Why I HATE Christmas shopping online

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There’s nothing more frustrating at this time of year then online retailers who fall over themselves to make my Christmas shopping online life more miserable. Their websites are rubbish, they want to spam me and they won’t let me purchase without opening an account.

Let’s be honest, I’m a not very young man and generally I’m very unlikely to be buying women’s clothes. But I do have a mother, sister, sister in law and several friends some of them have asked for clothes for Christmas. Retailers probably hate me because I’m a hit and run shopper but I just want to buy ONE item, have it shipped and delivered and then never hear from the retailer again. So why do they make this so difficult and can’t just accept that they’ve got a sale?

Four Christmas Shopping Online crimes retailers could easily avoid

  1. Don’t make me open an account

    Seriously retailers, why do so few of you offer guest checkout? How hard can it be? I like your product (or know someone who would love to receive it for Christmas) and all I want to do is buy it. I don’t want to open an account with you because I know the very first thing you are going to do is spam me.

  2. Don’t spam me

    Yes I made a purchase from you and I’m happy to receive shipping information via email or whatever other method you decide to use. We’re not best mates however and the very last thing I want is the second I’ve completed a purchase is your spam email welcoming to your family of customers.

    At the very least, give me a clearly marked tick box so that I can opt out of your spam at the point of purchase and for goodness sake don’t give me all this crap about it taking 28 days to ensure I’m removed from your marketing lists. If it takes you seconds to add me then make sure you can also remove me in seconds.

  3. Let me pay easily

    Thank you for offering me the option to pay with PayPal or Amazon Pay. Now please explain why you’ve make me spend the last five minutes hen pecking away at my keyboard giving you my name, postal address, date of birth, and email address (and confirming it… you know I cut and paste it so if it’s wrong the first time I typed it it’s also wrong the second time!). Get a decent website and offer PayPal or Amazon Pay up front before I enter any details – it’s the 21st Century you know and payment providers not only have this information but can pre-populate your forms for me.

  4. Don’t assume I want to be your friend

    Seriously, I have no interest in your business. You’re talking to the wrong person – I’m buying a gift. I’ve never visited your website before and I’ll never visit it again so there is zero point in marketing to me. There is someone you should market to however, that the person I’m buying the gift for… but you didn’t even ask me if my purchase was for a gift before you forced me to open an account, added me to your spam list and ordered me to type in a ton of personal information PayPal are going to give you anyway. Why not get creative, have a tick box asking if items are for a gift and if so ask me to enter the recipients name and enclose a discount code with their name printed on it when you ship the item?

Is it time that retailers upped their game? I think so. Far to many online retailers assume that because I’m making a purchase I’m happy to open accounts and be put on mailing lists. I can’t be the only person buying Christmas presents at this time of year so if I’m really not interested in your company other than for this one transaction is that really such a bad thing? You are after all still getting a sale.

16 Responses

  1. It sounds like you got out of the wrong side of bed this morning, Chris.

    In the same vain, one could suggest:
    – Stop your tamebay pop ups, I said no the first time.
    – I don’t want to create an account for tamebay. Who needs an account for a news blog?
    – Why can’t I reply to a reply on a thread
    – Stop with all the advertising that I’m never going to be interested in,
    – I expect a decent level of spelling and grammar, why aren’t articles proofread?

    But hey ho, I understand that websites have to do this sort of thing and nothing is perfect.

  2. Great post , Chris.
    I am also getting tired of stores or other services that send you a complete question list after you have purchased one item or have contacted the custom service once. No, we are not stupid customers.

  3. Feel sorry for the staff of web companies who have to put up with those customers who actually believe that they are something special and their purchasing habits and opinions matter. Most people here have a rather disdainful notion of web intrusiveness, but some people out there in the ether like it all and are happy to fill in “have your say” boxes … Oh dear.

  4. Your problem with PayPal and other payment services isn’t the websites fault.

    1) PayPal needs a total before you can start a checkout.

    2) But you don’t know the total for shipping and taxes until you have an address.

    Thus the saved address feature of services like PayPal is often useless.

  5. At the end of the day you have the choice, you do not have to buy from them, go and buy from a “Chris” friendly site.

    Unsubscribe… How hard can it be? click the link on the “spam” email and stop the spam

  6. well we’re happily covered on the first three points.
    not so sure about the 4th, discount codes to the receipient of a gift.
    you’re either gonna disappoint the recipient (oh, he only paid £4.99) or end up humble-bragging (oh, he spent £499!), its the digital equivelent of leaving the price tag on.

  7. @ Chris Dawson

    So I have just had another email from Tamebay site titled: eBooks: Product Sourcing & how to win the Amazon Buy Box

    In the email it promotes two ebooks and a download button, which takes me to the page


    With interest I look for the download as promoted in the email and yet despite being logged in I see “Sign in or register to access this content”

    I get these each week regardless of it being Christmas, don’t you just hate emails that promote an offer and don’t give you the item promised, and why does it show “Sign in or register to access this content” when the web site is clearly showing me that I am?

    Stones & Greenhouses springs to mind…


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