Enterprise Systems sites are jacks of all trades. They sell hardware, software, and services. They use “Contact Us”-class call to action and ecommerce. Support comes standard and training is a must-have. And one even caters to enterprise, small business, and consumer audiences.
You also have a selection of household names in this business segment. You have the granddaddy of the computer, IBM – an originator of ecommerce, Dell – and the enterprise division of the former leading PC manufacturer, HPE.
When we pit the websites of these IT legends against each other, many questions emerge. Which site delivers the most effective product marketing? Who is the purchasing powerhouse of the bunch? Which one supports its customers the best?
This case study doesn’t just answer these questions but examines the behaviors that make these leaders best-of-breed.
Product Marketing: In the Product Marketing category, all the Enterprise Systems sites bring in Good Practice performances, but only IBM.com wins the trifecta. It brings in a Best Practice rating in Website Features (content), a Good Practice in Usability, and first place in Overall Performance.
This isn’t exactly a surprise. IBM.com’s unique product marketing style uses an endless variety of bold design templates and libraries of crisp content that are tailor-made for every solution and product set. This variation provides ample opportunity for IBM to present its wealth of resources in a very appealing package.
Services Marketing: IBM.com also takes the win in the Services Marketing category. But this time IBM.com isn’t alone. Although it wins in Overall Performance (with a Best Practice rating) and Usability (with a Good Practice rating), it shares the first-place position in Website Features with Dell.com (where both garner Best Practice ratings).
IBM.com’s engaging content style translates well into the services marketing realm. The site delivers a wide range of rich content that shows its services prowess and its roster of services professionals is one-of-a-kind.
Dell.com, on the other hand, delivers a staggering amount of takeaway content in its Resource Library, which includes filtering capabilities that help visitors zero in on the information they need.
Industry Marketing: IBM.com makes a presence in the Industry Marketing category too. It leads competitors in the variety of content it delivers, which ultimately hands it the win in Overall Performance. But it comes in third in Usability behind winner Dell.com and second place contender HPE.com.
Given that IBM.com provides industry information in most solutions marketing areas in addition to a complete Industries zone, it should come as little surprise that it takes the win in content.
But Dell.com’s win in the tight Usability race is surprising. Its industries zones aren’t the sexiest or most engaging of the bunch, but its clearly labeled content areas make information a breeze to find.
If you want to buy enterprise-class systems online, then Dell.com should be your first stop. It takes first place by a landslide in the Purchasing category with a Best Practice rating to boot. IBM.com’s Marketplace helps it in the Website Features category where it ties with Dell.com for the variety of products and features it offers, but it can’t hold a candle to Dell.com in Usability.
Dell.com’s conventional ecommerce system and strong filtering options make it a shoo-in for the top spot. Everything a shopper could want to know is presented in a clear grid format with an easy to read product features rating system that allows visitors to see the power of each computer at a glance.
Post Purchase Features
When it comes to supporting customers, IBM.com is the one to emulate. It takes the win (with a Best Practice rating) in Website Features and Usability, then handily wins in Overall Performance (with a Good Practice rating).
IBM.com’s true claim to fame in the Post Purchase Features category lies in its training zone. Not only does the site provide a vast number of resources (it provides every type of content listed on the benchmark), but its simple walk-through style (see image above) makes finding training a snap.
IBM.com isn’t a slouch in the support arena either, but it loses the first-place position in the Support category to Dell.com (albeit by only 1%). Dell.com’s “Service Tag” driven support approach takes customers to their product information (and only their product information) immediately and gives them all the tools they need in a simple, easy-to-use format.
HPE.com makes its first appearance in the Communities category where it takes first place and achieves a Good Practice rating. But Dell.com isn’t far behind (IBM.com is a no-show).
HPE.com puts all its best content and features on the first page. Just within the first screen load, visitors can search the communities, start a new discussion, login, or find a specific forum, blog, or type of information (see image above). Visitors that want to browse can peruse the latest posts, events, and Tweets.
If you haven’t checked out the latest Enterprise Systems rankings, then wander in that direction next. There you can find out who steals the win in Website Features, Usability, and Overall Performance.
Also, don’t miss the upcoming Index winners. Want to be the first in the know? Sign up for the siteIQ Digest and get the latest information into your inbox.
About the siteIQ eBusiness Index
siteIQ evaluated the twenty-five Websites listed on the 2018 siteIQ eBusiness Index. These Websites are categorized into eight industry-specific segments including:
- Business Software (Adobe.com, Microsoft.com, Symantec.com, Citrix.com)
- Cloud (Salesforce.com, Netsuite.com)
- Enterprise Software (CA.com, IBM Software, Oracle.com, SAP.com)
- Enterprise Systems (Dell.com, IBM.com, HPE.com)
- Network Systems (Brocade.com, PaloAltoNetworks.com, Cisco.com, Juniper.net)
- Professional Services (Accenture.com, Capgemini.com, Cognizant.com, IBM Global Services)
- Consumer Systems (HP.com, Apple.com)
- Enterprise Storage (EMC.com, NetApp.com)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2018 edition of the siteIQ eBusiness Index Best Practices Benchmark, which includes 18 distinct categories. Within each category, sites are scored based on three unique criteria:
- Website Features: The content, resources, assets, and collateral provided on any given Website. The siteIQ Best Practices Benchmark currently identifies & tracks over 1,000 types of Website features that represent typical competitive requirements. Within each category siteIQ analysts track the number — as well as quality — of features provided.
- Website Usability: The overall practicality, versatility, usefulness, and convenience of any given Website. The siteIQ Best Practices Benchmark currently includes 145 metrics that measure usability from the visitor’s perspective. Within each category siteIQ analysts score usability questions based on a strict set of standards to award between 1—100 points per question.
- Overall Performance: The aggregate suitability of any given Website that factors Website Features and Website Usability scores.
The 2018 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2018.
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ eBusiness Index Websites