Now that the year-end holidays are over, retail stores are trading the holly and tinsel and party hats for chalky, little candy hearts and pink teddy bears and ushy-gushy sentiments printed on anything that will stand still. In response to the tidal wave of gooey love-themed confections, a friend and I recently started comparing bad date stories. (She won.) Those stories got me to thinking about all of the ecommerce sites out there that are little more than the cyberspace equivalent of a bad date.
Don’t believe me?
I guarantee you’ve encountered all of these ecommerce bad dates at least once in your time on these here Internets, probably more. Hopefully, your ecommerce site doesn’t fall into one of these bad date traps!
The Smarmy Smooth Talker ecommerce site. This is the site you wish you hadn’t visited. Pop-up ads. Blinking banner ads. Music or video that plays automatically, whether or not you click. Obnoxious “spokes people” that talk to you from the moment you land on the first page until you close your browser in horror. Asking for the sale or download or your personal information before the site has earned your interest, much less your trust. That’s the Smarmy Smooth Talker ecommerce site. This site is all about the sale, regardless of how the site visitor feels about it and often leaves its visitors feeling like they were just attacked by a slimy used car salesman, turned infomercial spokesperson.
The Wall Flower ecommerce site. You don’t see the Wall Flower ecommerce site coming until it’s too late. The site catches your attention and you are ready to buy, but with the Wall Flower, there’s no call to action. The exact opposite of the Smarmy Smooth Talker, the Wall Flower is so unassuming that you have to hunt for the way to complete your intended transaction. Frustration mounts as you hold back screams of, “I want to buy. LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY.” But to no avail. The Wall Flower is too shy to ask for the sale.
The Enough-About-Me-Let’s-Talk-About-What-You-Think-of-Me ecommerce site. This ecommerce site probably looks normal until you get into the fine print. And that’s when you notice that it just goes on and on about how wonderful its products are and how amazing the parent company is, but never addresses your needs as the customer. Blah, blah, blah. Or worse yet, the site talks about what it thinks your needs are as a means to demonstrate how wonderful its products and services are, but are painfully off the mark. If the site goes, “Blah, blah, blah,” you know you’ve stumbled into an Enough-About Me-Let’s-Talk-About-What-You-Think-of-Me ecommerce site.
The Online Blind Date ecommerce site. You get an email offer in your mailbox and when you click on the link, you are taken to a site that looks nothing like the offer you just received. Oh, it’s the same company alright, only the site hasn’t been updated in 10 years. You’re left wondering about the credibility of the site and the company behind it. (This bad ecommerce date also happens when you click on a link for a resource or a download on a site that seems completely on-the-level, expecting to get one thing and instead end up with a regurgitated, I mean, re-purposed version of the last download you requested!) Just say no to ecommerce blind dates!
The Stalker ecommerce site. The relationship started innocently enough. Maybe you entered your contact information to download a free resource or even made a purchase on this ecommerce site. A few days pass, maybe a week and then all of a sudden your email box is jammed full of newsletters, special offers, and “you-haven’t-purchased-in-the-last-24-hours–we-miss-you” emails. These desperate attempts to get your attention arrive weekly, daily, sometimes multiple times in the same day. You don’t want to engage with the emails by unsubscribing in case that actually tells the company that they, in fact, have a live one and so you change your name and go into the email-relocation program. And you live in fear that The Stalker ecommerce site will find a way into your new email box.
See? I told you that you would recognize these ecommerce bad dates. Hopefully, your site isn’t one of them!