Viking Direct : Keeping itself to itself
Company information is in overly short supply on an e-commerce site.
Viking Direct, a global office stationery supplier, provides minimal company information on country sites and links to its parent company’s site are at local discretion.
Viking Direct’s country sites in Europe are geared to e-commerce but share a common template which includes a foot-of-page utility link to company information. This leads to a single page factsheet-style presentation, the scope and layout of which differ from site to site.
Only some sites make overt mention of the fact that Viking Direct is part of the Office Depot group, and among these there is no consistency in offering a link to the parent-company site. For example, the UK, Italy and Ireland country sites have no link, while the France and Belgium sites (Dutch and French language versions) have direct links to an Office Depot corporate site in their respective local language.
The lack of access to company information on the Viking Direct sites is highly unusual even for an e-commerce operation. While most, understandably, are as discreet as Viking about the placement of a link to corporate background, the provision of ‘about us’ information thereafter covers the usual bases. Not so Viking. Any customer arriving at the UK site and seeing the promotion for its ‘green store’, for example, and wondering what the company does to manage its own environmental impact will get no further than the bland one-page presentation. Ditto jobseekers and anyone else looking to research the business.
This need not be more than a curiosity if Viking were to include a link to its parent company’. Clearly a few countries have realised this and capitalised on Office Depot’s good local language provision. Equally clearly, there is no central policy, either within Viking or Office Depot, to make sure all sites give this basic information service to their visitors.http://www.viking-direct.co.uk/specialLinks.do?ID=Who_is_viking
First published on 05 June, 2008