Ergo, limited editions attract consumers (Waddell, 2006).
4.4. Target Market and Social Network Recommendations
In this respect, the suggestion is that of Bobbi Brown clearly establishing its target market. This could be composed from various categories, but it is important that all categories be represented by specific products and services, suitable for the respective category.
Relative to social networks, it is advisable for the cosmetics company to promote its website and its products through other social websites aside from Facebook, such as Twitter or Yahoo.
4.5. Other Recommendations
Finally, the last recommendation suggests that Bobbi Brown increases its transparency and offers more information on the editors at the website, the dates the articles were written and modified, but also financial information, such as the annual report or the income statements.
Baker, R, 2009, 9 Ways to Communicate a Rock-Solid Identity, WebSite Marketing Plan, http://www.websitemarketingplan.com/online/Branding.htm last accessed on May 11, 2010
Millis, J.E., Law, R., 2005, Handbook of Consumer Behavior, Tourism and the Internet, Routledge, ISBN 078902599X