Dear, a couple of recommendations to stop disappointing your customers...

for the third time in a row I had issues with one of your exclusive releases. Although I’m really, really, REALLY pissed off, I’ll try to avoid swearwords (one example of swearwords I won’t use is “fucking incompetent idiots”) and to give you some recommendations, both as a client and as someone who’s been doing e-commerce for some time.

I like your website and I like your product selection, but most of all I like your exclusives. All sneakerheads love exclusive releases. It’s a shame that such a good combination of website experience and product selection is accompanied but such a poor service. A real shame.

The first time I tried to buy a pair of Size Exclusive Nike Huarache I had to wake up early in the morning on a Saturday and refresh my Twitter feed a few dozen times, but when I saw my order go through I felt it was totally worth it. Then I started to check the order status, and for days it was “In preparation”, which clearly made me uncomfortable. After a week I reached out to customer service. I repeat, I reached out, as nobody from Size really thought it was a good idea to let a customer know their order for their beloved Huaraches had been cancelled. All right, I thought, it happens even to the best.

The second time I tried to buy a pair of Size Exclusive Nike Huarache I was even happier. This colorway was even better than the previous one, so I felt the failure with my previous order was in fact a blessing in disguise. Same process, same ending. My order was cancelled. AGAIN!
Slightly pissed off I wrote to the Size customer service on Twitter. Again, ICYMI, I reached out to them. They were helpless, but of course very sorry. Oh yeah, being sorry is more than enough, isn’t it? NO, it is NOT! (I want to be clear here, dear, in case you missed the sarcasm…)
So I politely suggested that a discount code would have been in order, since this was the second time in a row they cancelled my order without telling me and without any apparent reason beside their incompetence. The guy from customer service finally agreed, but of course he didn’t give me a code. He told me to let him know (again, I have to do all the work here, as they’re probably busy with Twitter) when I made my next order and he would give me 20% back. OK, better than nothing.

The third time was this morning. Again a Size exclusive release. Again Nike. Again Huarache. This time it was much better, as I couldn’t even order, so at least I was mad before and not after.
I patiently waited for the link to be posted on Twitter, at 9am (8am in the UK). When they post it, the link was not to the product page, but to a search page. I see 2 problems here. 1) Why do I have to wait and follow your stinky Twitter account if the link is simply a search query? Can’t I just go to the website and search? 2) The search result was a pair of Huarache, but not the ones they were supposed to release (they were the Army ones, not the Navy ones, btw).
Many people replied to the tweet saying that the link didn’t work. The Twitter guy, instead of checking or trying to understand the problem, continued to say that the link worked and that “you stupid people should learn how to click on a stupid link” (he didn’t actually say that, of course, but he probably thought that). At one point he posted the complete link instead of the short link. Same results. He then suggested to search for the product code. No use. At one point, probably after he got his morning coffee, he had an epiphany: maybe some weird people are actually suing their mobile phone! So he said that the link was to the “main” website (really, the main website? Is it 2001 already?). Clearly the link wasn’t either to the “main” or to the mobile website, it was just a link that directed to the right experience depending on the device.
Finally, probably stunned that people didn’t understand his very clear instructions, he spelled out that the thing to do was to go to the “main” website and search from there.
Tired but happy, I finally go to the “full” website (another good term) and I search for the product code: BINGO! The shoe is there, in its full splendor, and incredibly enough my size (11 UK, in case you’re thinking about what to give me for my birthday, which is a little more than one month away…) is still available. Sitting in my car, in the parking lot of my son’s creche, I smile and select my size. I add to cart and… “Sorry there is not enough inventory for the product you selected”… NOOOOO!

So, here are my recommendations:

  1. Don’t let the intern that you hired 3 days ago manage an important exclusive release. He (or she) will mess up! (what? it was not an intern? Fire them today!)
  2. Make sure the person in charge of the exclusive release has coffee before starting to tweet. A strong one. No, tea is not OK!
  3. It’s just a guess, but mobile is probably between 30 and 40% of your traffic, and it probably peaks to more than 50% for early morning releases. Please make sure the link you post works on a mobile device or at least to provide clear information about how to use the link if you’re on a mobile device. It’s 2014, for Christ’s sake! Don’t you ever go to conferences? They’ve been saying “this year is the year of mobile” for 7 years in a row now!
  4. Site experience counts, product selection counts, but if you fail to deliver nothing else matters. Please hire somebody who knows about operations.
  5. You know what? You will still sell out when you have exclusive releases. They’re exclusive! But you don’t want customers to think “Oh no, another release at…”, like they have to go to the post office. You want people to think “Great, another release, I can’t wait to rock my new shiny sneakers!”. Make it right!

At the end, just because I’m a sucker, I bought size 10.5. They will be too tight, and every time I’ll wear them I’ll think about you, dear intern in charge of exclusive releases on Twitter, and I’ll hope you burn your tongue in your stupid morning tea!