Not to be a grinch, but online shopping can be a pain.

I love to give people presents,  but shopping online can be a pain in the neck.  Due to some extra end of the year travel, I did most of my shopping online for Christmas. Was it easier, no not entirely. At the risk of sounding like a Grinch, do you share any of these frustrations with online shopping? Like me, do you become tired of:

  • having way too many options for a gift idea?
  • scanning product reviews to ensure you pick the best option?
  • Figuring out which company has the best deal for a particular product or the cheapest shipping?
  • Filling out the same purchasing information again and again and again due to dangers of having credit card information stored online?
  • Closing endless popup ads asking for a mobile phone number for even bigger savings?

The latter I found particularly annoying because this year it seemed more and more companies asked for that information. I get enough spam txts during the elections. Even more importantly I don’t believe in making it that easy for the data warehousing companies to correlate my personal data and purchasing habits.

Nostalgia for Shopping the Old-fashioned Way

Believe it or not, I found myself waxing nostalgic for the days of visiting local shops.  Armed with a list of possible ideas; I knew that actually going to shops might yield surprise finds or unexpected deals.  There was a serendipity to that way of shopping which combined nicely with bumping into friends. That kind of Christmas adventure can’t be matched with sitting in front of a computer, even if you do have better control over the music.

Top 5 Things Online Sites, with Brick/Mortar Locations, Need to Do

My greatest frustrations always seem to come from stores that have both online and brick/mortar locations.  After a recent problem with one of these, a well-known candle store, I have come up with a list of the top 5 things these stores should able to do:

  • remember that customers don’t consider online vs brick and mortar separate entities.
  • have better realtime information during busy holiday seasons
  • honor online offers at store locations offers when stock is available but site inventory isn’t syncing properly or online purchasing sequences are not functioning well
  • provide good coupons for customers with via emails and not require a cell number too
  • Have online chat operators that can answer questions intelligently even if they aren’t part of pre-ordained corporate chat script.

What would you add? Use my online form to send me your suggestion and/or comments and I will add them to this blog.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and a wonderful New Year to all!

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