Online shopping — an uneventful experience?

Blog by December 15, 2011

I used to really like shopping before I had kids. I would enjoy hours just casually browsing the shops and buying lots things I didn’t really need.  But over the years I have come to like shopping less and less.  It became such an EVENT, dragging my bored, nagging, often noisy children around the shops.

So online shopping is a bit of a godsend for people like me. We can browse, research, compare and share purchases with our friends, all from the comfort of our own home. I’ve been doing online shopping for many years now and am happy to buy all sorts of things — groceries, clothes, kids toys, books and more.  So when I was asked to buy a pair of shoes from www.styletread.com.au and to blog about the experience, I said sure, why not?

But then it turned out this is harder than it looks.  The reason being is that my experience with buying the shoes was so flawless as to not be worthy of writing anything at all! In many ways it was a complete NON EVENT.  I searched, I found, I ordered, I paid and Style Tread delivered exactly what I asked for.  There were no missing parcels, no wrong sizes, no strange transactions on my credit card.  What’s more, the shoes are awesome!

But in the spirit of writing SOMETHING, here are the things I really liked about StyleTread:

  • the sheer volume of shoes was super impressive (I don’t think you’d find that many shoes in the whole of Canberra!) and the ability to search across so many different variables was both practical and user friendly;
  • the ability to see the detail of the shoe at multiple angles was a huge winner. By dragging your mouse over the picture an enlarged image reveals great detail about the shoe. This works to increases the confidence in your purchase — you know what you’re going to get — and this is something so many shopping websites could learn from these guys.
  • I really like the fact you could return the shoes for free if required. This is another confidence booster that encourages you to try shoes you’d not normally purchase – perhaps even add another pair or two to the shopping cart??
  • When the parcel arrived (just a few days later) I loved the fact that there was a voucher encouraging me to share the style tread love with up to 3 friends, which each coupon having a code for a $5 discount. Not only do I get bragging rights but I look generous to boot!

The only slightly negative thing about my experience is that I got added to the enewsletter list and I don’t remember explicitly opting in. That said, however, I haven’t unsubscribed as I’m too busy looking at all the shoes and planning my next purchase!

Online shopping is certainly going from strength to strength but I think many online retailers could learn a thing or two from what this company is doing. It will be interesting to see the impact that the growth of online shopping will have on bricks and mortar stores over the next decade or so.  But I know where I’ll be. I’ll be shopping from home and looking forward to more non-event experiences.