Rite Aid’s Answer To The Problem Of Older Browsers And Newer Sites

Written by Evan Schuman
October 14th, 2010

With sites today pushing more advanced functionality and programming, new browsers are regularly released to keep up. But over the years, what should a site do with visiting customers who use really old browsers? Should they be blocked, dismissed with a curt “you need to use a browser this tall to ride this site”? Should they be permitted through, knowing that their experience will likely range from subpar to unacceptable, with some functionality simply not available?

Rite Aid, either through choice or by accident, is sending some customers with older browsers (Internet Explorer 6, in particular) directly to its mobile site. If deliberate (Rite Aid media relations said they didn’t know and the E-Commerce team was being vague), it’s a smart resolution. (Note: AlertBot was the first to detect Rite Aid’s move.) In mobile, the consumer gets full functionality. Well, full functionality by mobile standards. In other words, everything should work and work well. ‘Tis better to have full access in a limited world than partial access in a full one. (Would Milton’s line that it’s “better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven” be appropriate? I didn’t think so.)


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