At 7pm tonight, Australian retailers will for the first take participate in a local version of US Cyber Monday, an online only event dubbed Click Frenzy. Click Frenzy many major retailers, including Myer, Target and Dick Smith.
Myer launched their online store early last year, and I thought I’d finally give it a spin in preparation for the sale tonight.
Two things interested me recently that would make a great opportunity to kick the tyres on Myer’s online strategy, a Microsoft XBOX 360, and the Lego Town Hall (part of the Lego town collection http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Town-Hall-10224)
So let’s start by visiting Myer at http://www.myer.com.au
Ok, there’s a large search box at the top, let’s look for an XBOX:
There’s a few problems here. First of all, the banner reading ‘Search Page’ takes up most of my screen, not a really helpful design. Secondly ‘Your search for xbox on myer.com.au generated a total of 1 results’. Really? You didn’t take the ‘s’ off ‘results’ when there was only one search item found?
Thirdly, and most importantly, I was expecting a list of search results. However all may not be lost, there are two helpful links that may find what I want. The first one:
That’s a bit strange, I thought I was in the shop already, not to worry, what happens when I click on the link?
Cute, but not helpful.
Still, on the previous page there was a link to Myer’s electical and gaming section, and it looks like Myer at least sell XBOX’s online:
So let’s click that link…
And it take me to: http://www.myer.com.au/404.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/electrical_gaming.aspx
Ok, let’s try the Lego set. This time I at least get a large number of search results, although scanning them shows they don’t really point to any Lego products. But this is my fault, I now know I’m not looking at the online shop, so I’ll click on the link to ‘Search for “lego” products on our online store.‘
Server error again:
Looking at the URL that this takes me to, http://shop.myer.com.au/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/MyerGenericJSPErrorView? it’s obvious there are 2 separate sites, www.myer.com.au which is written in ASP.NET, and the shopping cart itself at shop.myer.com.au written in JavaServer pages and the search functionality might be broken between the two. So I’ll go straight so shop.myer.com.au
Promising! And a toy sale too!
Free shipping and lots of Lego items, looks like I’m in luck.
… except that the range is really limited – I took a stroll over to the Myer shop in Sydney to compare, and there are certainly more than 22 different Lego products on the shelves. And despite the earlier message that I could shop online for XBOX:
Myer has a long way to go.
Finally, an excellent article by Michael Pascoe in the Sydney Morning Herald sums up the issues really well:
It takes a 10-minute conversation with someone who really knows the business to destroy the announced Myer and David Jones internet ambitions of achieving 10 per cent of sales online. After last week’s effort to talk up department store sales and the hype over tomorrow’s ‘Click Frenzy’ promotion, tell ‘em they’re dreaming.
The pair’s ‘omni channel’ internet strategies – pretty much cut-and-paste jobs from Nordstrom’s annual report – are based on a lack of understanding of the businesses they are trying to copy, fundamental differences between US and Australian retail structures and the simple mistake of comparing apples with oranges. Or perhaps sheep with goats.