By eweek  |  Posted 2001-01-22

Since opening shop online in 1997, eToys has seen competitors come and go, including and With one of the strongest toy store brands on the Net, eToys has continued to expand its product offerings. Through a series of acquisitions, the company now features a hobbies section, a party supply store and the BabyCenter store.

Yet eToys may have met its match with the partnership of and To compete with the superstore selection and high credibility of Amazon, eToys may have to find new ways to improve its online experience.

Purchase process — The shop-by-age feature helped users find the right gifts. But many became confused when trying to add items to their shopping carts because the site lacked a "continue shopping" button.

Gift certificates — A link on the home page made it easy to locate the gift certificates section. The process of ordering was straightforward. But shoppers had to choose from pre-set denominations.

Promotions — The low price guarantee soothed anxious shoppers who wanted reassurance that they would get the best deals. However, many were disappointed that eToys offered a discount coupon for but not for purchases on its own site.

"eToys was more difficult to navigate, and a few items I looked at were back-ordered." — Matt

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