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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A few basics of online marketing

I buy nearly everything on line. I hate going into shops. Holidays, clothes, flights, groceries, books, cosmetics, you name it. So I'm quite a savvy online shopper, and know what makes a good site. If a site is bad - slow, cumbersome and badly designed, or allowing you to order without having goods in stock - then I don't go back to it.

A couple of things really annoy me because they are so basic.

The first is that you're prompted to go to a website by a newsletter, flyer or magazine article. But then you can't find the items you're interested in: they're not in stock and there's no facility to ask to be notified when they're back in stock. A flyer for a company called fell out of Grazia today. I liked the look of some of the new trends. You would think that seeing as Grazia comes out on Tuesdays, AWear would have been ready for some interest. I searched for two of the items. Neither came up. I discovered that the Harriet skirt, shown in camel in the flyer, was only available in navy or black. As for the pin tuck military shirt in sand, well, the search using its reference number delivered no results, and I couldn't see the shirt in the gallery.

Which makes me think AWear is guilty of the second thing I hate: failing to update their website at the same time as a promotional campaign goes live.

I had another example of this last week. I received a brochure in the post for Peony, whose silk flowers my mum likes. She adores bluebells, so when I saw their new spring collection featured bluebells, I went immediately to their website, only to find it still featured the winter range and bluebells there were none.

I emailed them and they replied that the website was being updated "as we speak." Perhaps I would like to ring through with my order instead?  No way Jose. I would never give my credit card details to a stranger. Believe it or not, computers are far safer if you keep them up-to-date with security and virus software, and don't fall for silly scams.

Now that we're all used to shopping online for everything,  we've come to expect the highest standards. Delivery on a nominated day is vital. Who can take time off work to sit in all day, on the off-chance? Here I must single out Laura Ashley. Not only do they give you a definite time slot, their delivery people ring you on the way to your house to let you know they'll be here in xx minutes. Then they unpack the item so that you can inspect it  (and return it there and then) and they don't inflict all the packaging on you. Now that's the sort of service all online retailers should aspire to.


Anonymous said...

The site to buy books for my e-reader is horrible! You can't buy more than 1 item at a time. You have to add one item to your cart, check out, pay. Go back to shopping, add another item to your cart, check out, pay.
Really??? In what world is that acceptable?

Maggie May said...

I must say that this is not the way I like to shop. If I buy anything on line, my son has to help me.
I do like going to the shops and seeing a person face to face.
But then, I'm a different generation!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Olga said...

From time to time, I buy online; it saves a lot of time, but perhaps it takes away the experience of encountering those salespeople, with their incredible personalities :)