Online ordering – challenges during the difficult time

with the spread of Covid-19 virus around world, I, as many of people around, try to cut my grocery shopping trips and switch to online platforms.

I believe the demands are surging drastically:

  1. certain stuffs are missing  –  mask – for sure, hand sanitizer , toilet paper (not sure why people want to buy them in huge quantity..)
  2. long waiting and delivery time…
  3. ……

the first thing frustrated me the most is last minutes cancellation by on-line shop.  I assumed that when I ordered something and completed the payment, the stuff should be “reserved” in their system and the stocks are actually available as indicated online. however, quite often, certain items were cancelled by the online shop just on the day before scheduled delivery day.  could this be their system problem? they could cope with the demands?  Usually, what is missing is “hot” stuff, like hand sanitizer, hand wash, ..  or is this just their trick to attract more traffic/visits?

second, it is very very difficult to secure a delivery slot.   One online shop just tell you no slot available,  another one, provide a list of slots, but non could be booked…  And, there is no clear update on how slots are allocated, released.  I tried a few days continuously at different time, the result? always the same.   I could understand the high demands for deliveries services,  but I am also expecting a bit clearer update..

third,  some online shops still present out-of-stock items in their web sites and apps without clear indication at very beginning.  you only know that the item is not available when you click the item and try to order…

I believe the key here is how to reduce customers’ frustration during current difficult time.   could it be better if the online portal or app could

  1. avoid last minutes cancellation by enhance stock management and its integration with online portal/app
  2. prompt customer that there is no delivery slot before they start the ordering or even browsing,
  3. remove out-of-stock from display or at least provide a filter that allow visitor to decide?

those might not be issue under normal circumstance,   but, there are always new challenges…   covid-19 could be probably today, there could be something completely new after Covid-19

take care and stay safe

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