Website of the Week
Muscat Duty Free
|Supplementary information (0-2):
|Overall incentive to shop (0-4):
Scoring system explained – click here
Website of the week – Muscat Duty Free
Muscat Duty Free – a 50:50 joint venture formed between Aer Rianta International-Middle East and Oman Aviation Services – manages and operates all duty free shops in the Departures and Arrivals areas at Muscat International Airport.
The retailer’s consumer website recently won the silver award for the E-commerce category at the Oman Web Awards 2008 and offers a pre-order service for its duty free selection.
Muscat Duty Free’s website features a striking contrast of blue and orange against white. The homepage is bold, busy and colourful while the contents are clearly and neatly laid out.
The website has an overall upbeat and pleasant vibe.
CONTENT AND USABILITY
The homepage features a welcome message and a navigational panel with eight tabs: About MDF, Products, Raffles, Promotion, Winners, Allowances, Advertise and Questionnaire.
A boxed section on the left features the details of the latest car raffle draw with an animated slide show of the car prizes, drawing the visitor’s attention as well as creating interest.
Six best-selling products are showcased on the right, each with a thumbnail image and a link to the product details page.
Right below are three banner links to security rules on LAGs and contests and promotions.
Clicking on the “˜Products’ tab on the navigational panel will display the product categories in a column on the left and the product listing on the right – three neat rows of four products per row.
Each product comes with a thumbnail image, brand/product name, size and price in Oman Rials and US Dollars, as well as the option to view the item in greater detail.
On the product details page, a larger image of the product, product name, size and prices are displayed with a box to enter the quantity desired and the options to add the item to the shopping cart or to view the shopping cart.
We like that the price is displayed in two currencies. However, it would be a useful addition if the product images on the product detail page could be clicked on to display close-up views. Product descriptions are lacking as well.
12 items are displayed per page and shoppers can click on the “˜next’ button at the bottom right to browse the following pages. Products are not organised in any particular order – alphabetical or by brand. A substantial number of products are not accompanied by product images.
Muscat Duty Free’s busy home page offers a range of competitions, promotions and special offers
There are four main product categories on the left: Confectionery, Liquor, Perfumes and Tobacco. Each category is divided into sub-categories to make browsing easier.
The confectionery category is further divided into the different brands available. However, clicking on any brand will display the message “No Products Under This Category. Please Try Again Later”.
The Liquor category is sorted into the various liquor types (whisky, vodka, gin, rum , wines etc), with the products sorted and displayed under each sub-category.
The Perfumes category is the only one that is not sub-categorised. Browsing could be made easier here if the perfumes were sorted into men’s and ladies’ fragrances.
The Tobacco category is sub-divided into the different product types such as Cigarettes, Cigars and Rolling Tobacco.
Products thumbnail images are listed neatly in three rows of four with the category menu on the left
Muscat Duty Free’s website features raffle draws, contests and promotions to generate consumer interest and engage its customers.
Under the “˜Raffles’ tab on the navigational panel, customers can find out about the latest raffle draw with attractive car prizes.
Other promotions featured include a raffle for a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Jet Ski from Yamaha.
The Winners tab lists details of all the previous raffle draws and the winners.
The retailer also offers advertising opportunities on its website. Interested parties can contact Muscat Duty Free for quotes via an online form under the Advertise tab.
Customers can contact Muscat Duty Free via an online message and feedback form. On the same page, the locations of the Muscat Duty Free Arrivals and Departures stores are indicated on a floor plan for visitors as well.
Clearly illustrated LAGs information
Information on LAGs is available via a banner link at the bottom of the website. We like the usage of graphics to illustrate the security rules, which are made clear and easy to understand.
Duty free allowances for arrivals to Oman can be found under the Allowances tab.
The website also provides useful information about Muscat Duty Free’s background and general information about Oman.
There is also a FAQ section covering queries on the raffle draws and the duty free pre-order service.
We did not face any problems navigating the site with its clear signposting and good navigation system.
However, there are certain links which fail to display the required pages such as the “˜Currency Converter’ and the “˜Employment’ links.
The promotions to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Yamaha Jet Ski can be accessed via the individual banner links but the Promotions tab under the navigational panel seems to have problems displaying the information.
Muscat Duty Free has a well-designed website with thoughtful concepts and user-friendly features. The duty free product selection is extensive and varied and comes with a pre-order service. The retailer has much to offer to its customers with the website. However, there is room for improvement and loose ends to tie up with regards to consistency, product presentation and organisation and working links.
What we like:
o Upbeat and pleasant design
o Pre-order service
o Thoughtful concepts and user-friendly features
o Retail promotions and raffle draws
What needs adding/improving:
o Consistency in product presentation, images and organisation
o Links that do not work
o More detailed product description and duty free allowances information
Website of the week scoring system explained:
Content: How wide is the range of items on offer? Are there good quality photos and product descriptions?
Pricing: Are product prices listed? For all products?
Navigation: How easy is the site to use?
Style/Design: How does the site look?
Supplementary information: On allowances, currencies, after-sales service, useful tips and so on.
Overall incentive to shop: This includes tone, promotions, offers, competitions and, importantly, pre-order.
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