Close the loop

Pandemic supply-chain issues aside, closing the loop is the ENTIRE goal of e-commerce: To enable customers to find and purchase product. Dollars spent in building, promoting, staffing, warehousing and fulfilling are directed to one thing: Closing the sale. Here’s a tale of two e-commerce experiences that show both sides of closing the commerce loop — I’m not sure which is worse…

The “we’ll take your money” approach

Do you want to buy those Edmund dining room chairs? No problem. Expected delivery date is 3 weeks? Sounds good. Just pay now.

This is a grab. Those chairs were ordered in March, delivered in August. Not 3 weeks. Not even close. The delivery date simply kept on slipping. No note or apology from the merchant until a text came letting me know that my blessed day had arrived. 3 weeks to 6 months in incremental time increases plays on the sunk cost fallacy because if they had said 6 months from the onset, the likelihood of an order would have been 0%.

The “we won’t take your money” approach

Do you want that Lindbyn mirror? Sorry, out of stock. Can’t have it. Can’t order it. Can’t preorder it and certainly can’t have it shipped from another store that has it in stock. It MUST come from your city.

This is the other extreme. Those companies that have inventory elsewhere but don’t seem to have unified logistics or simply don’t have inventory at the moment. Even if they anticipate inventory in the coming weeks, we the people cannot reserve or pay for it. Just a “please come back later” note and be off.

Two extremes: We’ll take your money and you’ll eventually get the product (capture) or we won’t take your money but please please please come back and check regularly (release). Both fail to close the loop.