Abyss Island: Taking Inventory
There are pros and cons to everything, I guess. On one hand I’m stranded alone, a forgotten castaway, forced to live on nothing but beans and rice. On the other hand, there is reduced competition for my parking spot. (meekly) Yeah, me.
So here we are. Day 36. Only three more days to go. Rather than wasting my time doing tai chi on the beach, I thought I’d take a few minutes out of my busy schedule to catch you up on the comings and goings of the indigenous peoples on Abyss Island.
Joy for you. Yet another post where I talk about myself. Who said this blog doesn’t have a theme? It’s me! Me, me, me and an extra serving of me! And me for dessert with sprinkles on top.
That’s just sick, really.
Let’s approach cautiously lest we startle the beast.
Last we heard our intrepid Survivor had won a reward challenge…
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Taking Stock – We Have Your Money
Verily we just had a veritable festive holiday season. All across this great nation currency (and credit) was exchanged for consumer goods, primarily cheaply made shit from China. It was truly a touching and traditional way to honor the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. (Even though historians tell us he was more likely born on July 22nd.)
How well did we honor Him?
- Web visits to online retailers were up for the second year in a row.
- Thanksgiving saw a 6% increase.
- Black Friday was up 7%.
- Cyber Monday was up 11%.
- Christmas was up a whopping 27%.
- The day after Christmas was only up 1% but it still counts.
Halleluja! He is risen along with the economy!
That’s a lot of online orders. But, alas, no stats released yet on how many of those last-minute shoppers were told their coveted items were “out of stock.” That’s the internet’s dirty little secret. Discussion about that peculiar aspect of online shopping would be a real bummer, wouldn’t it?
My research shows that 87% of online retailers make no effort to show real-time inventory status.
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This post is IN STOCK
Ha ha ha ha! You just fell for it. Sucker!
I’ve now worked for three different ecommerce companies in the last ten years. And I can tell you this: None of them gave even the remotest flying shit about accurate information on their web sites about products being “in stock” or not.
All three of them simply listed products as “in stock” — no matter what.
No actual effort was expended to make sure a product’s availability status was accurate. None.
In some cases, the words “in stock” were simply hard-coded right into the web page.
So how does the shopping “experience” work in cases like these?
- Shopper visits site.
- Shopper selects a product page to view.
- Shopper is told the product is “in stock.”
- Shopper gets excited about the product and thinks, “I want to consume this shiny thing.”
- Shopper adds item to the cart and completes their order.
- Shopper pays for the item.
- The company says, “Ha ha ha ha ha! Now we have your fucking money.”
- At some later time shopper is informed of the “unexpected delay” with their purchase.
That’s it. Now you know the secret “magic” that takes place behind the curtain. Fun, huh?
At all three companies I went to the owner of the company and expressed this overly-simplistic thought: “Shouldn’t we consider being honest with our customers?”
Wow. Talk about getting an earful in response!
All three of them expressed it the same way. “If we say a product is out of stock then people won’t give us their money!” (Try to imagine the magnitude of whining here. Plain text simply doesn’t do it justice.)
No shit, Sherlock.
In other words, the paradigm is this: Being honest about the availability of products will hurt sales.
Sales is a god. For some, despite overt protestations that they abide by different religious beliefs, it is the only god to which they will bow down in prayer.
The object of the game is simple. Separate the customer from his wallet in the shortest period of time and with the smallest possible amount of effort. Period. End of story. Game over. Any means, fair or otherwise, will be employed in pursuit of that objective.
Get the money. Then do whatever it takes to maintain the sale. Try to switch the customer to another product. Talk them into waiting. Whatever. But, no matter what, avoid them canceling their order. WE HAVE THEIR MONEY!
Now, be honest. If you knew this was the kind of person you would be dealing with, would you even place that order in the first place?
Lucky for you I’m here to help. I’m going to teach you how to identify these assholes so you won’t become their latest mind fuck. Pay attention now, because I’m only going to say this once.
Here is how you can identify this particular breed of asshole ecommerce retailer:
Their web site lists products as “in stock.”
See? It’s just that easy. Avoid these motherfuckers like the plague!
And now for the bad news about this post. (You expected this, right?)
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Sorry, you lose! Ha ha ha ha!