Tag Archives: website

Clicks vs. Bricks

Here is an interesting difference between retail in the UK and Brazil – the Brazilian stores consider the Internet site for their own company to be in competition with them. It’s not all about promoting a single brand, or offering the consumer a variety of channels to purchase a product – the high street stores think they have to compete against the Internet site of their company.

I went to buy a TV recently and the price in the store was a full R$1000 more than the online price in the same store – that’s about £400. I asked for them to match the web price for their own company and then offer me a discount on top if I would pay immediately – in Brazil most expensive purchases are spread over a year or two so it’s not so common for someone to pay it all up front.

The guy in the store couldn’t offer me anything – I might as well have just ordered from the online site. He even talked about how bad the service is from the website and if I buy from them, I can’t come to a store complaining if it does not work. Yes, a store from the same chain.

And yesterday I went to buy a pretty cheap Samsung laser printer. It was on the website for about £110 and £160 in the store. Again, when I asked for the web price they were a bit surprised someone had checked, the manager came over, and eventually they agreed to match the web price of their own website.

But what is really shocking is the percentages involved. That printer was about 50% more expensive in store compared to online. The TV was about 35% more expensive than online. These are huge figures and what’s surprising – to me – is the attitude the Brazilian store managers take to their own website.

It seems the retail revolution of the 90s we enjoyed in London has come to Brazil, but the managers of the regular stores hate it that their margins are exposed so openly to consumers. Wait until the shoppers here start using price comparison sites…

TV at Betfair

Stop press: Seetickets website can’t cope with Glasto traffic

I – like millions of others – tried to get Glastonbury 2011 tickets yesterday.

I was there online in the morning waiting feverishly. I had registered ages ago, so I had all my details ready. I tried the website – crashed. I tried the booking phone number – no answer.

I repeated the above. I gave up. I tried again later, constantly hitting refresh on my browser and redial on my phone. But nothing worked.

Then, later in the day, I saw that all the tickets had sold out in a few hours – as expected.

What annoys me is that Seetickets, the agency that sells the tickets on behalf of the Glastonbury festival organisers, don’t make any provision for their phone lines or website to actually work on the day when the tickets are released… why don’t they strike a deal with a major IT supplier like IBM for example and ask them to make sure the website can take millions of hits per hour?

At least if the website worked then all of us who were sitting there and waiting to login could actually do so. It’s not hard to buy a bit of extra computing power when it is needed for just one day of the year – it’s called utility computing, or even the cloud if you prefer that term…

So now, I’m waiting for returns. Though I know the website will collapse again when the returns are announced. It’s worth a try, Maybe next time I might get lucky and find a connection…

CSS at the Shepherd's Bush Empire