Wal-Mart Makes Sure Customers Find Its Web Survey, But Prints Different URLs

Written by Evan Schuman
May 11th, 2011

There’s a reason Shakespeare didn’t pen “That which we call a URL, by any other name would smell as sweet.” He didn’t write that, because the Bard knew darn well the precise phrasing of a URL makes a difference. It’s a lesson Wal-Mart apparently still needs to learn. Wal-Mart was running an in-store survey. To make sure consumers found the survey, it did three things: printed the survey URL on the POS receipt; printed it again on a pea-green piece of paper that associates were supposed to staple to the receipt; and, just in case its customers don’t know what a URL is, it provided instructions on how to use a browser.

Problem One: the URLs on the two pieces of paper didn’t match. (There’s a nice photo of the mismatch on the Dotweekly blog.) Problem Two: The stapled piece of paper instructs customers “do not use a search engine,” even though Bing, Google and Yahoo’s engines all immediately sent visitors to the right place. Lastly, does Wal-Mart really need to use a triple sub-domain (


One Comment | Read Wal-Mart Makes Sure Customers Find Its Web Survey, But Prints Different URLs

  1. Jamie Says:

    From a domain aspect, I can see why Walmart did what they did, if they intended it that way. Tracking!

    Using a different sub-domain on the green paper than the POS receipt would allow them to “track” how effective that little green piece of paper was.

    Telling the customer to visit the domain directly, would help them track it, due to the the POS sub-domain already ranking well in search engines.

    This is done many other ways, like domain forwarding with a unique domain and track traffic to that domain, even though it forwards to a specific location.

    As for the triple sub-domain, that’s pretty crazy.

    Forwarding sample, Walmart could have used a domain name like (just an example) and redirect that to the triple sub-domain or even the normal survey page. Easier to remember and type for customers, plus Walmart could do the tracking they want.


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