Why is it that some sites make it very hard to do what you want to do? Take Maplin for instance, a well established electronics company. They had a good deal on the all-in-one remotes and it was someone’s birthday soon so I thought I’d send them one. Turns out their birthday was in two days time. “No problem” I thought, I’ll just do next day delivery.

I went through the order process, trying to find next day delivery in vain. Search, search, search, ah there it is. Click.

“We do not offer next day delivery to new customers, we must have had one order with you already to send your product next day delivery. Please note: Next day delivery charges start from £15”

I paraphrase slightly as I cannot see the screen now, but that was the gist. I couldn’t believe it. Not only are they saying they cannot do next day delivery but they want to charge me £15 to deliver a remote control. If it hadn’t been for the fact the remote was half price, I would have left.

There’s a learning point here for all ecommerce sites or those about to build one. Don’t make it difficult for the customer to do anything with their order. People generally will not tell you if something is wrong or doesn’t work. Test thoroughly. Do full usability testing with real people in your target audience. Never do a Maplin.