2007-12-29

Dead end window shopping.

The other day I mentioned to a friend that I was considering buying a good suit. I own a few usable suits, but none that are very good. My friend promptly recommended a store in Oslo that I should have a look at.

Since I do not live in Oslo I had a look at their website. This is usually the first thing I do when I am considering a non-trivial purchase -- and a proper suit is very much a non-trivial purchase. First off, it is an item of clothing, so there will be pain. Men do not spend hours on end trying on various outfits in shops. Men enter, decide, buy, and leave.

Second, a proper suit is expensive so it is a purchase that needs to be researched. You want to make an informed decision. This involves understanding what your options are . You want to see pictures, data and prices. You want to have some ideas before you take the trouble of visiting a clothing store.

So I went to their website. Expecting, at a minimum, a glimpse of what sort of suits they were selling and some idea of the price range. So what did I find? Nothing. Absolutely no information of any value to me. If you don't believe me: here's their website. Go check it out. The best they could do was a list of which brands they sell and some tips on how to tie a tie.

I don't wear ties.

This is what I do not understand: companies spend lots of money on advertising, yet when I voluntarily seek them out and try to get some information on their products, their websites are just a glorified yellow-pages listing or the equivalent of a terrible for-web-adaptation of a printed brochure. If you go to, for instance, the Armani website you are confronted with some lame marketroid's idiot vision of what a website is. In a matter of minutes you grow tired and leave the site. None the wiser.

Ever tried to buy jewelry or lingerie for your girlfriend? Same story there. The classier the brand the more useless the website.

I suspect they think that their websites are classy. Or that it is somehow classy not to have proper websites with proper web pages (rather than that flash rubbish) showing their products. That it somehow preserves their mystique and image as quality brands.

Well, no, it doesn't. It only tells me that these people hire completely incompetent marketing firms to stitch together pathetic web presences. It does nothing for me as a shopper. I was looking for a suit. If the websites were any good they'd leave me with a list of suits I might want to have a closer look at in their store.

These websites are made by advertising wankers for advertising wankers. The more feebleminded window shoppers may be slightly amused for a few minutes, but for people looking to actually buy something, it is a dead end.

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