Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Shopping Problems Online

How many of you are having problems shopping online for holiday gifts? I've purchased more online this year than in years past and have encountered hassle after hassle after hassle. I've had orders cancelled with no e-mail notification, promotion codes that were ignored, customer service recordings that say "We'd love to help you with your problem but we're too busy so call back after 6 p.m. Mountain time." (Seriously.)

What does this have to do with generating publicity? It presents opportunities for media exposure for some of you. Please -- PLEASE -- capitalize on my frustration by assuming that I'm not the only one having problems and get yourself interviewed on the subject now, before it's too late for all of us.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how you might use this to your advantage:

  • Retail consultants and technology gurus: What are the online buying trends this season -- what's the volume, what's driving traffic, who's offering irresistible deals, are these glitches predictable or universal? Tell us what's happening and why.
  • Nonprofit organizations counseling those in debt: Warn us that we're probably spending too much anyway and tell us how to rein it in.
  • Personal shoppers: If I had let you shop for me, you would have protected me from all these annoying problems, right?
  • Authors of books on cost-cutting, bargain-hunting, gift-giving, retail topics, stress reduction: Why is this happening? How can I relieve the stress this is causing? Is there any good here or should I have done all my shopping in bricks & mortar stores? And what will the exchange process be like -- even worse?
Turn my misery into your media opportunity. I will sleep better knowing some good has come of my "two steps forward, three steps back" online shopping experiences.

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