I had a great bank holiday visiting my family in sunny (or not!) Devon. Whilst we were there my mum asked my sister to assist with some online shopping. On the list were: ballet shoes, a pink tutu and a children’s ballet DVD (for a 3 year old birthday girl).  I overheard the whole event which was fraught with one problem after another!

  1. Problem number one was range. Of all the online shops that were “visited” none offered all three items and therefore the shop had to be split across two different transactions on two different websites.
  2. Problem number two. One of the stores would not allow delivery to an address other than the main card holders registered address. A bit of a pain really as my mum lives in Plymouth and the birthday girl (my daughter) in Woking and some time had already been spent browsing the website.
  3. Problem number three. One of the stores (a major player in the DVD market) messed up the checkout transaction. After adding items to her basket, my sister, realized that she was logged into her own account only after the checkout button tried to take money instead of prompting for login details. The transaction “failed” because the associated card had expired. But it was not really obvious what had happened.
  4. Problem number four. My sister logged out and went back to the basket, to find it empty.  How frustrating!
  5. Problem number five. Items were added back into the basket and then somehow on the checkout pages my sisters own account was showing again.

Finally after clearing cookies, restarting browsers, adding items back into the cart and checking out – confirmation email was received and items visible in the order history. (whoop whoop!!!!)

The transaction was stressful and put my mum off buying on-line even more.

Moral of the story (although this is clearly a one-off bad experience)  make your website really helpful and user friendly.  All of the issues above could easily be overcome with a little care and consideration for the customer. Learn how by attending our conference on 29th May.

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