A Comparison of Online Shopping at JCPenney and Kohl's Essay

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JCPenney Dominates Over Kohl’s in Online Shopping

Being a multi-billion dollar retailer comes with its perks. JCPenney’s dominance over catalog merchandising has now extended into the cyber world at www.jcpenney.com. This website is multi-functional and easy to navigate, but how would JCPenney’s new e-commerce site stack up against its toughest competitor, Kohl’s, on the web? The answer may surprise you. This is an intriguing look at how varied retail comparisons can be. While JCPenney is struggling with sales on the retail floor, Kohl’s continues to exceed expectations in their stores. Online though, it is a completely different story.

Kohl’s has a fledgling site located at www.kohls.com. The homepage for this site looks very
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Kohl’s homepage is simple and bare unlike JCPenney’s cluttered doorstep; however, JCPenney lists all links on the homepage, which makes online shopping easier overall.

The major difference between these two sites is the shop-ability of each. Kohl’s has yet to expand their website to an e-commerce base. It was dramatically easier for JCPenney to expand online because of their established warehousing ability for the catalog consumer. JCPenney has the ability to receive an online order and ship the merchandise within 48 hours, a feat unsurpassed by any online retailer. Kohl’s would need to contract their suppliers to “drop ship” (the process of shipping merchandise to fill open orders with no warehousing needed) all merchandise to fill Internet orders. JCPenney’s site includes color pictures of every catalog item, and the customer can shop online by using a catalog number. This amenity is something Kohl’s can not pursue because their lack of catalog merchandising.

JCPenney also has the advantage of offering direct customer service online. Any online customer can quickly contact JCPenney by completing an online questionnaire detailing precisely what the customer needs. On the Kohl’s website, a customer may scroll through several screens of customer service information before they are given the email address to contact their customer service department. On www.jcpenney.com a customer can click the “Customer Service”

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