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Apple - Company Analysis

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my assignment for Company Analysis

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page   1    ................... ……………   Company Introduction

page   2    ................... ……………   Apple Store Homepage

page   3    ................... ……………   Website Analysis

page   10     ............... ……………     Checkout On Apple Store

page   14   .................. ……………    Shopping Cart Issues

page   19     ............... ……………     Summary

page   21     ................ ……………    References

Company Introduction

Apple   Inc.   is   an    American       multinational
corporation that designs and markets consumer
electronics, computer software, and personal
computers.     The       company's        best-known
hardware     products    include   the     Macintosh
computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
Apple   software     includes   the   Mac     OS X
operating system; the iTunes media browser;
the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity
software; the iWorksuite of productivity software;
Aperture, a professional photography package;
Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio
and film-industry software products; and Logic
Studio, a suite of audio tools. As of January 2010, the company operates 284 retail stores
in ten countries, and an online store where hardware and software products are sold.

Established on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, and incorporated January 3, 1977, the
company was previously named Apple Computer, Inc. for its first 30 years, but removed the
word "Computer" on January 9, 2007, to reflect the company's ongoing expansion into the
consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers. As of
September 26, 2009, Apple had 34,300 full time employees and 2,500 temporary full time
employees worldwide and had worldwide annual sales of $42.91 billion in its fiscal year
ending September 26, 2009.

For reasons as various as its philosophy of comprehensive aesthetic design to its distinctive
advertising campaigns, Apple has established a unique reputation in the consumer
electronics industry. This includes a customer base that is devoted to the company and its
brand, particularly in the United States. Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired
company in the United States in 2008, and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010. In May
2010, Apple's market cap exceeded that of Microsoft for the first time since 1989.

Apple focuses a lot on usability. This can be seen in their products, and Apple.com. It is
important for Apple.com to be a usable site, because it leaves a good impression on users,
and they will therefore be more likely to buy products from Apple.

Apple Store Homepage

Website Analysis

A lot can be learned from http://store.apple.com/my, so I will use the website as a case
study to go over some of the most important usability techniques in web design.

Apple Mac needs no introduction in the computer world. As a leading provider of innovative
computer technology, it also has a strong web presence. The website analysis of the Apple
Store website has been done to see how well they cater to the online user.

The main page loads in less than one second which is excellent especially when
considering the amount of graphics used and heavy reliance on visual appeal.

The main colours are grey with the majority of pages having a white background which
helps to reduce confusion on the eye as there are simply a dazzling range of products on
display and the user needs some help in keeping focused. This ensures a neat and
professional look and provides the contrast required for readability.

It is has an attractive homepage with large menu items on top which make for easy
identification of the categories such as Store, Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Support and
Search Store. It is the best way to organize the products without taking too much space. It
is extremely easy to use, especially because of the clickable labels.

The Apple logo is displayed throughout and the home option is in the form of the logo.
Although this is visually attractive, it would have been helpful if there was also a text home

The length of the pages is well balanced and rather than having endlessly long pages, they
have given more options when entering the main categories. The online shopping facility is
comprehensive and easy to use.

One of the great features of the Apple website is the Support Menu that ability to download
iTunes or products applications, Self Service, Training, products Solution, Product Program
and Featured Support Topics.

The Downloads menu is packed with excellent downloads
such as QuickTime Player, movie trailers, music, and cool
features. Another useful and well appreciated feature of the
Apple website is the tutorial sections for loading up to
YouTube and more. The tutorials are in the form of videos
and easy to follow.

In Communities Box, its features a feedback option which is important for interactivity. A
blog for the users will be excellent for traffic generation and customer involvement. Open
discussion and helpful guidance amongst members. Apple also offers workshops and an
answer centre to improve the experience at the website. User can connect with other
members through the Apple website Groups option allowing for the creation of
communities, newsletters, calendars and galleries.

The Search

A strong search with
usable features         is a
necessity       of        any
website. Many elements
affect the usability of a
search. Most websites
just use a simple search
bar,   with   no       extras.
Nothing fancy, just a bar
that leads to a search
page. Apple.com takes search to the next step.

This website uses powered auto-suggestion drop down menu which shows the top results
of a search in progress. Also included is a link to the full search results. Only one keyword
features in the search store engines normally look for three or more products. Apple put the
search in the upper right of the menu and the left of sidebar menu, and it stays there
through the whole site.

The Subtle Details

Small details are important to any design, even though they may be overlooked by most
users. Apple certainly pays attention to the details and it influences the professional feel of
the site.

Links – When inserting links into content, it is crucial to highlight them in some way. Apple
does just that, and better. All the links, whether it be in the content or in a list, have some
sort of distinction.

