Bargain Hardware 2.0

Discussion in 'Website Reviews & Testing' started by bargainh, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    Good Morning UKBF,

    We recently launched version 2.0 of our site which has been many years in the making.

    We're an IT refurbisher selling refurbished workstations, servers, PCs, laptops and components.

    It's a particularly tricky build when factoring in the inventory system links and all the logical rules around allowable configurations of various machines.

    Your thoughts and feedback on the site would be kindly appreciated: Bargain Hardware 2.0
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,356 8,923
    How are you marketing the business and who are you targeting?
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #2
  3. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    Our target market is primarily UK/EU SME's

    Marketing through google, eBay and Amazon
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,356 8,923
    And do they know what they want?

    I ask because I looked at one of your servers and had no idea what all those specs meant.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Inva

    Inva UKBF Regular Free Member

    369 62
    In your specs many components lack brand. "Power: 1125W PSU" ...generic, made in China? Also i did not find anywhere where it says whether the stuff is new or refurbished. Some components i'd like to get new. Not a good idea to buy used disks for example.

    Your menu does not work well, it breaks in 2 lines for me.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2019 By: Inva Member since: Aug 10, 2018
    #5
  6. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    They would do, yes. The servers wouldn't be targeted at consumers.

    We do plan to add some tooltips to aid with the PC and Laptop configurations.

    PSU manufacturers would always be the same OEM as the chassis, where relevant. For example the HP and Dell servers would always use HP and Dell PSU's.
    A more generic server such as the Foxconn's would use a similarly generic PSU but i don't think that further detail would really be of benefit.

    The menu issue doesn't sound at all good. Could I ask for your OS and browser details please and we'll get that fixed.

    Thanks for the feedback guys :)
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #6
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,623 3,350
    Your website is a disaster - sorry to have to be blunt, but that's the way it is!

    A typical example is the 'Avid Workstation' - Avid what? Audio? Video? Loaded with SW? What? And 3GB video card - are you kidding??? Try 16GB for basic 4K! Someone claiming to build an Avid workstation (and without Avid accreditation BTW!) using a 3GB video card hardly inspires confidence!

    Anybody wanting to edit audio or video using an Avid system knows exactly what they want and what SW has to be loaded up-front.

    On Friday, I shall be ordering a whizz-bang workstation with many, many terabytes and GB of disks and RAM and video and audio cards to match. It will be spec'ed to the SW it is supposed to run and TBH, I shall be ordering from Scan.

    The reality is, you have a website for the PC DIY enthusiast, where (according to your website) a top on the line graphics card costs under £500 and not the £10,000 that a professional card can cost. There is of course nothing wrong with giving the DIY enthusiast what they want (and the market for £10k graphics card is low volume and very specialised) but you are advertising one thing (professional workstations) but actually offering something quite different.

    My 30 cents worth - tune your offerings to your real target audience!
     
    Posted: Mar 19, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #7
  8. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    Hi Byre, thanks for the feedback here.

    I must admit that I'm not as familiar with the 'pre-configured' selections we have as with the standard model configurators. However I just loaded the AVID page (https://www.bargainhardware.co.uk/r...workstations/pre-configured-avid-workstations) and the first thing I see is the Basic/Intermediate/Extreme descriptions and which AVID packages those machines are compatible with.

    Anybody who knows exactly what they want might want to go straight into a specification high-end workstation such as the HP Z840 or Dell T7910.

    Much as I do appreciate your feedback, i'm not sure I can agree that we're offering something 'quite different' to professional workstations. HP Z-series and Dell Precision workstations are the gold standard for high-end workstations and the two models I mention above will be very difficult to out-spec at Scan :)

    If you think it relevant then I'd be happy to get our engineers to run some benchmark tests on them for you and perhaps we can persuade you that they'd be a far better value proposition than a new generic box from Scan.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #8
  9. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,356 8,923
    In which case make the homepage a grid showing the range top level categories. Make it really easy for someone to quickly scan and target the kit they want. Bin the promos, the top-seller and the featured product and just show me the categories.

    Increase the font size. Remove the grey backgrounds.

    Move the quantity to the right of the price. Remove the stock levels (if it's not in stock don't list it). Or if it's out of stock let me pre-order or at least tell me when you will be getting new stock.

    Auto select something so the cost doesn't show as zero. Change the dropdowns into a radio so I can just click the one I want.

    I can only get one monitor - you won't let me buy two.

