Website of the Year

[ Also won — Gold: Web Channel | COMPUTER AND HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE ]

MusiciansFriend.com

Is the Musician’s Friend site as loud as a garage band jamming to a Metallica tune, or as mellow as the lounge act strumming a Jason Mraz hit? It’s a little bit of both — and everything it needs to be — according to the MCM Awards judges.

WHY IT WON WEBSITE OF THE YEAR: MusiciansFriend.com doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to e-commerce best practices. It hits the high notes on site structure, navigation, offers, technology integration, flash, carousels, strong product copy, site offers and customer support.

For starters, MusiciansFriend.com‘s home page is inviting and fun. Judges were knocked out by home page promos such as the “Free Shipping” banner and the “Stupid Deal of the Day,” and the “Just Arrived” sections.

Site visitors can get a ton of product reviews, detailed specs, similar items and other information on Musician’s Friend product pages without clutter, thanks to its simple design and the use of tabs. Judges loved the size of the “add to cart” and “buy now” buttons, and felt the multiple product image choices helped to sell product.

The site search is also a strong point: “I challenged the misspellings specifically, and the site handled them all very well by indicating what the corrected spelling should be,” said one panelist.

In short, “it is possible to excel in price, service and Web design, and also be a source of helpful and valid information if you work at it,” a judge said. “This is hands down one of the best Web commerce sites in the world, and its results prove it.”

IDEA TO STEAL: Set the tone for your company on your home page, and don’t be afraid to sell on it. Musician’s Friend’s home page instantly lets the customer know what the site is all about, a judge said. “It has a very busy entry, but if you were a musician, I guarantee you would click through.”

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