Gold-Winner eBags Keeps Getting Better

Niche e-commerce sites come and go, but online handbags and accessories seller eBags continues to be a powerhouse. 2010 marked the 10th-consecutive year that eBags took home a Gold in the MCM Awards competition; this time in the Consumer Specialty Products, Sales Over $20 million category.

As one judge noted, “they do almost everything right. I don’t see why anyone would shop anywhere else for a bag.”

Why they won a Gold
EBags offers thousands of handbags, luggage, laptop bags, duffle bags and the accessories to go with them. Yet the site is neat and organized, and it’s developed such a loyal following that it can rely on its customers to do most of its selling.

EBags is a master at incorporating user-generated content such as ratings and reviews, so it can use sparse vendor-driven product copy. But the judges also thought eBags did a nice job with the benefits-oriented bullets.

“Where do I begin?” asked one MCM Awards judge. “Check out every page, from the home page right through the checkout. There is a wealth to learn about merchandising, calls to action, hierarchy of design, usability, customer service tools and very effective checkout process – the best checkout I saw in this year’s judging.”

One judge said while there is no such thing as perfect navigation, eBags.com is pretty close. “They do a good job using the top and left-hand tiers appropriately, which very few companies manage to do,” the judge said.

The recommendation engine strayed away from allowing true cross-selling, but the judges felt that this seemed to work for eBags.com. The recommendation engine often suggested competing – but less expensive – products, and that seemed to help boost eBags’ items per transaction.

On product pages, eBags is effectively using dynamic imaging, alternate images, color swap and view-on-model imagery. What’s more, it allows a single click for the user to check out all products of the same brand, as well as an offer box for users to receive alerts when new products are added to eBags’s inventory.

“This is just great,” a judge said. “It’s all best-practices and very well done, excellent hierarchy, clean yet conveys a ton of different offers, calls to action, and customer service tools.”

Idea to steal
As one judge put it, eBags “pretty much nails it” with its site search by allowing searching, filtering, auto-correcting and auto-filling, then allowing comparisons between products. “This is how they’re able to offer the massive assortment of merchandise they do without it feeling overwhelming,” the panelist said.

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