Next held a sale over the weekend, but it seems that its website wasn't properly prepared for the extra traffic, and many customers were asked to queue to enter the website.
I tried to access the Next sale a number of times on Saturday morning, and was asked to wait for up to six minutes on various occasions, while for others it was up to 20 minutes. Not good...
With the continued growth of online shopping, and with new pureplay
retailers entering the market looking for new opportunities, I would
expect that the biggest players would be leading the way in terms of
With the upcoming Online Fashion 100 event in London that I'll be
attending, I have taken a look at some of the biggest players in the
fashion industry, both pureplay retailers and high street retailers.
was particularly interested to look at key areas of their online
customer experience to find out:
1) how well some of these brands are
are delivering intelligent and meaningful cross-sell and up-sells to
drive higher average order values, and...
2) which retailers are potentially
losing sales due to a lack of focus on the full customer experience,
right through to the end of the checkout process.
Last night the BBC aired Watchdog, which this week focused on the ailing state of customer service among big businesses (and no doubt some smaller ones).
Almost three quarters of people said customer service is getting worse, according to a survey of more than 7,000 consumers. The worst offenders tend to be broadband / mobile operators, and utilities companies, though web companies aren’t immune either.
It doesn’t come as any shock to me, but surely good levels of service and a focus on the customer experience are key to surviving a difficult market?
Paying council tax can hardly ever be a pleasant experience. Are UK council websites doing their part to make this process as smooth as possible?
In order to find out, Realeyes
ran a test with 54 tax-payers, asking them to pay their council tax
online on 6 different council sites. All participants were eye-tracked
to gain objective measures about the user experience during the tax
payment process. The study identified both good and poor design
elements, wide ranging performance differences between councils and 'banner blindness' on some navigational items.
Earlier this week on this blog Graham Charlton discussed whether or not retailers should promote third party shopper discount schemes at the end of the checkout process.
The way this usually works is that you buy something, and after having your order confirmed are invited to accept a ‘£10 off your next purchase’ or similar. The schemes are operated not by the retailers, but by a partner.
Graham bought some train tickets via TheTrainline.com and stumbled across one of these offers at the end of the checkout. He found it confusing, and he’s not alone… many consumers have also complained (‘I was duped’, ‘I’m another victim’, etc).
Naturally the discount scheme operator, Webloyalty, is not thrilled with our coverage, and marketing director Gill Hynes has written in to complain.
Travel operator Thomas Cook introduced a number of improvements before Christmas, including an improved holiday search function, and the addition of more multimedia content.
Since I had written a post last year listing ten different problems with the Thomas Cook website which were affecting the user experience, it seems only fair to give credit for some of the improvements that have been made since then.
US clothing retailer Gap.com launched a nice new e-commerce site in June last year, but it seems the decision to integrate its four brands into one checkout function hasn't worked as well as it hoped.
The retailer has designed its site so that users can shop from Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Piperlime, as well as Gap itself, and checkout at the same time, but this has had the unintential effect of undermining perception of the brand, according to Foresee Results.