    Don't use a pop up for the images

    Bin the sidebar. Use the full page width for the specs. Put the cost at the top below the menu (as a sticky).

    Move the search out of the header on the homepage and put it in the main body.

    On the product page you have great chunks of whitespace in the main product details. Looks a little odd. If your customers already know what they want try moving the image to the right so the product name is in the prime position. Consider a short description below the product title. The configurator is below the fold for me. I had to scroll to discover the useful stuff.

    On the category pages move the blurb down the page. Your customers already know they want a 'Dell Whatever' so put the products in view as soon as they land.

    That will do for starters.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #9
  10. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    Firstly, thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback. It really is kindly appreciated.

    I'll reply to each point below:

    RE: Category page grid on the home page - The megamenu is accessible from every page on the site and provides that same functionality.

    I'm not sure which grey backgrounds you refer to.

    Agreed on the price/quantity layout. The price should also be bold.

    The out of stock management is particularly difficult unfortunately. Our stock isn't so easily/readily replenished so we're working within constraints there.

    There should be a chassis auto-selected on each system. I believe there might be an issue with doing so when multiple chassis are available but will check it.

    Radios won't work as many options allow for multiple quantities.

    Why so? Amazon does and it seems commonplace among eCommerce sites.

    Do you mean the buy box/configuration box? This is needed to display the current price and configuration whilst the user scrolls.

    I can't see the benefit here either i'm afraid. I struggle to think of any ecommerce sites where the search function isn't top and centre of the site.

    Agreed on this. We have work to do on re-arranging the layout to make better use of the space.

    Yes, this is a difficult trade-off between the SEO benefits of the higher content placement versus the customer experience of perhaps wanting to see the products earlier. Decision was taken that providing the products are above the fold then we can acheive the best of both worlds.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #10
  11. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,356 8,923
    I’m out in a bit so can’t reply to everything right now.

    I know the mega menu is available on every page but that means I have to take an action to see the options. A category grid on the homepage means I can scan in a fraction of a second. You said people already know what they want so make it easier for them to home in on the product type.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #11
  12. Inva

    Inva UKBF Regular Free Member

    369 62
    This is not automatically the case, especially since you sell refurbished. Perhaps you swapped the PSU on this one. Even if you didn't, clarification removes doubt.

    Linux desktop webkit
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: Inva Member since: Aug 10, 2018
    #12
  13. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    I don't mean to be pedantic, and I do appreciate the feedback, but these are stock items and not individual assets. So the product page refers to the product type and all stock is identical.

    If we were to replace them it would have to be like-for-like as they're not interchangeable. The only interchangeable PSU's are redundant PSU's and again, only models from the same OEM are interchangeable.

    Thanks again for your input.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #13
  14. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,623 3,350
    Now they're more like it - but you still don't get the problem. I am not criticising your computers but your website. It's a mess!

    All I want is a box that works - I want to know that software X will run on your whizz-bang Xenon workstation and be able to perform without panting for breath! I don't know if I need MB X, Y or Z or if I need multiple SSD drives or just a couple. All I want is a box that I shove into the machine room, plug in and it goes.

    That means I need examples and suitability. "This box of tricks has two Xenon 16-core CPUs and an Nvida card with X GB of RAM. It will run DaVinci-Resolve/AutoCad/Avid Media-Composer/Whatever and has a minimum bulk transfer/render speed of X. It comes complete with a 7.1 audio card, 7 USB3 slots, two HDMI2 IOs, an AES IO, a BR play and record drive (etc., etc., etc.) and costs just £5,000."

    OK - you're on! I'll be at your place first thing on Friday morning - get the coffees out! I will have been on the road by that time for about six hours. It'll be a nose to nose, head to head, grudge-match between you and Scan. The winner gets to sell me a workstation!

    It'll be a busy day, as I have to be in Trafford Manchester later that morning, somewhere in Gloucestershire that afternoon and in Witney near Oxford in the evening.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #14
  15. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    Ok. Understood.

    How do you feel Scan compares in this regard?

    I've had a look on there but can't find the software compatibility info that you mention.

    Could you point me to the link and we'll look at how we can implement something comparable or better.

    Thanks again for your input
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #15
  16. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,623 3,350
    I am definitely not claiming that Scan's website is ideal, but at least they give examples of general suitability, PCs for gaming, HD and 4K video editing, pro-audio, graphics, etc.

