The lack of concern by online retailers when it comes to software bugs is simply dumbfounding. With US online e-commerce estimated at $75 billion this year, the industry still seem to take a severely passive stance when it comes to dealing with “bugs”. We’ve all seen poorly rendered checkout pages, focus-windows that displayed scripting languages, and the occasional invisible button. Vendors still seem to believe that if something is truly broken, customers would report it, otherwise as long as orders are coming in, assume everything is functioning as intended.
Picture yourself in a brick and mortar grocery store. Every time you visit, there’s either a milk spill on aisle 2, or a shattered jar of mustard in aisle 4. With enough grace and nimbleness, you can still navigate yourself to the checkout, but eventually you think….. why bother? There are cleaner stores out there.
Which is why stores have employees who are constantly looking for things that are affecting the shopping experience. Retail managers don’t rush to the checkout register ONLY when the receipt’s jammed, they constantly make sure that the entire shopping experience is a satisfying one.
What we have online, then, is the equivalent of aisles lined with shattered bottles. Yet as long as checkout.asp/php is still firing, the manager is sitting in his office assuming all is right. After all, customers will go proactively tell us that a css style is not properly rendering on the confirm.php page.
When’s the last time you “Click(ed) here to email the webmaster”? Never.
Pay4Bugs is the very system created to address this issue. To take lessons learned from brick and mortar retail, and apply it to the online marketplace. Our testers will roam your imaginary aisle and report each coding spill (hum… stack overflow?), for a small bounty. (Or you can utilize our badge system to actually incentives when customers do reach out and report errors encountered.) Now that the virtual aisles are clear, the old rules of retail means customers should shop more, and with greater satisfaction.
We’ll call cleanup on aisle cart.php, and our testers just might let you know the line of code too.