Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The 5 Best Ergonomic Furniture Online Stores

Best Ergonomic Online Stores Part 6

Ergonomic office chairs, ergonomic desks, ergonomic office furniture - where are the best ergonomic online stores to purchase them from? We already determined what makes a good ergonomic store, reviewed accessories, furniture, and full range ergonomic stores, then screened these stores against our criteria. Which ones now come on top? Here are our prize winners, in reverse order:

#5  Sit Better. Sit Better carries a very broad inventory of ergonomic chairs and seating products. It has a good number of user and staff reviews which add significant value. The store carries a few top line brands along many mid range and value lines. The site is a typical e-commerce site, slightly old fashioned, and emphasizing prices. There are multiple pictures of each product under different angles. Product information on the product pages is not always as complete as we would ideally like it to be, although the site rates each chair for ergonomics. There is no generic or product-specific ergonomic information on the site, nor are there shopping guides or self assessment tools. The company maintains a blog. It displays a short list of institutional customers, and its single resellerratings review is good - we would feel better if there were many more, just to be sure:-) More product and ergonomic  information would be welcome.

#4  MC Ergo. MC Ergo  is a very good looking site with a large inventory, which carries some top line brands, including Humanscale, Steelcase and Bodybilt, but not all. Product pages are snazzy and provide a good amount of product information, although not as much as we would like, and not as much as some competitors. Most complex chairs have a clear drop-down based product builder. There are no product reviews, although the site has chat. Some generic ergonomic links are available from the bottom nav bar. There is  no product-specific ergonomic information on the product pages. MC Ergo allows Paypal and Google Checkout. There are no testimonials or store reviews, and no resellerratings reviews are available. The company carries a long list of corporate customers. We would feel better seeing more product information, a lot more user information on the site, as well as some good resellerratings reviews.

#3 Ergonomic Chair Pro. Ergonomic Chair Pro is a true ergonomic store. Its look and feel is not as outstanding as MC ERgo, but it is appropriate to its function, and efficient. The store carries a large inventory of many ergonomic chairs across most high end brands, including Humanscale, Knoll, Ergohuman, Steelcase, Neutral Posture, and Bodybilt, missing Herman Miller. It provides a significant amount of product information on the product pages (although not always as much as you would like), and has specialized chair builders for those chairs that require a complex set of options. The site has chat, product reviews (although few are in existence), some staff recommendations, and limited generic ergonomic information. Its phone and chat staff are all ergonomics trained, and it proposes access to certified ergonomists through the phone to select the right chair - a very good factor. There are no testimonials or resellerratings reviews. We like this site and what it tries to project. We would like to see more product information, more ergonomic information across the site, and some good resellerratings reviews. A blog would be great too!

#2 The Human Solution. The Human Solution is a terrific site, with an amazing amount of information available, and a great set of shopping guides and self assessment tools. The site is very clean and very good looking, with just the right amount of white space, and a very effective, well thought out presentation and navigation: the site designers are really top notch.  The front page clearly emphasizes the ergonomic competence of its staff from the get-go.  The store carries a large inventory across its categories, and distributes most, although not all top line brands, including Steelcase, Humanscale, Knoll, Ergohuman, Workrite, and Neutral Posture - Herman Miller is missing, too bad. The product information is good to excellent, and many product reviews are available - there is even a store forum! What is unusual about the site is how well the customer is guided towards a solution to her problems, whatever they are, through the many complex choices that are available: the site provide multiple clean chair and keyboard tray builders, as well as multiple shopping guides (such as for instance, a keyboard selection tool), and self assessment tools. The company encourages customers to call for guidance, and actually provides self assessment questionnaires to be e-mailed to the staff for feedback and need discussions. Phone staff are all ergonomics trained. There is a large amount of generic ergonomic information, as well as some product-specific ergonomic information on some of the product pages. The company also provides useful feedback and recommendations on some of the products it distributes. The store accepts Paypal. The company and its founder write an interesting blog. There are some anonymous testimonials, and resellerratings reviews are good but not exceptional. All together, it represents an amazingly good store and site. We would like to see more and better resellerratings reviews.

#1 Smart Furniture. It is clear that Smart Furniture is into design: the site design is unusually clean and well done, and its usability is very high. This very good looking site focuses on home and office furniture, although it does carry a few office accessories. Despite its broad furniture range, it has a strong focus on ergonomics, and all of its staff is ergonomics trained. It carries a large number of high reputation ergonomic brands, including Humanscale, Knoll, Steelcase and Herman Miller. There is a large amount of product information on the product pages, more than in any other site. The many kinds of reviews on the site are a real and unique asset: many customer reviews, staff reviews, "independent" reviews (it is not clear how these independent reviews are commissioned), and video reviews - that is great!  The company uses a "design on demand" Flash-based workflow allowing customers to configure furniture, and has extended this workflow to some of the high end chairs with multiple options. The result: the best chair builders in the industry, very visual, and  highly usable - true WYSIWYG product builders. The store encourages the user to ask for designer/ expert assistance on the phone. A simple chair shopping guide covers a few of the best selling chairs. There are no store reviews or resellerratings reviews, and testimonials are anonymous. The company has a blog and an employee blog: that's cool! We would love to see more resellerratings reviews for the store.

In the process of the review, ConsumerPla.net staff actually ordered items from the top 2 contenders, The Human Solution and Smart Furniture, without telling them that we were conducting a review. We got excellent pre-sales support on the phone, very good carry-through in the ordering phase, and top notch customer support after the sale. While our evidence is anecdotal, it confirms the quality of these two stores. Highly recommended.

Next we select the best ergonomic accessories online stores... So come back soon!

Update: Company information 

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Lori Appleman said...

Thank you George for the great review of our site, www.thehumansolution.com but I do have one question? How did you miss our blog? It's right there on the left, immediately above the ergonomic guides you found. We're rather proud of our blog as well. Can you update to reflect this?

George Gear said...

Hi Lori! Glad you liked the review:-) You guys did even better in our ergonomic accessories review, where you ended up #1 - we are very impressed with your site at ConsumerPla.net. You are right- how could we miss your blog? It is a lively and interesting one. We'll correct the review right away.
Btw - your online store is back in our editorial calendar in July -I'll keep the topic a surprise, so keep checking:-)

The Human Solution said...

Will do George and thank you. We work very hard to be the best at what we do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you George for the great review of our site,fellowes footrest
the human solution.com but I do have one question? How did you miss our blog?
Thanks for post.

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