April 18, 2011
West-Mart: "Trusted Legal Resources from... "
"After months of surveys, focus groups and detailed user testing," et cetera, et cetera, (meaning, quoting from TR-speak on Legal Current) West's redesigned e-commerce site was launched. From the April 5, 2011 press release:
“West Store will be a great resource for legal professionals who are looking for a particular product or searching for resources or expertise specific to their practice area or jurisdiction,” said Gordon Macomber, senior vice president, Reference & Commercial Operations, at Thomson Reuters. “Our customers will find West Store more comprehensive, easier to use and faster. Customers can use its new tools to tailor a quick view of specific content – law books, software applications and online products, for instance – based on practice area and jurisdiction, or to select the right WestlawNext package for their practice needs. These new features are what our customers have been asking for, and we expect a significant increase in traffic and buying through West Store as a result.”
What are some of the features "our customers have been asking for"?
- Comprehensive practice-area lists and jurisdictional product pages that allow users to scroll through recommended titles that are specific to what they do and where they practice.
- The Westlaw Plan Finder, which takes a customer through a series of questions to create a Westlaw or WestlawNext plan that is specifically tailored to the user’s practice.
- The Product Recommender, a powerful tool that narrows searches by practice areas and jurisdiction to pinpoint products that best meet a customer’s needs.
- Service links on every page that assist customers who may need help with an order, have product or research questions or need to connect with West.
Hello, inside and outside West sales reps. How many more years before you think your jobs will go down the orange shower drain that is your parent company's logo and you are replaced by order takers? Remember: "Right now, we are researching the way you shop for Westlaw and WestlawNext". This just might be the next step in "Customer Experience and Education," the TR Legal way.
West Store is being referred to by some already as "West-Mart" because of it's new "blue light specials" called "Deal of the Day." Click on image, right, for a larger display. How about a "Complaint of the Day" link?
In this post-Rudovsky era, I particularly like TR Legal's delusional marketing tag line for West Store: "Trusted Legal Resources from Thomson Reuters." Except for the editiorial redo of the pocket part for Pennsylvania Criminal Procedure: Law, Commentary and Forms, I've seen no effort to raise the bar for "Publisher's Staff" generated content since Rudovsky. If anything, TR Legal's fairly systematic print format switcheroos from loose-leafs to pamphlet editions is temporarily making it harder to determine how much editorial work is being put into updated works. Of course, quoting from Thomson Reuters:
We are comfortable that we capture enough customer, author, and editor feedback before any title undergoes a format change and are confident that this feedback effectively reflects customer preferences.
Right, that's why we are seeing and receiving this format change. Can't wait for the pamphlet switcheroo for Wright & Miller. It's only logical to expect this to happen because "[t]his format will make the publication easier for you to use by having all of the text integrated, eliminating the need to refer to both main text and supplement text."
"Our Customers." Are TR Legal's "customers" who asked for the e-commerce site's new features the same ones who wanted Smolla's Federal Civil Rights Acts 3d converted to pamphlet volumes from its pseudo loose-leaf format, the title that as of April 17th was still being advertised as a loose-left set! Screen capture from West-Mart below followed by the filing instructions we received a while back below and are even posted under "filing and shelving instructions" on the web page. Apparently the Print Format Switcheroo department and the West-Mart site folks aren't on the same page yet. But, fear not, I'm sure most of TR Legal's customers know to check the filing and shelving instructions when shopping at West-Mart, right?
I'm thinking somewhere in the basement of one of the buildings in Eagan, there's a small group of TR Legal staffers whose job title is "Our Customers." West-Mart isn't going to earn TR Legal being listed on Legal Research Plus' Good Guys Roster: "We think we should commend publishers and vendors who are listening — publishers and vendors who aren’t raising their prices, or offering new flexibility and services in this trying time. Publishers who are law librarian partners in pain." But I doubt the folks in the Land of 10,000 Invoices who provide "trusted legal resources" really give a damn. [JH]