Separators – In lists, and similar elements, separation between objects is a good idea. In
the list below, a simple one pixel line separates the text objects in the layout.

Back to Top Links – The back to top links are a very common usability tactic and are
never to be overlooked. Apple.com uses the back to top links occasional in long lists, such
as the one below

Online Help facilities are essential for such a complicated environment and fortunately,
there is no lack of assistance. A site map link displayed at the right top of the page for
orientation. The help topics arranged in alphabetical or category order, which makes
provision for all types users.

Shopping Cart

We can save items/products that you want to
buy to a Shopping Cart until we ready to
confirm our purchase. This is a convenient
feature if we have a slow Internet connection at
one location with our pc or if we are trying to
restrain our impulse shopping tendencies.


New users can browse through the Apple website without having to register first. If a user
does want to buy, an account must be registered, but it holds several benefits such as
comprehensive assistance and access to information.

Left Sidebar Menus

The Left sidebar navigation is also quite impressive, and usable. The sidebar content store
links and act as Online Shopping Menu that allows for users buy the Apple products.

Apple Store features a very simple gallery throughout all groups of products images. At the
centre of website there are some of the products images shown the price in a light box, but
all use a common thumbnail menu. It is very simple and clean. All of these images are very
high quality. Image quality plays a big role in the professionalism of a website. Detail is
needed in good images, no matter how subtle. Apple uses a reflection effect on most
images to give the image a little more depth.

Users will find the retailer search helpful and will appreciate the RSS feeds ability provided.
The latest news regarding Apple and possible specials are also featured although a
subscription option is less obvious. The website does however offer the ability to share
information with friends and thus makes use of viral Internet marketing techniques. The site
offers many download such as excellent widgets.
Language Selection - There is nothing worse than not being
able to market product to customers of a different region
because website only speaks one language. Apple provides
the website in every language, which allows them to expand
there marketing range.

Site Map is one smaller feature that goes long way usability wise which is well organized as
the user can easily get lost if following the text links. Apple.com has a site map located in
the footer, which helps the user find pages even faster.

The user can however, reach the Contact Us link by following the overview that includes
company information, jobs, and affiliate options. As with any website that focuses on online
shopping, it does include the standard privacy policy and user agreement.

The variety of Payment options like credit Card payment and Bank Transfer offered on the
Apple Online Store, and how the tax order is calculated. Also, get more information about
special pricing, offers, promotions, and other great deals with limited time availability.

In Shipping & Delivery, Apple uses the best carriers in the business to make sure our
order gets on time. We can track our item(s) when its have shipped. Apple sends us a
Shipment Notification email that includes the estimated delivery date and tracking number.
We can also view this information by signing in to online Self Service.

Delivery Time - Once we placed an order, we can visit online Self Service for shipping and
delivery dates for each item. The Ships By date is an estimate of when the item will ship
from their facility. The Delivers By date is an estimate of when the item will be delivered to
our shipping address. All the estimates are based on business days.

Signature on delivery - Most of their shipments contain valuable computer equipment. If
we will not be home to accept delivery of product, consider shipping our product where
someone we trust will be able to sign for our package.

Using Check Out

STEP 1       Review Our Cart

Once we are ready to order, select the "View Cart" link in the upper right of any page on the
Apple Online Store to review all of the items we have placed in cart. They provide us with
an estimated time they expect each item to ship from our facility as well as an estimated
total, which will include any shipping charges and taxes. If we update our order, we have
selected the "Update Subtotal" button to see an updated estimated order total for our cart.

If there are other items we want to purchase, select the "Continue Shopping" button to add
additional items to our existing cart Or select to "Save for later" and we can come back to
view our Saved Cart.

When we are ready to buy the items in our cart, select the "Check out" button.

STEP 2           Sign In

If we already have an Apple Online Store, iTunes, .Mac, or iPhoto account, sign in using
our existing Apple ID and
password. If we are a new
user, create an account by
entering in our email address.
If we have questions about our
Apple      ID,     password,     or
account,     visits    the     Your
Account section of online Help.

STEP 3           Enter billing and shipping information

In order to process our order, they need us to enter both our billing address and shipping
address. Our billing address and shipping address should match the information on our
credit card account.

STEP 4        Select a Payment Method

To find out what Payment methods accepted on the Apple Online Store, we have visit the
Payment & Security section of online help. Make sure that our payment method matches
the billing information that we have entered and that include the appropriate security code
for a credit or debit card.

STEP 5        Complete Checkouts

Once they have all our item, billing, shipping, and payment information, they ready to
complete checkout. Review our order and personal information to ensure it is accurate, and
when we are ready to purchase, select the "Place my order" button.

