Except I’ve recently moved offices and am no longer in a convenient location with the florist for the last minute present, or the dry cleaner for the drop off and pick up between the car park and office. And now I’m finding I have to find ways to get these services in ways that are out of hours and to sacrifice major chunks of weekend time to go somewhere, rather than just 5 minutes in the work day.
And online seems the perfect solution – except it isn’t.
In the first scenario of physically going to the shop, yes I am limited by time and location, but I get what I see, I get it right then and there, and I don’t have to fill out forms. I just exchange some money. It’s so simple. A 15 minute transaction.
But online – my god, it’s never simple! You have to find the item that kind of resembles what you probably would have asked for in real life, and agonise over the photos so you get something you’ll actually like when you see it in real life. And then you have to fill out at least 2 forms of payment details and delivery details. And then you have to work out your availability to accept the delivery (typically in business hours) and have to hold out for enjoying the item you have already paid for. For convenience, there seems to be an awful lot of pre-planning required, hard decision making, form filling-out, and waiting…
Is online shopping really that good? Or is it just the line we’ve been told? Is the truth that online shopping fixes overhead costs for businesses, but for customers, it doesn’t fix much at all?
This isn’t one of those posts where I have the answers. This is just a question that I am asking. And I think it raises some valid points about customer experience when online shopping isn’t really that convenient, and yet it seems to be the model so much is based on for ‘great customer experiences’. Not to say that shopping in physical spaces is the answer either. I just don’t think we’ve found the answer yet, and think this is a ripe space for some constructive dissatisfaction.