Site Review | Professional Jeweler

December 20, 2000

Shopping for watches online just got easier. Forget about simple product images and prepare for the extra-large and 3D watch images at Customers couldn't ask for more. They can spin the watches around, zoom in and zoom out – everything short of actually holding them. Add in extensive product descriptions and animated illustrations to show watch features and it's almost better than going to a store.

Why wouldn't shoppers want to buy from when a banner on the main page alerts them to the latest deal: free overnight shipping and free gift boxes just in time for the holidays. While other sites are losing shoppers this close to Christmas due to shipping concerns, Fossil guarantees anything in stock ordered by Dec. 20 will arrive in time to be put under the Christmas tree. Nervous holiday shoppers will also be comforted by the site's "Holiday FAQ," which answers the most-asked holiday shopping questions. even has a solution for shoppers who can't think of the perfect gifts. In its gifts section, customers choose if the gift is for him, her or a teen and the desired price range, and a list of gift ideas appears. No need for customers to worry that the only gift ideas will be watches. There are plenty of other Fossil goods and accessories included as well.

Navigating the Fossil site is simple and intuitive. The top navigation is found throughout the site, making it simple for shoppers to jump to men's, women's, gifts, collectibles, help desk and checkout. On the main page, the left navigation allows shoppers to jump to any category or sub-category in the site. When users roll their mouses over the main categories, the menu expands to show more options. Also, the pages for men's and women's products outline all the products and styles available. Customers can even shop by style number if they know what they are looking for, but there is no search function.

It doesn't end there. If customers want to know how to program the watches before purchasing or lost the instruction manuals for their own Fossil watches, has illustrated directions for all its programmable watches. The site's help desk also includes more FAQs, information about warranties and repairs, a store locator and contact information.

- by Julia M. Duncan