Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A bit of a whinge...

One of my bug bears with on-line shopping is traders who show they have items in stock, take your order, then e-mail you to say the item is not in stock.

I experienced this recently whilst ordering some 3T bar tape from in South Wales.  It's the second time I've used them for an item and the second time I've been e-mailed to say the item which was shown as "in stock," was out of stock.  Should have known better.

As it happens, the item I wanted was time dependent.  I was building my winter bike and needed the bar tape to take up to the mechanic, I specifically wanted 3T tape.  Checking their site, I'd forgotten my previous experience, placed an order and then the e-mail came the following day.

From a user experience point of view, it's poor and far from best practice.  By nature of the fact that I'm writing this blog, shows the impact on customer satisfaction that such practice has.

I speak regularly around consumer trends to business audiences across the UK.  Convenience, trusted platforms and right to reply are things that are all happening right now.  Consumers want to deal with platforms that are convenient (take paypal etc), trusted (stock data is correct), and if things go wrong expect someone to tell others about it (via social media).

With the on-line market place booming, Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles now have a combined turnover of £196M per annum, challengers need to excel at the things they do to challenge the market leaders, not over-promise and under-deliver.

So, last order for me from, they refunded straight away, as they did before.  It's not about that, it's the inconvenience.  You know how the old story goes, disatissfied customers tell ten others, that was before social media.  Now you can add a few zero's on to that.....


  1. I've had exactly the same thing happen to me with tredz before. I don't even bother with their website anymore.

  2. In a similar vein I purchased two items from Edinburgh bike shop in their sale last year. Only received one item as the main thing I wanted had gone out of stock! A bit miffed as I had only bought the delivered item as an after thought because the postage was the same for two items as one. Result = one pair of gloves bought that I didn't really need for the same price as going to the shop which I pass fairly regulary.