Wednesday, July 28, 2010

coming soon - for the time traveller

I recently came across the concept of tan-though T shirts and so went looking for them online. One site I came across was that of safer-suntan.co.uk. The product looked reasonable, but availability seemed to be a problem. The first colour was listed as being available in M, L and XL - unfortunately, the exact same sizes that were not available.
It was a similar situation with the camel shirts, it's a good job new stock is arriving two years ago.
As a footnote: This website uses a third party for its online sales facility. Nothing wrong with that, it is common and - particularly for small businesses - sensible. However, when the user clicks on the link on safer-suntan.co.uk to 'enter the e-store', the URL becomes:
https://sslrelay.com/s77608230.oneandoneshop.co.uk/ [and a whole lot more gobbledy gook].
Note there is no sign that the store has any connection to Safer Suntan UK. Indeed, two domain names are listed in that URL, but neither is safer-suntan.co.uk. It might make some think twice before handing over their credit card number and other personal information.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

good job it's not a Christmas present

For reasons that I won't go into, I spent several hours today killing time in the lovely town of Harrogate - and I called in one shop called Orvis. They had a nice jacket - but not in my size. The staff told me about the website, so when I got home I took a look. Selecting my size I found there was a problem with availability ...
Yep, that's the end of December before it can be dispatched. That's five months away. Hmmm. Furthermore, in the shop it was on sale - 30% off, but no sign of such an offer on the website. Consistency of pricing on- and offline is an issue, with best practice normally being 'same price' for all channels. I know I would have been sick if I had bought online and then seen the jacket in the shop for 60-odd pounds less.

As a footnote: this is only my suspicion based on my retail experience - but I suspect that this particular jacket is being discontinued, to be replaced later in the year with a new style. This would explain the long lead time for online orders and the discount of what sizes remain in the shops. If I'm right, why not just say that? Indeed you could actually make it into 'good' news, and collect email addresses of folk who want to be informed when the new style is available.

As is the case in
all my entries to this blog: if Orvis's reputation management team pick this up [which they should - if such a team exists] I would be happy to amend my assumption if I am wrong.

Footnote: as you can see, someone from Orvis did contact me and we exchanged emails with regard to the issues - he concluded by saying my comments would be passed on to the appropriate folk.

Friday, July 16, 2010

not exactly nectar to my lips

I was signing up for a Nectar card and as part of the procedure I was - naturally - asked if I wanted to get emails with details of promotions, offers and so on. I ticked the boxes for 'no' [in itself, a questionable practice - ticking for 'yes' is more ethical] but on the last one this pop-up appeared.
Now, if you read it slowly it is not misleading - but for most people [it's a usability thing] if you tick something and a pop-up appears with 'OK' or 'cancel' as the options, clicking on 'OK' confirms your action. In this case it does the reverse. A bit sneaky you Nectar people.