Friday 15 July 2011

The most comprehensive website?

There's a lot of hype, flannell and hyperbole about the great paradigm shift that is occurring these days in sales and marketing. Everything you've ever known has changed says Chris Rand in one of his daily (short thankfully) emails. In 2009 we spoke about discovering another mercifully brief guru, Seth Godin in his book Meatball Sundae in our blog Sundae, bloody sundae! Gradually, and to my mind surprisingly slowly, vendors in our industry are realising this.  Why the philosophy? Well we just got this release from Digi-Key Corporation, which we reproduce in full and unexpurgated form, and it set us thinking.

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation, recognized by design engineers as having the industry’s broadest selection of electronic components available for immediate shipment, offers electronic engineers and procurement professionals the most comprehensive user experience on the World Wide Web.

“Ensuring a positive user experience is important to us,” said Mark Larson, president and COO of Digi-Key Corporation. “We can offer members of the EE community the best components in the electronics industry and provide valuable product information, design tools, and resources—all integrated and readily available on our global websites.”

One way Digi-Key informs purchasers is by providing updated New Product Highlight pages (located on Digi-Key’s supplier pages) which showcase the applications for and specific details about the best electronic components in the industry.

Also offered on Digi-Key’s global websites are Product Training Modules (PTMs)— training portals designed to offer in-depth product knowledge regarding the latest innovations. PTMs are available on Digi-Key’s supplier pages and on Digi-Key’s YouTube channel where users can also gain instant access to the latest, industry exclusive Another Geek Moment videos featuring entertaining product demonstrations.

Some of Digi-Key’s most industry-unique resources are the TechZoneSM technology zones which house articles, white papers, and application notes based on Lighting, Microcontroller, Power, Sensor, and Wireless technologies. Stemming from these online resources are the TechZoneSM Magazines which feature articles penned by top industry professionals. Lighting, Microcontroller, Sensor, and Wireless editions can be accessed as interactive online versions or in downloadable iPad/HTML5 and PDF formats.

“In a recent independent industry survey by Hearst, Digi-Key was ranked #1 for Ease of Website Navigation and Valuable Online Content Offering by industry professionals and design engineers,” said Larson. “Our success as an Internet-based distributor is measured by the high quality of our comprehensive online resources.”

Digi-Key was also ranked #1 in web categories such as Design Support, Best Online Seminars, and Best Technology Education and Training by industry professionals and design engineers in the aforementioned 2011 Hearst study.

As the leading integrated Internet-based distributor, information about and inventory of millions of products is accessible to customers around the globe, with all products shipped from Digi-Key’s single, North American location. The company’s integrated business model provides product and support information online to help put engineers and procurement professionals in control as they solve tough product development challenges.

The company’s online offerings and resources include: an interactive online catalog; PTM Online…On Demand® product training modules; TechZoneSM Magazines; Another Geek Moment videos; Digi-Key toolbar; PurchasingPro for electronics buyers; TechXchange; a Mobile and Social Center; and a Reference Design Library.

Well there you have it! Have they got it right in blowing their virtual trumpet about their web presence?


  1. Thanks for sharing Eoin, that is interesting. It's funny because when you come out and tell people how good you are, you automatically open the door to criticism and questioning. In this case, the questioning is whether or not this approach is right - it makes me think "who cares"? If I were tasked with promoting this study by Hearst, I would have come at this from their customers perspective/value and the importance of making it easy to do business. I would have avoided laundry listing the bells and whistles of the web site. Really who cares? If you don't have a good web site, then it is easy to shop elsewhere. That's not why customers shop at their web site. LL Bean has a great web site and user experience, but that's not why I shop there. It's too bad, they missed a unique opportunity to highlight a core value of their business vs. beating their chest. Don't you think?

  2. Wow, Juliann. You absolutely hit the nail on the head. It's another case of Engineers' Syndrome; the preoccupation with features and specifications. Tell us what problem you solve. Tell us why you're different. Don't make the customer figure it out for themselves.