[thelist] e-commerce

Richard Bennett mail at richardinfo.com
Mon Jun 4 06:07:26 CDT 2001

> The real criteria for choosing a cart is how it treats the consumer.

I stumbled upon the perfect example of how NOT to do e-commerce today.
I'd be surprised if they've had a single customer so far:

First point, it's slow, but that might be a temp problem.
I thought I'd check out what the cart looks like, I click "Shopping Cart" -
password protected.
So I go to "wine shop" For the first two wines there was no way to get them
in a shopping cart, you could view details, but that's all.
The next one opens something with an "add to order" button by clicking on
the image (no text)
When I click "add to order" I am again prompted for a password, or at least
an e-mail address, so duly enter my spam address.
This takes fully 1 minute to process.
I think I have seen enough, but will give them another chance.
When the page finally loads they've put some special offers under my order,
clicking on them takes us out of the shopping cart again- not so good.
Then we proceed to checkout.
More long waiting,
An order form, part of the fields are grayed-out. - oh no they are required
fields, reverse psychologie going on here.
They seem to hold dear to titles here too, what a choice, I go for "Lsrosm"
whatever that means.
After filling in the form we get the error checking, works ok, but the error
report is in small text at the top of the page, and the wrong fields are not
marked in any way.
after a lot of scrolling around to get the mistakes corrected I come to the
last error:
"You must agree to join Cellarmasters Wine Club before you can proceed."
Ah, let's see what that is:
"I agree to pay the required membership fee of $27.50 (including GST) after
my 6 months free membership. I understand there's no commitment to buy and I
can cancel at any time for a pro rata refund of my membership fee after the
free membership period."
I think most people would get a case of wine from the supermarket at this

In case this <rant> is deemed off-topic, a little tip:

How can you set decimal places for a number like 12.3333333 - ?

for 2 decimal places:
Multiply by 10^2 or 100.
You now have 1233.33333. Round to an integer.
You now have 1233. Divide by 100.
You now have 12.33.
for 3 decimal places:
Multiply by 10^3 or 1000.
You now have 12333.3333. Round to an integer.
You now have 12333. Divide by 1000.
You now have 12.333.


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