Feb 28 2012

I Still Have a Dumb Phone – Reflections on Beck

Published by at 10:52 pm under Reflection Blog,Uncategorized

This article was not exactly what I expected. It didn’t really seem to focus on mobile shopping aid apps as much as I expected it to. After the first couple of paragraphs, it seemed to wander quickly away from that discussion. I am aware of the type of mobile applications that the article mentioned briefly, and I assure you, when I upgrade my phone over spring break, I’ll soon invest in that sort of technology. It is certainly the sort of competitive shopping edge I would take advantage of. The phone I have right now provides me some degree of mobile research ability, but it’s a really old Blackberry, so it’s only slightly above average as far as phone intelligence goes.

I will focus on a few things that popped out at me as I read this article.

Presearch. I hadn’t heard that term before, but it is DEFINITELY something I do. I presearch not only for price and availability, but also to help me make my choices. I subscribe to Consumer Reports online services and this provides me a good deal of valuable information when it comes to major purchases. I also refer frequently to other customers’ comments on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I have, however, learned to read between the lines. Many of the customers post with bias or with unrealistic expectations. Reading the text of their comments carefully, it’s generally pretty easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. (Heck, I even shop for my college professors using the same ideology using RateMyProfessor. I don’t have time to pick a dud!)

Koa quotes a Newsweek article that says if current employment trends continue, “the average woman will make more than the average man by 2024.” Yeah. Right. Girl power. I am woman. Bottom line? I won’t hold my breath.

I was a little surprised to learn that a number of retailers still completely separate their web operations from their brick and mortar stores. Though I suppose I am vaguely aware that this is the case, I just can’t imagine how that is a good idea. I would not purchase a product from the website of a store with a brick and mortar counterpart unless I had the option of returning the item to the store. It’s just bad form and it would put me off of a store.

I do find myself particularly annoyed with stores that don’t offer web-enabled POS assistance. I recently found myself trying to buy a large quantity of wall plates (for sockets and light switches) from Lowe’s. Apparently, everyone in the *world* wanted these things. I could only order online those products that weren’t carried in the store. Products carried in the store, I could order for pick up at a store, but no store near me had them in stock. It would not allow me to search in concentrically larger circles until I could find a store that had them. The only way to do that was to go into Lowe’s and have their customer service reps locate them for me. Even then, it was a cumbersome process. With the amount of money I spent on those stupid things, Lowe’s should have been standing on their heads to help me find them.

Bottom line, I didn’t get a whole lot out of this article, but it did make me think about the features that important to me in an online shopping experience.

– Sara

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