It’s a miracle that anyone ever buys anything online.
I think that as the months pass by, some e-commerce sites will win simply because they make shopping online easier.
Right now, shopping online is a pain. It’s hard. It takes too long. As a new Internet user, I have to learn a whole new way of doing things. I’m too lazy for that. Really.
Most of all, it’s this typing thing. I hate typing. It’s not natural.
Come to think of it, buying online is just horrible.
So here’s what I want from every e-commerce site.
- Burn the keyboard and give me a microphone. Or at least a touch screen thingie.
- Make it so I can search through your online store with voice commands. Like, “I want a white shirt with a 17-inch collar.”
- Make it so that I can use one of those cyber-wallet services. I don’t care how you figure it out. I just want to be able to say, “Put it on my VISA card and send it to my home address.”
- Make it so I can get a little help. And I want to see who I’m talking to. Open me a little window with a real live assistant. So we can talk.
- Better still. I want to talk with my wife about this. I’m at work, she’s at home. I want to be able to say, “Hey, I need to ask Julie about this.” Page her or something. Ask her nicely to come online with me. I want to say, “Honeybuns, I can’t choose between these shirts. What do you think?” Show her the shirts on her screen.
- And I want fast delivery. Never again do I want to read, ‘Usually ships within 17 days.’ I’m looking for instant gratification here.
- And I want to say, “Oh, thanks for the shirts, Mr. GAP. While I have you online, can you tell me where I can order a pizza? And I have to send a gift to my mother. And I want to know what movies are showing.”
Don’t tell me that you’re a clothing store and can’t help me. You’ll just irritate me. I want a seamless experience here. Form some strategic alliances or something. I could care less how you do it. Just do it.
- And I want some rewards or points or something. And I want to use them any place I like. Figure it out. And no, the points won’t buy you any loyalty whatsoever. I just want them.
- And remember, I don’t want to do any typing. None.
- And come to think of it, don’t interrupt my wife. I’ve been bugging her to help me with my shopping for the last 15 years. I want a virtual shopping buddy. Julie can input my preferences for clothes. I’ll set the preferences for books and music, and my son Ben can set the preferences for cars.
- And don’t make me sit down and turn my computer on every time I want to buy something. I want to be able to use my cellular phone to do this too. And my TV. And my fridge.
Just make it easy. Okay?
And if you’re out there building some kind of interface that does all these things right now, good for you.
And that’s all I have to say.