Cyberian Outpost was named the best online seller of computer products in a survey conducted by Forrester Research, the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm.
In the firm's first PowerRankings survey of the computing category, Cyberian's Outpost.com, a PC cyberstore with annual sales of $90 million, bested online rivals Beyond.com (ranked second), Buy.com (ranked third), CDW (placing fourth) and Egghead.com (coming in fifth), according to consumers and Forrester testers.
The e-tailers were chosen from consumer survey data generated by a 400,000-person online panel, which identified the most popular e-commerce sites. An unbiased team of Forrester researchers then evaluated the online shopping experience of each of the top computer selling sites by performing a series of rigorous tests in eight categories. Results from the shopping experience tests were combined with the consumer data to generate an overall PowerRanking.
Cyberian, which also supports Tweeter Home Entertainment's new e-commerce entry, Tweeter.Outpost.com, earned high marks across most scoring areas to win the top spot. Customers are most attracted to the e-tailer's low prices, efficient checkout process and free overnight shipping, Forrester said, although customer service scores were dragged down by the site's slow response time to e-mail inquiries.
Beyond.com grabbed the number-two perch by offering multiple navigation options, a quick checkout process, and buyers' guides. Third-place Buy.com also won kudos for its rapid checkouts, as well as competitive prices supported by guaranteed price-matching. Customers also cited the availability of order and inventory information.
CDW garnered fourth place honors for its product reviews, side-by-side product comparisons and innovative pop-up menus for easy navigation, while Egghead's impressive transaction functionality outweighed poor customer service and minimal features to earn it the fifth-place berth.
"Cyberian Outpost and Beyond.com lead with good prices and easy checkout," said David Cooperstein, Forrester's research director for consumer e-commerce. "The bargain seeker, who is not particularly concerned with ease-of-use, will know to visit Buy.com."
None of the remaining five sites in the Computing PowerRankings shone in more than one scoring category, Forrester said. Sixth-place Micro Warehouse combined average features and content with limited navigation options, while brand leader Dell came up shy in software and peripherals, earning it a seventh-place ranking. Although PC Connection came in first in customer service, low overall scores relegated it to eighth place.
Office Depot placed ninth due to limited navigation and site failure, followed only by TigerDirect, which presented limited product data and inaccurate order information.