In this day and age


Considering how far technology has come over the past decade, it’s disappointing that some large companies still refuse to adopt tools that would improve the customer experience and drive sales. Here are several examples:

– Among those retailers that operate both online stores and physical locations, some of their websites don’t provide any indication of which products are online-only and which can be purchased in stores. I saw this problem with Sam’s Club and Bed Bath and Beyond — and that was last Saturday alone.

– Most websites still make it far too difficult to estimate shipping costs. Why should I have to add the item to my cart just to calculate the shipping rate? Wouldn’t it make sense to offer this functionality on the product page, since customers could easily be on the fence about even adding it to their cart if they believe the shipping would be too costly?

– Virtually every retailer assigns internal part numbers or SKUs to their products, and makes these numbers available on their website for ease of reference. But some stores hide the info, thus making it a lot harder to ask questions about that product when you’re talking to the store or call center. Why make things so much harder for your customers and employees?

Clearly, the technology exists to fix all of the issues above. However, I bet that some of the companies who are still doing things the old way are crippled by nasty legacy systems that make implementation of modern tools difficult. But if old technology is holding back progress this much in your company, perhaps it’s time to start scrapping the old tools and starting from scratch. Otherwise, the list of things you’d like to do but can’t shoehorn into your old systems will continue to expand — and customers won’t be patient about it forever.