Bill Gates once compared the auto industry with the computer industry by stating "If GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon." However, in today's technology driven society, the automotive industry is forced to adhere to the demands of the computer industry in order to remain a viable facet to the world economy. As a result of this technological revolution, companies such as B&M Racing are now finding themselves dependent on revenue via e-commerce as their primary source of income. B&M Automotive Products was founded by Bob Spar and Mort Schuman (B&M) in 1953, and has become the world's largest supplier of performance shifters to OEMs and tuners in both the United States and Europe. In order to achieve such success in today's economy, one's website must thoroughly address all aspects relative to web-based consumerism. Therefore, upon analyzing such a website, details referencing audience and purpose, design, usability, and credibility must all be taken into consideration in order to effectively create a comprehensive website review.
Audience and Purpose
B&M's website is dedicated to the sale of the company's aftermarket racing products as well as the promotion of the motor sports industry. Therefore, the majority of the users who access the site are motor sports enthusiasts seeking parts or ideas for their latest projects. Originally, B&M limited its product line to be applicable solely with American made muscle cars. This isolated the company's clientele to muscle-car aficionados; the majority of whom were American middle class males. However, due to the internet's global audience, bmracing.com has enabled the company to target foreign markets as well as domestic. In doing so, the company has created an international enterprise by tailoring its products to appease the needs of the global car community ( reference figure 1.2 on the final page of the review ).
Figure 1.1 on the final page of the review provides a visual reference to the homepage of the website. The general appearance of the site is cutting edge; utilizing vibrant colors and modern images to illustrate the motor sport theme. The color scheme of the site revolves around the colors of the company logo. This alone serves to instill a sense of company and product pride within the user. Thumbnail graphics are utilized to enhance user interactivity while keeping clutter to a minimum. In order to further minimize entropy, information about individual products is limited, while links can be used to access further information. Centered on the notion of internet-based consumerism, bmracing.com is dedicated to pushing the sale of its products. From the homepage, a link titled Products may be accessed, which will open a page containing a number of B&M products placed into sub-categories ( reference figure 1.3 on the final page of the review). Each product may...