Posted October 6, 2010 by Deyana Deco in Shopping

On-line Shopping and On-line Shops

Why a company would make an on-line shop? The first logical reason that crosses my mind is: more clients of course! Making an on-line shop is far cheaper than having an off-line one plus they can have more clients from different countries where their off-line shops are not available.
But can have not always means will have because it’s not just about having products and a website to sell them through. It’s also about having a great customer service as these are the people that contact directly with the customers and there is nothing worse than leaving a bad impression with inefficient customer service. It’s as well being flexible updating your website constantly, offering always something new, promotions and discounts are must do too!

It is surprisingly how many on-line shops limit their delivery to few countries although we don’t live in the century of carriages and horses so we don’t travel months to certain destination.
What’s the point of having an on-line shop if you’ll deliver only to the country where you’ve got off-line shop/s?
Nowadays transport is so developed that shipping to every part of the globe shouldn’t be a problem, of course it’s a question of price but why ignore potential clients if they are ready to pay that delivery price just to have your product? well asking unreal or in some cases “unbelievable” prices for delivery is another story :).

For the last few weeks I’ve checked so many on-line shops some of them great looking other not so and I even had the chance to contact the customer service of some of them.
Some of the shops totally disappoint with the lack of variety and articles in stock or with so called sale offers which if you unfortunately try to check you’ll find the article is either Out of stock either not available.

Mark & Spencer for example deliver to around 80 countries in the delivery price range GBP 7.50 – 15.00 unfortunately customers from some European countries can only order from their UK store and the delivery price for these countries is 15.00 GBP the same for delivery to Japan or Jamaica?
Obviously the price doesn’t depend on distance anyway it’s company policy but would be great if the delivery to the other European countries was cheaper.

Debenhams – excellent on-line shop with lots of products and great sale offers.
Unfortunately very limited list of international shipping destinations just 7 countries (at least what I counted)
are in the list for now. Can’t really understand if you deliver to New Zealand for example why deliver just to 4 countries in Europe? If you deliver to Spain why not to Portugal? or If you deliver to France why not to Belgium? Contacted their customer service by email the only auto reply I got was that I’ll receive reply within 3 days (in the world of internet communications sounds like I’d get a letter by post faster), will see when this reply will eventually arrive but it’s really pity that many people can’t enjoy shopping on-line at Debenhams and having the possibility to buy and have their products because of the limited shipping destinations. For now you can only rely on the off-line one if there is such locally. There is one around but the articles in stock are far less than on-line.

Dorothy Perkins – I am personally a fan of the brand and have lots of their clothes bought from off-line shops. Tried to order on-line something that wasn’t available in their shop in the country where I’m on vacation. As I couldn’t find this European country in the list of shipping destinations – tried to call, 4 times I was number 10 on the queue to contact their customer service, for the time waiting to get connected spent about 4 euro from my Voip account without any luck to contact anybody so I gave up and wrote an email with a simple question about international delivery and cost. Got copy/paste reply to check the list of the countries they deliver to, why you think I haven’t check already? Despite my additional email and question if they will at least deliver to their local shop here which I can visit and collect the parcel I never got any reply on that my second email and that was very disappointing. I like that brand and it’s really frustrating when customer service don’t do their job and ignore customers. It sounds like they do not care if you want to order something, one client more or less does it matter?

The last shop I’m going to mention in this article Lands’ End – amazingly although I placed my order on Saturday night I got immediate confirmation that the article is available and the order processed and on Monday morning I was notified the order’s shipped. Product range on the website is great with some nice sale offers and international delivery available for long list of countries. Hopefully when I receive my delivery I’ll be as happy as I was with the service that Lands’ End offered till now.

I hope I will update this article with more impressions from other on-line shops very soon.
If you have got impressions from on-line shops as well no matter good or bad feel free to post your comment. I’m sure it will be appreciated by other current or future customers.

EDIT: Regarding my email query to Debenhams in the mean time I received a reply that the company is currently working on expanding their delivery service but at the moment “due to logistical factors including customs and export charges and insurance issues” they do not deliver to this European country. This explanation sounds a bit strange as in the European community custom and export charges shouldn’t apply to such type of deliveries. Once again it’s a pity such a nice on-line shop limits their delivery to few countries but I hope they will find a solution that will allow delivery to more countries.

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Deyana Deco