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What Works...and Doesn't Work on the Web

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, April 11, 2001

What works and doesn't work... on the Web. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. Companies sometimes learn lessons the hard way when it comes to doing business online. Others turn to consulting firms to find out what consumers want...

"What they're looking for in a nutshell is information and transactions that are quick and easy and efficient for everybody."

It may be called a browser, but what people really want on the Web is to get things done. And the easier companies can make the experience, the better, says Beth Blumenthal... founder and President of The Westport Company... a veteran consulting firm with a long list of well known clients ranging from IBM and Dell to the U.S. Postal Service... .

"Those companies truly have a customer focus. They are trying to deliver and offer what their customers want. And our role for them, for those clients, is to find out what those customers want. What kinds of content, what kinds of information, how they want the Web site to work and whether the Web site is truly usable."

The idea is to track customer comments... .and use video technology in user labs...

"We watch what they do. We bring them into a room and rig up all kinds of video cameras and watch them try to use the sites and then we get into their heads to find out what they're thinking, what they understand and what they don't understand."

And Blumenthal says it's clear that consumers are willing to buy just about anything online... .if the site is right. You can find more information at westportcompany.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.