Slamming The Door In The Customer’s Face


Unlike the rest of the Technology Therapy Group team, I am not a fashionista. I can go days, weeks, months – even years! – without finding clothing or accessories I’m excited about and need to buy immediately. Fashion just doesn’t turn me on like that.

What does get me going, however, is industrial design furniture. And so there I was this morning, just before dawn, cruising through Twitter. There, presented to me was the most beautiful convertible shelving unit/table you’ve ever seen. It had a reclaimed hardwood top, bold black metal structure, and that mad-scientist vibe I just can’t resist.

After a momentary reflection on my child’s recent academic performance and the likelihood of her ever actually making it to college and hence need financial help from her parents, I decided to buy the table. It was 4 am, I hadn’t even had coffee – we’re talking the purest sort of impulse purchase here.

Twitter link clicked.

What I expected: to be brought immediately to the awesome table. I was ready. I was eager. I have my credit card number MEMORIZED, people.

What I got: a form that prompted me to enter my email address before I could even see the table.
So I grumbled a little bit. But being a marketing professional, I appreciate the value of data capture. I put the email address in, assuming that the next step would bring me to the awesome table of my dreams.

Nope. That’s NOT what happened. Instead, I was prompted to create a password.

I grumbled a little bit more. It was at this point – and ONLY at this point – that I began to wonder about the price of the table. But I went along with things, and entered a password.

At which point, the website told me the password wasn’t good enough. Mind you, there were no password conventions listed when I created the password. Apparently, I was supposed to intuit them out of the ether.

That’s where my interest in the table died. It was a cold, lonely death, there in the wee hours of the morning. The table remained awesome, but not so awesome that I was willing to put up with that much administrative bureaucracy at 4 in the morning.

Understanding the Value of Data Collection

As small business owners, we hear all of the time about the value of data. Understanding who our customers are, what motivates them, and how they act is supposed to be our single most precious asset as entrepreneurs.

Well, let me be a little bit contrarian this morning. I think the most valuable asset you have as a small business owner is your ability to sell your products and services to your customer. Anything that interferes with that is just bad marketing.

The furniture retailer this morning now has my email address this morning – if the program bothered retaining the data I entered considering I abandoned the page mid-registration, which is doubtful. The price they paid for that address? $1,197.99 – the price of the table I didn’t buy.

What a bargain.

And here’s the kicker.

Had this brand not gotten in their own way, inserting their time consuming need for data collection into the very front end of the sales funnel, they would have gotten all of the information they wanted AND the sale. Obviously I would have shared my email address with them when I bought the table. It’s pretty standard to do that!

Understanding where data collection fits in the sales channel and on your website is essential to successful e-commerce. If you mess up, as this brand did, you’re doing the digital equivalent of slamming the door in your customer’s face. Don’t do that.

Need help figuring it out?

Give us a call. We’ll help you create an e-commerce experience that generates sales and successfully captures and capitalizes on interested consumer data. You’ll be amazed how much more you’ll sell when you stop slamming the door in the customer’s face.

Slamming The Door In The Customer’s Face
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Slamming The Door In The Customer’s Face
Using data capture as a barrier to entry to your site is effectively shutting the door in the customer's face, causing you to lose the sale.

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