Thursday, December 24, 2009

Web usability joke: Bestbuy online boxing day sale

Type: Reads 邊食邊讀

Online shopping 都要等?

Name: Best Buy

I must say, has just started my boxing day shopping with the most halirious experience. I was in the middle of blogging Inakaya while I realize it's 8pm and Christmas online sale event has just started. Had something in mind that I wanted to buy, I quickly switched to the site thinking it's going to be a 5 minutes process. This, turned out to be something that took me more than half an hour, because...

I was waiting in line in an online checkout waiting room!

Not only that, with it's flicky script, it actually also returned a blank page to me after it asked me to log on to my account after the wait. Being caught by a blank page, I had no choice but to click on checkout again. And of course, this forced me to wait "in line" for a second time. Sigh.

As an usability analyst, I was just shocked to see something like this being built while me and my team struggle everyday at work analyzing data and building logistics and scripts sometimes just to save a few milliseconds or so to make a web application load faster. Instead, took the effort to build an online waiting room to force their shoppers to compulsorily wait 5-15e minutes before they can even proceed with an order. This gives their shoppers more than enough time to change their mind or to compare prices on other websites. Not only that they now have to be that confident with their offering prices, the reality is, they could have saved every shopper from this wait simply by hosting a few more servers or spending the effort on making their inventory checking logistic more efficient.

If sales rate is high at for this online boxing day sale event, maybe it's time for us to reconsider the impact of slowing loading applications versus online shoppers retention. Haha.

In any case, Merry Christmas everyone! 台長平安夜在家裡與1Q84平安約會﹐祝大家聖誕快樂﹐珍惜眼前人。

11:00pm: It's now 3 hours past their 8pm online sale opening and sales rate is still very very low. Everything has large quantities left, so maybe I can still keep my UA job. LoL. I gotta look up who's the IT manager behind this 'checkout waiting room' idea. Heh.

24. [+]

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