Are retailers stupid?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RKillian, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    I was just browsing three online toy stores looking for a few figures. I don't even bother with big box offerings because their search engines are dumber than a box of rocks.

    So first I hit Hasbro Toy Shop. Site lags like crazy, always has since they went to their Windows 8 theme. So I search "Marvel Legends" and it brings back over 376 listings. Holy cow, I'll filter them and...what, only 36 are actually under the Marvel Legends brand. You know, the exact term that I searched for.

    Worse yet, the rest of the filters are useless. 20 age ranges. Prices that don't help if something is on sale. And, surprise, no in stock flag. That's important as every listing only shows "add to cart" even if it's been out of stock for months. Because it's so much fun to click through every item in a list to find something that's actually available.

    So then I hit Toys R Us, another sluggish Windows 8 disaster. I search the same term and get fewer results. Only, they can't quite manage to make all of the boxes the same size, so you get 3-7 in various Tetris shapes, then an ad for junk, then more misaligned boxes. Scrolling is slow and jerky and of course it locks up every 10 or so items because God forbid we see more than 10 results at a time.

    Finally, I hit BBTS. At this point, I was in no mood to actually buy anything. So I thought I'd look up to see what case of garbage I have to buy to get MCU Scarlet Witch. But you can't type a character name because their search engine is so stupid that all it searches are titles. And even more stupid, you have to type the exact words used, so "Marvel Legend" doesn't find "Marvel Legends." I mean, come on, I'm not asking for autocorrect, just basic pattern matching!

    What the hell do their IT people do all day and why do they tolerate such incompetence?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
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  2. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Let me add EE to that list too.

    They're pushing Star Wars Rogue One really hard. My account representative sends me a scattered list with no prices or photos, apparently expecting me to blindly order the stuff. Then he either leaves or gets fired but I don't find out until a supervisor calls me, at work, trying to find out why I haven't ordered any Rogue One (even though I did). He starts telling me completely different assortments and says I can order over e-mail with him until I receive a new representative. So I do so and then this evening I get a call from yet another representative. He can't figure out when I say "charge the Kirk figures to my VISA card" that I mean the Kirk figures on my account that keeps charging an expired Discover card. Then after that's straightened out, he gives me a 3rd variation of Rogue One assortments (one with a figure everybody knows is delayed). After telling him I'm only interested in 6" assortments (solid cases are a lie), he claims my phone is cutting out and he'll e-mail me all the details to make my order. That e-mail is a straight copy of what I got from my lost representative. No prices and no breakdowns. I actually broke down and was going to give Farce Friday another chance and they just can't get it together enough to sell me anything.
     
  3. batfan007

    batfan007 Double the Dragon

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    Tetris shapes.

    Yeah I don't know, the stores with big chain brick and mortar locations all tend to have shitty "we don't care" websites that awful to navigate.
    you can literally build a better front end (user interface / website) with free software these days than most of these stores have. In about 5 mins.
     
  4. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Most of these places have terrible website navigation. I'm on my tablet most of the time and Toys R Us' site is the only place I ever crash. Hasbro You Shop is insane to navigate and their search engine sucks.

    I've had terrible experiences with EE before when I had to change my shipping address on a preorder... emailed them about it after I moved and received an email back saying it'd be taken care of... even checked the website to make sure it updated and it did... then whoever handled shipping shipped it to the old address! Best part? When I called them in a fury they first tried to claim they never received an email asking me to change it or anything. Thankfully, I had saved all the correspondences and happily emailed it to them and even commented that why was the address on the order changed! Eventually, after an investigation, they shipped me a new GotG boxset.

    But, yes, retailers are stupid.
     
  5. Crockett

    Crockett natural bodybuilder

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    This boggles my mind. Why show something that isn't available to purchase? The only other site I can think of that does that is Mattel's shitty site.

    Let's not forget Amazon. I type in Marvel Legends and it's showing me the occasional Star Wars or DC listing. :lol 
     
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  6. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    They do that on purpose though. The more results, the more you might be enticed to buy something beyond what you are searching. Same reason retail stores change out their layout from time to time, to make view more of their products you might otherwise not see.

    But yeah, their sites are shit, but they generally get the job done so why should they give a fuck if it annoys you. Though the new HTS layout really is that bad.
     
  7. solarstorm

    solarstorm Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind, when you go to Toys R Us or Target, there is a good chance the workers don't know anything about the toy youre looking for. There's 20,000 odd products in the store and they don't care enough to really get to know any of them.

    The websites are thrown together similarly. If there's a new line, then you have a chance of decent organization. There will be consistent naming of items, maybe even a subcategory. But what happens a year and a half from now when case assortment 4.5 introduces a new figure to a case of repeats? Will the worker listing items online care enough to put it in the right place or will you get something generic, uninspired, and disorganized as "Transformers So-n-So?" Especially when they're also adding a playground set, some Barbies, soap, and god knows how many other completely fucking random items as part of a bulk update? Search engines are basic and broad - because these are websites with a huge variation of product.

