Web users are informed of the launch of a new range of Puzzle Motion watches that have dials that are always changing. Every hour begins with a colorful geometric pattern, and as the minutes pass, the pattern changes constantly, until the original pattern reappears every hour. Clicking on the image on the home page allows you to delve deeper and discover the intricacies of the new product range.
Whether you’re looking to spend a few minutes online reading about the current developments in the company, or wish to spend an hour searching for the perfect watch, the neatly laid out left navigation menu, revealed on mouse over, will direct you to the appropriate section with ease.
If you prefer window shopping, we recommend browsing through the Watches section that showcases the season’s latest collection, categorized by vivid names like Sense of Nature, Spirit of the Night, and Swatch Talk. Each collection showcases individual watch designs, each of which are accompanied with a zoom in/out button that allows you to view the product in greater detail.
If you decide to purchase a Swatch, there is an e-store facility that allows you to do so. Currently the e-shop function is only available for US, UK, and Japanese customers. Shoppers in other countries can use the store locator button to identify one of its glitzy retail stores in over 75 countries worldwide.
Clicking on the e-shop section opens a separate browser window with a top navigation menu highlighting the different areas of the virtual store. First timers might feel a bit overwhelmed with the numerous sections (new, watches, collections), each of which have their own subsections (metal, skin, casual, chronograph). The online store showcases a colossal collection of watches, and customers will have no complaints regarding variety.
However, the categories could be arranged in a more systematic manner to ensure browsing is easy for the virtual customer. Swatch could learn a few lessons from Fossil, a competing watch brand, which has a better organized e-shop facility, with watches arranged by gender, metal, and strap. Nonetheless, a positive of Swatch’s e-shop section is that each watch is accompanied with details on specs and features, which allows visitors to gather additional details about the watch.
If you already own a Swatch watch and are looking for a strap or battery replacement, the site offers you the convenience of ordering a replacement online.
Besides its trendy line of watches, Swatch also retails a chic line of jewelry known as Bijoux. Like the perfectly arranged glass display cabinet, each item is vividly showcased through high quality images. The clear and sharp photography, used to depict both the watches and the jewelry, make up for the lost opportunity of seeing the product in-store.
However, one drawback of the site is that there is a lack of synergy between the watches section and the e-shop facility. If a customer likes a particular watch in the Fall/Winter section, for example, it is difficult to locate the same item in the e-shop section.
The company’s philosophy of watches as a fast moving fashion accessory is further reiterated when one visits the “Specials” section, listed under the main menu. Swatch is undoubtedly focused on capitalizing on reasons to launch a new watch, and this section presents watches designed to commemorate special occasions like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Chinese New Year.
Apart from presenting its gamut of watch designs, the website offers several features to encourage repeat visits to the site. The Swatch Club, with an entire site dedicated to it—www.swatchtheclub.com—is one such attraction. Membership to the online community is free of charge and allows fans to form groups, upload photos, and also create blogs. On the other hand, if you are a Club member (available at a cost), you will have access to additional features like a magazine subscription, contests, and event updates.
The Swatch brand is not just a symbol of style without substance. Equal importance is placed on product quality and reliability, and the website provides user manuals and service center information to address customer queries.
In terms of corporate information, the site does well in outlining the history and growth of the brand, and other developments within the company. However, the product ads, currently placed under “Watches” and “Bijoux,” seem a little out of place, and would be a better fit in the About Us section.
Overall, the appeal of the Swatch website goes beyond product selling. Apart from a few minor glitches, the website resonates with the aesthetic design and functionality of the offline brand.