December 25, 2010


How to drive new customers away

by Nori
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I need a multi-vitamin and it needs to be soy and gluten free.  I did an internet search, found a company with what looked to be a good multi-vitamin that suited my needs and tried to get the free sample they offered on their website.  <shakes head>  It did not go well.  I bailed without spending a dime.  The company sent me an email welcoming me as a client.  Oh yeah?  Really?

This is what I emailed back to them.

I bailed on my intended purchase. There were too many problems with the checkout process for me to feel comfortable purchasing from your company. I know that’s not fair, but there are definitely issues in your shopping cart programming which makes your business appear flaky.

Did you know . . . if a non-registered customer puts something in the shopping cart, then tries to check out, they lose the contents of the cart during the registration process? Yup, it’s true and this one’s ugly . . . and frustrating.

Did you know . . . though the Country field in the registration isn’t marked as a required field (no little blue star), if you don’t fill in the Country field the process errors out? Yup.  <wince>

Did you know . . . there’s no *home* button once you start the registration/checkout/shopping cart so there’s no way to go back to the entry point to the site? So now that the customer has finally managed to register, there’s no way for them to get back to the start to redo their cart. They have to guess at a category (horizontal tabs) and wander around until they figure out where they were before registering. Ugh.

Like I said, too many problems for me to feel comfortable. Checkout/registration should be brainless AND flawless. Anything else will drive customers away. It certainly did it for me.

Oh, and while you’re at it . . . remove me from your mailing list.

How the checkout process is handled may not have anything to do with the reliability of the company or the products they sell, but I am unable to separate the process from the perception.  Color me cynical.