    If you want real organization, go to a niche website. Go to one made to sell the product. Those people know what they're selling and can organize accordingly. BBTS. TFSource. CapturedPrey, etc... you get the idea.........and they do too.
     
  8. Fuzz

    Fuzz Garbage Pail Kid

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    BBTS' search bar has type ahead. Do you not see the drop-down appear with possible search matches? When I start typing in Marvel, Marvel Legends is the first match in the list.
     

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  9. marvel b

    marvel b Bearer of the Matrix of Smash

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    not sure this counts, but here it is anyways....

    i'm gonna throw post-walmart jet.com.....i ordered 6 big containers of tang (as rare as a unicorn in my area) after searching 30 minutes for it. when it arrives, all of them are broken 4 are on the side, no protection, leaked powder all on the bottom solidified by humidity......i spent $46 on it and they only refunded $25....... jet used to be good to me before walmart took over.......
     
  10. Murasame

    Murasame CHIMICHANGAS

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    I remember when I was searching for things on tfsource and filtered the stuff, suddenly the search crashes and you get no results. I think it was something like the In Stock filter.
     
  11. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    A) Type-ahead doesn't always work (and, again, only searches titles and even then can't find some stuff). With so much hidden in assortments now, not searching the description is ridiculous.
    B) It's a high bandwidth/low compatibility "solution" for "experts" who don't know that every database and string library has something called "wildcards." Depending on how slow you type, it could make several calls back to the server trying guess what you're typing rather than just one when you're done.

    As for the other sites, I get the concept of showing me tons of garbage that I don't want as if "search" and "browse" were synonyms (they're not) but it gets really irritating having to sift through it 10-20 items at a time, lagging all the way, because some idiot JavaScript "developer" is in love with infinite scrolling.

    Maybe it just bothers me more because brick and mortar shopping in PA is like navigating a series of bombed out homeless shelters in Kurdistan so I _have_ to go online for everything but food...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  12. Starfire22

    Starfire22 The PoohFather

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    In the case of Marvel stuff (Like Legends), wouldn't that be a problem with Hasbro?
     
  13. Starscream 91

    Starscream 91 Mech With A Mouth

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    I have no issue with the search in Hasbrotoyshop and Toysrus' websites. My issues are that Hasbro's website takes forever to get new stuff like Titans Return Wave 2 Deluxes or that most websites seem to be sold out on the Marvel legends I want.
     
  14. Ninjanicktf

    Ninjanicktf She's a killer, queen

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    This is why I do most of my shopping on ebay.:p 
     
  15. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 Oh no he's got to go! go go my budget!

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    setting aside design and performance complaints and focusing on the imprecise search result. On hasbro toyshop and others that may well be by design as they like to get as much product as possible in front of a customer.
     
  16. Sylent

    Sylent Making Cybertron Great Again!

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    This is typical, and I believe intentional to interest you in other things. Personally, I think it's annoying, but whatever. I frequent HTS for BS Ahsoka and ML Black Panther (which are never in stock), and the only thing that yields a correct search is "Tano." If I type in "Marvel Legends Black Panther" all kinds of unrelated crap are displayed.
     
  17. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Oh and this gets better. I got a call back because, apparently, giving me four different variations of who's in what wave doesn't mean _they're_ confused. Why can Dorkside put up a crystal clear listing with photos and somebody trying to play distributor to such stores can't?
     
  18. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Website optimization aside, I take it no one ever explained to you how search engines work? You type in Marvel Legends in the basic search box on HTS the search engine will kick back any listing with the words Marvel and Legends in it, along with any listing that has variants like Marvelous and Legendary. Getting 376 results from those parameters is hardly shocking. But if you'd clicked filter you could narrow it to a brand search (Marvel Legends) and magically 376 results become 36.
     
  19. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    No, I _do_ know how search works (and your example is wrong, "Legends" shouldn't match "legendary", let alone the stupidity of ORing terms versus ANDing them). What the hell is the point of typing in any terms when it's just going to show you everything anyway? See, that's the difference between browsing (I want to see it all) and searching (I want to see this specific subset). If a search engine can't find records stored in a very structured format or reduce the view to a manageable size, it's about as functional as buckles on a hat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  20. Boulder

    Boulder Rock Lord

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    You get imprecise results because the search engine has no way of accurately determining how much you actually know about the product you're looking for. If I know absolutely nothing about super hero toys (And imagine this, there are actual adults that manage to function in society without having the first clue what the difference is between a Mutant and a Superhero.) and I decide to buy my niece an action figure from the Legends of Tomorrow show she wanted to watch when I babysat her, I type in "Marvel Legends" because, hey, aren't all superheroes Marvel? If it doesn't give me a broader set of options for me to pursue, Toys R Us loses that sale.
     

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