03 December 2007

 

Towards a more flexible e-commerce model

Argos (a top 5 e-commerce site in the UK) reports on its website when you go to buy something:

Remember, you don't need to register to purchase on this website!


Glory be and hallelujah.

About the only site I know of that allows people to log in if they want to (potentially saving time in the long term) as well as not logging in (thereby saving time for one off purchases and especially if you have forgotten your password etc)

When I go to shop in a normal high street shop, I am not required to log in. Nor am I required in the main to have their store card and use it allowing every purchase I make to be tracked on every visit. Nor am I required to set up a username before I think about putting stuff in my basket. Nor am I required to give my date of birth before purchasing non-age related goods from them.

Yet on-line retailers indulge in this nefarious data gathering just because they can. Tesco.com requires to have a clubcard before purchasing with them (thereby allowing all your purchases to be tracked). Toysrus.com requires a date of birth when registering, even though the vast bulk of their products are non-age related and even though all they need to know is whether I am over 18 or not, see this analysis of their site in terms of the data protection act.

Argos were reviewed as Pants back in 2003 and still persist with the silly practice of requiring everyone to have a courtesy title even when many prefer not to use one. But nonetheless, credit where it's due for being courageous enough to say no to the marketing department's endless quest for customer data "we take your data because we can" and having a site that gives the customer the option of a quick purchase without having to log in as well as using their account if they have one.

A site that offers true customer choice, how long before others follow this lead?

Craig

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Comments:
More of the same as reported by the BBC.
 
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