Well, besides getting over this fever/cold, all I want for the Holidays is a super-awesome retail website experience. Up here in Canada, today is a very special retail day called, Boxing Day. Everything is on sale and the prices are usually very good. They also do it online (it usually starts around midnight today).
I made a couple of selections (printer, laptop case, etc...) and surfed through two major electronics retailers. The experience was OK at best. I had a hard time finding out how much it would cost for the printer toner refills (so simple to have) and on the other site, it did not show my shipping and handling (or if there was any) for my laptop case until I entered my credit card.
These were the good experiences.
A major book retailer advertised 30% of all hardcovers in the newspaper, but nothing online (boo!) and another large electronics retailer was still advertising their pre-Christmas catalogue with no Boxing Day info, the site was slow and just to get in I had to input my postal code and language selection (I'm not even going to get into the heavy graphics and slow download time per page).
When companies start looking at their web presence as much as their cash-registers I know that the e-commerce promise will be alive and well. I would have spent a lot more money in the past two hours. I guess the retailers don't want my money. I also hope they don't complain and ask for tax breaks/government help when business goes south.
I always talk about price vs. profit when it comes to building a website. The math model is: it doesn't matter what the price of site is (what it cost you) if customers can't buy from it, get frustrated, don't give you their money and Blog/tell people about it - what is the amount of profit that type of experience costs you? So do things right (and you profit) - especially when a lot of people are looking (like today... Boxing Day).