Thursday, August 26, 2010

Internet Infos, An Open Letter to Zappos

This is one of the most eye-catching banner ads I've seen in awhile, if not ever. It is for a website where people submit their "secrets" kind of like Post Secret. I wasn't overly thrilled by the website but the ad did get me to click on it which I don't ever really do. 

Speaking of online ads, I've been hyper aware lately of how much information is gathered about us as we surf the web in the privacy of our own home. I can shop for something online and two days later end up on a completely unrelated website only to find that banner ads are trying to sell me the exact thing that I had been shopping for (Zappos I'm looking at you). It has so quickly gone far beyond gathering http cookies. And if it is that easy to find out what I'm shopping for, I can't help but wonder what other information are "they" collecting about me?

I saw an interesting video clip on CNN a few weeks ago and it mentioned the website BlueKai which is an online date exchange company. I visited it and was able to see what I'm "in market" for (Clothing, Shoes) and what my "interests" are (Knitting/Needlework, Sewing, Handicrafts), and the fact that I'm in Canada. Nothing surprising but interesting nonetheless.

* Please note: At this point in the blog post if you are not the fine folks at you don't need to read on.

Dear Zappos,

I feel like you and I are becoming fast friends. You already know that I have been shopping for a pair of Mizuno Wave Creation Runners in a US8 and a pair of Hunter Original Tall Boots in a US7 with some Charcoal Cable Cuff Welly Socks. In fact, you have been on SO many of the websites I frequent lately trying to sell me these items, it's crazy! And you know Zappos if there is one trait that I can admire, it's persistence. So I probably would have purchased these items from you but there's only one problem. And it's something that I don't understand because with all the other information you have about me, it's something you MUST know. I live in Canada. And you don't ship to Canada. Story of my life. Okay, that's not fair. You don't ship to Canada but you've created a website that DOES. Wonderful! Only, THAT website is still shipping from the states so we'll still have to pay the extra duties and taxes. And THAT website doesn't have the same return policy or the free shipping both ways. And even though the word Canada and a maple leaf are in the logo of the site, all the prices are in US dollars. Wait a minute, why bother with the "Canadian" website? Is it so you can drastically reduce the inventory you ship to us? I thought so. Because none of the items I want to buy are on the Canadian site. So as you've been cyber-stalking me all over the place (and doing a damn good job of it) it's actually quite funny; you've been trying to sell me things that you won't actually sell to me! Don't worry, you can laugh about it. I did.

Yours in shoes,


Bryan Raydio said...

you are becoming an online commerce addict... maybe you should start a blog on online commerce efficacy... a where-to-by advice column