Once we place order, they will take us to a Thank You page that will contain a summary of
our order, including our Web Order Number. Please print this page for our files. They will
also send us an Order Acknowledgment email once our order has been processed. We will
receive a Shipment Notification email as each of our items ship.

The Ways To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

   Disclose Shipping Costs in Advance. Clearly show shipping costs prior to customer
    providing their payment information. This could be done by adding fees to product
    pages or have a shipping widget that calculates shipping rates before the cart process.

   Show Security Icons. Reassure customers by displaying security services and
    images throughout the shopping funnel. Our job is to make customers feel safe during
    the entire buying process, and not just on the home page.

   Create Trust. Communicate our online store's trustworthiness by having clear
    guarantees and contact information. Display company phone numbers on every page,
    along with hours of business, and place our guarantee and return policies prominently.

   Easy shopping Cart Return. Make it easy for customers to return to the shopping cart
    without having to go back through the purchase process. This often involves an
    autoresponder-type setup that captures data and then sends an email offering a
    second chance to buy while taking the customer back to the original cart page. A low-
    tech version is to simply send an email invitation to continue shopping with a link to the
    product page, and an offer to answer any questions.

   Offer Comparison Shopping Directly From Our Site. This gives a chance to point
    out differences and demonstrate value. There are some widgets available on our site.
    A low-tech version is to create pages showing recent sales comparisons, or to show a
    comparison search engine screenshot.

   Offer Coupons & Discounts. Creating compelling coupon offers is a great way to get
    viral traffic and email buzz, and to increase conversions. Make the offer accessible and
    enticing, with strict deadlines. Also, make sure that discount details are clear, and that
    we have a separate page explaining in simple terms any qualifications or restrictions
    around the special.

   Encourage User Reviews & Reward. Customer reviews are a powerful tool during a
    purchase. We can encourage them by inviting customers via a personal email,
    mentioning it during phone calls, or by adding a link to our newsletters.

Improve Customer Experiences

The problem of incomplete online transactions is not isolated to big money alone. Even
small businesses have their share of this difficulty, perhaps more so given the lack of robust
and sophisticated purchasing systems as well as inadequate technical and customer
support personnel that the well-financed enjoy.

Abandoned shopping carts highlight the need to improve the total consumer experience,
including the shopping and checkout processes. For a small business to succeed online,
customer relationships should be a top priority and carefully managed despite the
company’s resource constraints. Focus should be given on the best possible (and flawless)
customer experience and converting first-time shoppers to valuable repeat customers.

To improve the sales conversion rate, and thus enhance revenues and customer retention,
small business needs to start with the basics.

Quick page download. Customers should be able to download our site less than 10
seconds. Minimize the use of graphics only to those that are essential to enhance the look
of our site, and make sure that you compress the file size. Check your HTML to avoid
bloated coding.

Keep our site easy to navigate. The site structure should be what your customer wants,
not how your organization is organized. To the extent possible, use simple page design
focused on moving customers toward completion of their goal. Don’t clutter the page with
dozens of features and links that most customers don’t want.

Communicate product offers clearly. Use clear, concise wording. More importantly,
explain clearly the prices and sales terms upfront, and not at the very end of the buying
process. We dont want our customers to experience what is called “sticker shock” the
customer’s reaction when the price, shipping, taxes and other charges are more than their
original expectations. By putting the total costs including shipping and other charges at the
start of the ordering process, the potential customer can decide whether he or she is willing
to pay the price for the product. Doing so will minimize the rate of shoppers abandoning
your site’s shopping cart.

Inform customers if the product is available or not. Don’t wait until the customer
reaches the checkout before telling him that the product he wants is not available, as this
pisses people off. There are a number of shopping cart software products that gives you the
capability to add, edit and delete products from our inventory, some of which are even free.

Alert the users that they are about to abandon their shopping carts. One of the
strategies being adopted by some big companies to prevent shopping cart abandonment is
by having a popup reminder when a user it about to exit the site without purchasing any of
the items placed on their shopping carts. Try offering an additional discount in these
popups. The downside, of course, is that many users blog popups so the visitor may not
see our popup

Keep „em coming back. Even the most established web sites are struggling with
increasing their goal of building a large pool of repeat customers. To prevent customers do
not return to visit websites, send the customer an email, especially if they abandoned their
shopping carts. Remind them what they placed in their carts. And to interest them further,
offer discounts if they return to the site and purchase those items in their carts.

The Most Common Problems When Online Shopping

Ordering the Wrong Item

In online shopping where the consumer never physically handles the item before the
purchase is complete and the item delivered it is certainly possible to purchase the wrong
item. This can occur when the shopper uses the website to make the purchase and clicks
on the wrong item or when the consumer contacts customer service to make the purchase
and provides the wrong product number. Even if the consumer clicks on the correct product
and provides an accurate product number he may still make a mistake in the ordering
process if there are options. This problem can be rather troubling because the consumer
will be disappointed when the incorrect item is received.

