This Just In: “Transaction Failures Can Hurt E-Business.” Followed by “Arsenic In Cereal Might Depress Breakfast Sales”

Written by Evan Schuman
September 25th, 2006

A survey released Monday morning tells us all what we already knew, that consumers still run into a lot of problems when trying to make online purchases. Although the high percentage of consumers reporting problems (88 percent) is eye-opening, the upshot isn’t.

The lead with the announcement of the Harris Interactive survey–paid for by TeaLeaf– pretty sums up the “and this surprised you in what way?’ response: “Online transaction failures can wreak havoc on Ebusiness.” I read that a few times and tried to figure out what point Harris was trying to make. Were they expecting online transaction failures to help E-business? Perhaps they had anticipated consumers saying that they would ignore online transaction failures and continue to work with that site regardless. The word itself–“failure”–pretty much telegraphs the answer.

That all said, if the survey makes IT execs say, “OK. We knew about these relentless glitches, but we sort of hoped no consumers would notice” take notice, that’s fine. But I’d just as well hope that IT execs who think that way get punished. There’s something just about that.


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