    I don't know if I need a larger cooling block, or a heat-pipe, or what sort of graphics card will cope with 8K RAW film stock, or if it is OK for AutoCAD or Maya or what sized SSD I need to stew my brain on Grand Theft Auto. Your build-it-yourself approach puts me off - and I do know what it is I need and I do understand what all the bits do!

    It's like trying to buy a car and being asked what sort of tyres and catalytic converter or DPF I would prefer or if I want tungsten or vanadium spark-plugs! I neither know nor care!

    The people I work with are VERY computer savvy. They can solve all kinds of networking and compatibility problems and almost to a man, they prefer Macs. Apple and Mr Jobs discovered ages ago that people want a box that works and not a bloody Mechano set!

    The cost of the computer pales into insignificance, compared to all the other costs of running a business. If you can provide the same PC as a Scan model, but at a far lower price, I will gladly go for it - but puzzling together the various bits for a specific task and building and testing the thing is YOUR JOB and not mine!

    I am in the market for a powerful Windows-Pro workstation. All your website has to do is tell me what it costs and what's inside it! Assessment day is Friday. Decision and payment day is Monday.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #16
  17. bargainh

    bargainh UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 0
    I've read this post back through several times and i'm afraid I can't get away from the feeling that it's contradictory. So much so that if you didn't have such a large post count I would have the overwhelmingly inkling that I was being 'trolled'.

    In response to the car analogy, I think the options on our configurators would be more akin to engine size, wheel types, seat fabric and suchlike. These are all choices that you're given when you go to buy a brand new car. My understanding is that you want the salesman to present you with the correct car from the outset without any input from you, and for it to be both perfect for your needs and the right price.

    If you do decide to purchase from us then you can hop on livechat and our sales guys will be very happy to talk you through the configuration process. It's really not clear whether you need that or not, but either way we'll be happy to help.

    Thanks for your input.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: bargainh Member since: Aug 19, 2013
    #17
  18. Inva

    Inva UKBF Regular Free Member

    369 62
    That could only realistically work for playing games, for work use it's impossible to predict the work and measure the performance it will have.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: Inva Member since: Aug 10, 2018
    #18
  19. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,623 3,350
    @fisicx has given you several really great pointers on some of the detailed issues that need fixing on your website - and you have argued almost every single one of them.

    I gave you the customer's PoV - I even pointed a couple of people here at the site and they more or less said "Crikey! I can't make head nor tail of it!"

    I told you that I find that the site is a mess and finding a workstation and configuring that workstation is nigh impossible. I tried making the HP dual Xenon box comply with our needs, such as multi-channel audio cards and a top-line Nvida card and it was impossible. As far as I got, it was cheap enough. The last time I bought a workstation it cost about £20k and yours came in at under £4k - but still needed tweaking.

    For that reason, I need to talk one-on-one with an engineer and I offered to come past Friday morning - and got this reply -
    Quite apart from the absurdity of the situation (accusing a potential customer who tells you that he has to come past in person because he cannot make head-nor-tail of your website that he is a troll) it dawned on me at that point what is going on!

    You are in love with your website! "How dare you tell me my precious baby is ugly!"

    Margret Dumont: Are you insinuating that I am fat?
    Groucho: Well, as a matter of fact, yes I am. Why, do you want a second opinion?
    Margret Dumont: As a matter of fact, yes I do!
    Groucho: OK, you're ugly too!

    That's why you are fighting every suggestion @fisicx makes. That's why you take umbrage when I tell you it is an unfathomable and unholy mess. That is why you argued every point @Inva made about clarity.

    My honest tip - don't be in love with your website! Certainly, don't be in love with that one!

    Our own website is a mess as well and sometime this year, we shall be building a new one - or rather getting a specialist to build one for us. (I'm eying up @fisicx as a potential builder, but don't tell him that!) Yes, I can do html and all that jazz, but I really want the job done properly.

    Point taken - but there are benchmarks, such as render speeds, etc., etc.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #19
  20. Inva

    Inva UKBF Regular Free Member

    369 62
    Good points, The Byre. What I find most problematic, apart from telling your client that they are trolling, is that one type of visitor wants simpler information, while another wants more detailed information, and somehow both are left unsatisfied.

    Btw The Byre, you can DIY a workstation just as good as any HP or Dell, at half the cost basically.
     
    Posted: Mar 20, 2019 By: Inva Member since: Aug 10, 2018
    #20