Good or Bad Online Shopping Experiences in 2008?

Josh GordonWe try very hard at Knotice to understand the inherent complexities of the online marketing space from a bunch of directions. There's the "we’re a software company" perspective, which is just as important as the "online experience" perspective. The two work hand in hand, and, the second comes in many varieties - one of which is the online consumer experience (on more websites than just Thinkgeek.com). To that end, we never forget that we, too, are online consumers, and our insider knowledge can give us some unique takes on how certain companies and brands go about the administration of their online marketing. However, rather than deconstruct and nitpick aspects of campaigns or buy-flows, we'll pass along a few of our own online experiences, good, bad and just okay. Feel free and submit your own in the comments below. The more we understand about how the online shopper experiences shopping, the better we'll all get at making it easier for them. Oh, and the names of the Knotice shoppers were omitted to protect the innocent.

Experience #1 – Bad
“I logged onto Kohls.com on the afternoon of Black Friday to attempt to put a dent in my Christmas shopping. I was still shopping at 3:30 p.m. (and the sale ended at 4). So, I decided to wrap up my browsing and begin the checkout process with 10 minutes to spare.

But, when I entered my credit card information and hit the order submit button at 3:55 p.m., I received a “your credit card could not be processed” message, and was given a phone number for customer service. Since I knew there was no problem with my card, I came to the conclusion that I must have begun the checkout process too close to the end of the sale, or their site was overloaded with last minute shoppers. So, I missed the sale. Interesting considering if I had been going through the check out process at the store, the sale prices on my items most likely would have been honored.

Experience #2 – Good
I had a great experience online with Sheplers.com. Their website was easy to navigate and find sizes. I also liked the fact that I was able to use a promotional code for shipping on a sale item. On a previous site, I was unable to do this, and was not happy with the overall transaction. My only complaint was that it took almost a day to get a confirmation email for my order.

Experience #3 – Bad
I had a bad shopping experience with Amazon.com. They offered free shipping on the items I was looking at ordering; however, they stated that the items would not arrive in time for Christmas, and we were 3 weeks away from Santa’s arrival. That was discouraging, because the discounts that they had on the items did not equal the amount that it would take to purchase faster shipping methods. I did like the fact that it showed the items that I was looking at when I went back to the site a few days later.

Experience #4 – Okay
Omaha Steaks has sent me an email just about every day since before Thanksgiving. Essentially, they trained me not to act on any of the previous offers, especially in the days leading up to Christmas shipping deadlines, knowing that I would receive another, better offer the next day. It’s obvious they are experimenting with different incentives – shipping time reductions, percent-off promotions, free gifts, and so on. While I was annoyed that I received so many emails, at least in my case their efforts paid off. On the day I needed to make some gift decisions I had 3 recent emails in my inbox, to choose the best offer. I submitted two orders for a combined $200.00. I would be interested to see if Omaha Steaks’ email frequency provided a positive ROI. As a side note, I hope Omaha Steaks is tracking their unsubscribe rates. I am on the verge of unsubscribing if they don’t ease up on the frequency.

The online ordering process was a positive experience. I was able to designate two individual gift orders within my shopping cart by assigning the name of the recipient to each order respectively. At checkout I was then able to customize each order with gift wrap and a special gift, and enter a separate delivery address for each. I found this very convenient and not as complicated as it could have been if executed poorly. However, I received an email confirmation and shipping tracking information for only one of the orders, which left me wondering if they had lost the other order. Without an order confirmation number for the “lost order” I was unable to find or confirm the order online. As it turns out, the order was never lost. On the contrary, both orders were delivered a day before the guaranteed delivery date.

Those are a few experiences from folks at Knotice. Please share your own, good, bad or okay (especially if you’re still shopping today).

One Comment

  1. Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I usually have good online experiences and today there are even cooler things to find, for example handmade objects. It is very difficult to find them in a normal offline shop.


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  1. […] my input for The Lunch Pail’s “Good or Bad Online Shopping Experiences in 2008” post, regarding Omaha Steaks’ email frequency. As of the time I’m writing this article, I have not […]

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