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Thursday, May. 31, 2007 at 6:06 pm

Online Shopping Frustrates Me

By Anthony Garcia
May 31st, 2007

pullinghair.jpgI can’t remember the last time I was in the mood to get frustrated. It’s why I rarely buy online.

I just don’t have the emotional fortitude to endure online shopping carts and checkout processes. By the end of a buying session, I’m always left with ground-down teeth and a dozen less hairs (as you can tell by my photo below, I have very little to spare).

I’m not alone. PC World curmudgeon John Dvorak shares my pain. All his peeves are mine.
He rants about carts freezing during an order submission, entering phone numbers in the proper format, long forms and errors that force you reenter data, and the infamous “please do no hit the submit button twice” message.

Money quote:

None of this would bother me if shopping-cart software had just been invented. But this stuff, in Internet years, is old and established. Why haven’t these simple flaws been changed by now? Do any of these vendors actually use this stuff? [Read the entire article]

I want to buy online – I really do – but it just hurts too much.

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Comments (9)

  1. valid points, but please. whaaaaaaaaa! you’re in the wrong business to be a luddite.

  2. If you take the premise that every evolution in sales and commerce is supposed to reduce the friction for the consumer, I think it is easy to say that checking out of a shop online is still incredibly more work than it is to check out in a physical retail environment. Most people would prefer apples to apples to swipe and sign than fill out 20+ fields in a form. There is still a huge opportunity for someone to simplify this process and make it as easy as its off-line counterpart.

  3. “Luddite” is definitely the wrong word. Anthony’s suggesting that how people BUILD checkout processes is what’s old and broken.

    Besides, the technology’s the simple part now; so there’s no excuse.

    This is about planning, and what’s lagging these days is how ecommerce sites over-complicate the checkout and under-plan the experience.

  4. I agree with Robert. we are passed the days when ordering online was a novelty and how clever it was when your order actually arrived. Some online shopping sites still think thats all that is needed. My wife and I both ordered items online in the last few weeks to be told the items were in stock and will be shipped promptly. Guess what,neither item was in stock and both missed critical birthday deadlines.

    My recent “experience” is broken promises and poor telephone service follow up that lacks any ownership of the relationship. There is nothing better than seeing the whites of the eyes of people you are buying from. That is the experience online retailers need to capture or they will end up rightfully with ” E Shutters” on their shop window.

  5. [...] cites a few more reasons, none allude to the fact that many online shopping experiences still , um, suck. While allowing shoppers to shop online and purchase offline is still a vital health metric, we [...]

  6. Shopping carts are not the problem. It’s the buyer’s buying process. The buyer expects their buying experienceto be the same on the web as it is at a local brick-mortar store. We can throw millions of dollars of technology and software development at a shopping cart checkout process but alas Mr. Eisenburg will STILL be releasing new articles, books and seminars on optimizing your shopping cart.

    The solution? It will ultimately come down to acceptance by the Internet purchaser. Many of us have come the accept the fact that if we want stuff cheaper, quicker or easier we must endure a shopping cart checkout.

  7. Buyers simply expect the best experience they can get. The buyer will not settle. She will look for more enlightened business people who will try harder and not smugly insist that they “get over it.” Quicker, cheaper and easier are admirable characteristics but they are not always the only factors that make a purchase pleasant and fulfilling.

  8. Google Checkout anyone? Or some sort of secure “wallet” on the customer’s machine for one-click transactions.

    Amazon got the easy checkout part right, if they would let me ditch all the recommendations and random buttons it would be even better.

  9. it’s only furstring when there is a poorly managed site

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