Eddie Bauer

Sep 01, 1999 9:30 PM  By

In search of the perfect oxford shirt? Eddie Bauer invites you to turn the virtual pages of its Gold Award-winning Web catalog, where you’re likely to find it – among many other apparel and home good items.

Users of the Eddie Bauer Internet catalog can do much more than search for and buy merchandise, however. An exceptionally user-friendly “virtual dressing room” enables customers to see how Eddie Bauer clothing will fit their particular size and shape. “A great, innovative feature,” marvels one judge. Customers can also view coordinating items and create merchandise wish lists for birthdays or other special occasions.

The site’s home page welcomes users with the company’s mission statement: “Inspired by the Northwest since 1920, Eddie Bauer is your source for casual, comfortable apparel and gear.” The page is truly warm and inviting, “much like the cover of an Eddie Bauer print catalog,” a judge says, and it boasts a “clean, functional layout.”

Seamless design uses space efficiently and requires a minimum amount of scrolling, says another judge, “and the navigation headers are easily understood and consistent.” Each page bursts with clear, colorful photos of merchandise. The textures of the materials are easily visible, and the color variations are well presented.

The descriptions of Eddie Bauer’s clothing and accessories emphasize comfort and ease. For instance, the denim banded-collar shirt is “prewashed for instant, lived-in softness and a minimal amount of shrinkage”; a tropical wool skirt is “soft, stretchy, and lightweight enough to wear year-round.”

What one judge calls the “clear and consistent copy” accompanies a wide range of product. From polo shirts and cargo pants to pillows and hammocks, the Website presents the familiar, broad selection of merchandise that Eddie Bauer’s customers have come to expect from the print catalog. “It’s Eddie Bauer through and through,” proclaims a judge. “It has an established brand and does a nice job of capitalizing on it.”

Perhaps the most notable feature of Eddie Bauer’s online catalog is its “eight steps to easy ordering.” The site clearly presents its gift packaging and catalog request links, return policies, and online service hours, as well as the toll-free order line for the e-commerce timid. With its strong emphasis on customer service, clear presentation of products, and trouble-free navigation, the site reinforces the integrity of the company’s established brand.

For certain, there’s no doubt where you are when you’re visiting the Eddie Bauer site, judges say. The site offers more warmth and understanding of the customers’ needs than a Shetland V-neck on a blustery day. In the “About Eddie Bauer” section of the site, the company promotes its creed: “To give you such outstanding quality, value, service, and guarantee that we may be worthy of your high esteem.” Its exceptional level of professionalism certainly makes Eddie Bauer’s Web catalog deserving of the Gold Award.