Example of How Not to Create an Online Shopping Experience
I had a very interesting and disappointing online shopping experience the other day, which I want to share with you. There are a few lessons in this story on how NOT to build an e-Store and the processes behind it.
Recently I was searching the Internet for new monitors for my crew. The biggest problem facing online merchants is price-shopping.
So, I was checking out local companies for a good deal on large-ish monitors. Nothing under 24 inches was going to do, and because I have to buy for a whole team, price is a big issue. A $50 variance on a monitor is no big deal, but if you buy 10 of them, the difference is now 500 bucks.
I eventually found this great deal on the Walmart website. Good 24 inch monitors for $168. Wow. What a bargain. So I whipped out my credit card, and placed an order for 10 of them on the spot. I was excited, and was looking forward to my crew being excited about the new hardware.
72 hours later, I received an email from Walmart telling me my order has been canceled. The email gave absolutely NO indication on why it was canceled. So I called them up.
The lady in customer service informed me that the order failed billing. However, she explained that there's NOTHING she can do, as the order has already been canceled. All I could do was to re-submit the order. She then gave me a long lecture on making sure I enter all details exactly as they appear on my credit card statement. Come on - I've been shopping online since e-commerce was invented.
Needless to say, I hung up the phone, and my business went to another vendor. I have no idea how long it would have taken to get my order through Walmart, considering that I'd have to wait 3 days each time to know if the transaction worked or not.
Here's what went wrong with the Walmart order:
- Credit card validation takes 3 days. It should be instant
- Customer service reps have no power. They should be able to complete orders.
Make sure your website and customer-facing business systems don't hinder the sale.