Receiving the Wrong Item

Even when online shoppers do not make mistakes during the ordering process it is still
possible for the consumer to receive the wrong item. This often occurs when the orders are
filled by hand and a mistake is made in the warehouse. A warehouse maker may ship the
wrong item completely or may ship the correct item in the wrong software or model. Again
the consumer will likely not know a mistake was made until the order arrives. The online
retailer will likely take responsibility for returning the incorrect item and will ship the correct
item as soon as possible. However, this may not completely correct the problem in all
cases. For example a consumer who purchased an item for a specific event may not
receive the replacement item in time for the event.

The Need to Return an Item

In situations where the online shopper orders the wrong item as well as situations where
the online retailer mistakenly ships the wrong item there may be a need to make returns.
Although this may not seem to be a huge problem it can be particularly troubling for some
consumers. In particular online shoppers who opt to do their shopping online specifically
because they work odd hours may have a great deal of difficulty making returns. This is
because the process of shipping the item back to the online retailer will generally involve
taking the item to a post office. Depending on the hours in which the consumer works, it
may be difficult to get to a post office during regular business hours and may require the
shopper to take time off from work to make the return.


Our world as it is today could not survive without the internet. Almost every business or
corporation uses the internet as a vital part of their business. As the use of the internet has
become more and more prevalent in our daily lives, so have new internet terms and slang.
New words and acronyms like blog, LOL, and Googling have been introduced into our daily

New technologies are beginning to help online merchants address shopping cart
abandonment. Some of these technologies may be included with our shopping cart, while
others can be added to our store or written by customers.

Although there are numerous advantages of shopping online, to the society as well as
individuals, such as 24-hr access and absence of vendors, some negative concerns of
online shopping can be reduced by efforts of Web makers. In order to attract more online
customers, Web vendors need to gain trust from consumers by signalling privacy and
security of their sites, such as by using third-party seal approval, and must allow consumers
to use interactive tools.

Although these features will gather more consumers online, that traditional retail shopping
will not be reduced or replaced by online shopping in the future. In addition to retail shops,
thoughtful improvements of Web sites with consideration on consumers' perspectives,
online shopping will gain respect and trust by consumers and will be much more widely
used than today to benefit both the society and individuals. Eventually, almost all
consumers will adapt to the online shopping technology and will be able to enjoy the
convenient, innovative way of shopping.

My Summarizes

Web Site Analysis            Apple

Domain name & IP
address                      http://store.apple.com/my

                              To sell a variety of Apple products, software and
Objectives, Privacy Policy    Welcome both new and existing members
                              Attract New customers with downloadable and software.
                              Provide a portal for existing members

                             Very Simple and well-designed interface, users can find
Likes of the website         exactly what they need at the click of a button. Not a lot of
                             fluff presented, just a nitty-gritty set of links to both products
                             and services. Users can find a lot within the site easily,
                             particularly with the use of the tabs at the top of the page.

                             The cluttered interface can often seem overwhelming for
Dislikes of the website
                             first time visitors.

                             Apple Store Navigation experience was clean cut. I could
                             hop on, find exactly what I wanted to buy, do a little price
Navigation experience        comparison on models, and make my purchase. This ease-
                             of-use reflects Apple Store sales tactics both in retail sales
                             and online, and the results are a very enjoyable experience.

                             Bright, flashy colours, a wide variety of their products are
Favourable Design
                             listed in a reasonable manner for the user to check out if

                             Apple Store has such a variety of brilliant products, OS,
                             stunning industrial innovation, or the trends accessories.
Why I would return to this
                             Their have many big fan around the world. I think that many
                             visitors would be comfortable purchasing items from the
                             website for that reason.


   http://store.apple.com/my

   Abdelmessih, Nina, Silverstein, Michael and Stanger, Peter. (2001).
    “Winning the Challenge of the Online Consumer:

   http://www.spoonfeddesign.com/usability-analysis-of-applecom-why-is-it-so-good

   Framework for Global Electronic Commerce.

   http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/New/Commerce/read.html

   Malloy, Edward. (2002). “Electronic Commerce Policy:Toward Global Consensus
    on Principles.” Power Point presentation.

   Rappa, Michael. (2002). “Business Models on the Web.”

   http://digitalenterprise.org/models/models.html

   http://academic.scranton.edu/student/SHUMPF2/analysis.htm

   http://www.beginnersguide.com/ecommerce/website-management/website-

   http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Basic-Overview-of-E-Commerce&id=2418411


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