Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / September 24th, 2007

When Web Sites Make Your Business Worse

Our .hat fileBack in July I wrote about our experience getting hats made for our company softball team.  It required digitizing the digital file I brought them, weeks of turn around, and a bumpy process.  If you didn’t read that, I’ll let you catch up here.

Great, now that we’re all on the same page, here is the update.  I went online, uploaded our logo, and ordered two hats.  A proof came very quickly (apparently creating the .hat file isn’t as hard as they made it seem), and so did the hats.  Great.  But now I want other employees to be able to order a hat with our logo.  Here’s where things have once again gone sour.

They asked me which stores to send the logo to, so I gave them one in Atlanta and one here in Gainesville, since that’s the two places where most of our employees are concentrated.  He told me he’d send them right out.  Great.  So I can send people by this afternoon?  No.  Give it a couple of weeks.  What?!

When he said send, he meant send, as in burn the newly digitized .hat file to a cd, find an envelope, put the cd in it, weigh it, stamp it, put it in a metal box outside his office kinda send it.  When I think of sending a file, I think more of right clicking, sent to new email, sent.  As of last week, the file has yet to make it to the store.

I just feel if you’re going to invest the time and money to create a Web site, you need to make an effort to fully utilize it.  It should be an extension of your offline business, but shouldn’t be forced to use the legacy processes of that model.  It is a new thing that can’t be put in to the old processes.  If the old processes were perfect, you wouldn’t need a site, now would you?

It’s important to remember that the internet shopper is a different type of person than the one in your store.  Often times they chose the internet for a reason.  Maybe they want it quicker.  Maybe they don’t want to deal with a sales person.  Trying to treat that customer like a walk in won’t result in a great user experience.  The Web site is not just another store in another mall…it’s a totally different animal.  Instant gratification is number one.

Btw, if you’d like a hat with our logo on it, just head in to the hat shack at the oaks mall in Gainesville.  I’m hoping they’ll be ready by Christmas.