Home » Maritime » APL.com one of ten “great websites”: B2B magazine

APL’s Web site has been judged by BtoB magazine to be one of its top ten “Great Web Sites”. In the past, B2B magazine has ranked its top 100 business-to-business (B2B) Web sites with a point system, and APL’s position has risen steadily over the past four years. Today, APL is the only ocean carrier to make BtoB’s list of ten “Great Web Sites”, which includes Alcoa, Xerox, AT&T Corp., and Hewlett-Packard Company.

This is the first year B2B has selected Web sites in this way.

“APL.com is a comprehensive set of customer-centric applications that simply get down to business,” wrote reviewer Shane Ginsberg, a San Francisco-based Web site marketing specialist. “APL has smartly and elegantly focused on critical shipping information and services.”

One of the “easiest and most intuitive” e-commerce options available on APL.com, the magazine says, is the EBL Print feature, which lets customers print their bills-of-lading (key shipping documents) from anywhere in the world, speeding up the release of their cargo.

“Our goal for all of our systems – including our Web sites – is that they provide business value in real terms,” said Cindy Stoddard, Chief Information Officer of APL’s parent, Neptune Orient Lines (NOL). “The ease of use of our Web site is reflected in our customers’ high acceptance rate.”

When APL launched its suite of e-commerce services in 1999, fewer than 8% of the company’s customers used them, explained APL’s Webmaster, Hank Moreira.

“Today it’s close to 50%, and more than 45% of all customer transactions with APL are now made through these e-channels,” said Moreira. “The high volume of Web-based transactions allows us – and our customers – to operate more conveniently and cost effectively.”

The review of APL.com also notes that APL follows the “show, don’t tell” approach, using plenty of demos and multimedia to get its point across and educate customers.

“This is a strategy that helps customers across all industries and in all countries easily understand and begin benefiting from the company’s e-commerce services,” said Phillip Chin, APL’s Vice President, Customer Support and E-Commerce.

The editors of BtoB said the ten sites were selected for the high quality of product and company information, presented in a compelling way; ease of navigation; clean design that reflects the company’s brand; and the ability of customers to purchase or transact business online. They also said a great Web site “displays its power in seemingly small ways.”

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