Raiders of the Lost Omnichannel Experience

By Jeremey Dunn

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My parents purchased their first VCR in 1984, and one of the first movies they bought on VHS was Raiders of the Lost Ark. I must have watched Indiana Jones do battle with the Nazis a dozen times that first week alone, and three plus decades later I still count it as one of my all-time favorites.

As I got older, however, I noticed a problem with the film that to this day still bugs me, and no, it has nothing to do with the submarine. What I realized, somewhere around my 200th viewing, is that the final outcome of the movie (Nazis opened ark, ark melted Nazis’ faces) would have been the same had Indiana Jones never even left his classroom.

Think about it, he didn’t stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the ark nor did he stop them from taking the ark back to Berlin, the ark did that all on its own. To extrapolate that thought even further, you could make the case that Indy’s involvement just made matters worse – because there’s a good chance the Nazis would have never found the ark in the first place had he just stayed home (Nazis were digging in the wrong place, Indy dug in the right place, Indy found the ark, Nazis stole the ark)

The reason I’m telling you all this, besides the fact that I love the movie and talk about it every chance I get, is that Indy’s non-impact on the final outcome of the film is eerily similar to an experience I had recently with a prominent omnichannel retailer.

Allow me to explain:

Due to a combination of poor fulfillment, weather delays and me completely forgetting to do what my wife asked me to do, I found myself in a position where I had four hours to find a pair of shoes for my son to wear to a formal event that evening.

Sitting down in front of my computer with credit card in hand, I went to an omnichannel retailer’s website with the intention of making a “Buy Online, Pick Up in Store” purchase. Everything went smoothly at first, I found the shoes I wanted at a store 25 minutes from my house, put them in my cart, entered my billing information and clicked the “Complete Purchase” button.

That’s when the problems started.

Upon finalizing my purchase, the site sent me to a completely blank page. I could see the URL at the top of my browser window but there was no information being displayed, not even a 404 error, so I had no idea if my transaction went through.

After waiting five minutes for an order confirmation email, I contacted customer support via live chat to explain what had happened and see if my order was complete. The live chat agent informed me that there was no record of my transaction and suggested I try again…using Internet Explorer…because their site doesn’t work as well on browsers like Chrome or Safari.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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