Ordering Upgrade Hint?

scrooksscrooks Pixel NitpickerKansas City, MOPosts: 61Registered Users Big grins
edited May 8, 2004 in SmugMug Support
My wife spent some time today helping a computer neophyte walk through ordering her prints. Now my wife is not a computer expert, but she's quite comfortable with them and has no problems ordering things from a variety of places.

She came back with quite a list of issues and problems.

Probably their biggest problem was with getting a message about not being able to bill the credit card, even though the order really did go through -- something they couldn't figure out for 20 minutes. (Another user yesterday had exactly the same problem and ended up placing their order 3 times!) And there were a variety of other usage issues which really threw them off, such as the confirmation screen not saying that it's a confirmation screen until you scroll all the way to the bottom, and the email confirmation they were sent not giving some kind of "product number" for each line item. (Even though a product number might be meaningless to them, it would at least show them that they ordered different items -- I'm just reporting what they complained about :dunno .) They were also very confused by some photos being 4x6 and some being 4xD (I use two different cameras).

I know Smugmug is working hard to replace the entire ordering process. What I'm wondering is if you can give us some kind of clue about how much longer we might have to wait. Based on my wife's experience helping this person and comments I've gotten from other people, I feel like I'm probably losing a lot of sales. And worse, the people who go in to order stuff and give up will probably not try again later. :bash

So can you give us a hint? Are we talking days, weeks, months?
--
Steve Crooks
Steve.Crooks.net

Comments

  • scrooksscrooks Pixel Nitpicker Kansas City, MOPosts: 61Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 8, 2004
    Anyone else out there interested in knowing this information? Anyone from Smugmug want to at least say, "we can't say anything"?
    --
    Steve Crooks
    Steve.Crooks.net
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,853Administrators moderator
    edited May 8, 2004
    scrooks wrote:
    Anyone else out there interested in knowing this information? Anyone from Smugmug want to at least say, "we can't say anything"?
    Whoops, I somehow missed this message when you first posted it. Sorry.

    There are definitely problems with the print ordering process like you describe, so we have someone watching it continuously to make sure a customer doesn't get stopped, or sent a duplicate order. We see these kinds of problems on about 1 in 10 orders — way too high, but at least most orders go through without such a rude experience.

    We think we're weeks, not months away from replacing the order process, but I've been both late and early with my estimates in the past (more often late...).

    In the meantime, we really are sorry for the problems and do appreciate your patience.

    All the best,
    Baldy
  • scrooksscrooks Pixel Nitpicker Kansas City, MOPosts: 61Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 8, 2004
    Thanks for the reply, Baldy.

    Weeks definitely sounds better than months. Thankfully, I'm approaching the end of the school year, so my traffic will die down for at least a couple of months. I will have patience through to the start of the next school year, but I hope to start out really strong with sales at that point, so I hope everything is in place by then.

    I was planning to have kind of an end-of-the-school-year blowout sale, but now I hesitate to announce anything for fear that people will have troubles with their orders. But maybe I'll still take the chance and plan to announce a "new and improved ordering system" with the start of the next year to draw people back in who might have been put off.

    Have you considered putting any warnings on some of the ordering pages, things like "we are currently experience some small difficulties with our ordering system and if your credit card appears to have been declined, please wait a few hours for a confirmation email because your order likely went through anyway." Heck, maybe you could just add that to the message that comes back when those credit card problems happens. I'm betting you have a list of the biggest problems and maybe you could drop some warnings in just the right places? Just to avoid confusion when things _don't_ work. Even taking as much as a day away from development of the new system might be worthwhile to help limit confusion for the next several weeks of old system use.
    --
    Steve Crooks
    Steve.Crooks.net
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