Amazon killed Land’s End

In my mind anyway the title of this post is true. I had two very different shopping experiences with both companies this year and I can honestly say it wasn’t fair. If I were to put both competitors into the squared circle I would imagine it would be like putting Mike Tyson in his prime against one of those chumps he used to knock out in 20 seconds.

Amazon with an uppercut…
I’ll admit I’m not an Amazon Prime customer and rarely use them outside of the holidays and occasional birthday. To me their site can be too cluttered and a hair difficult to navigate when sorting through searches. But where Amazon came through for me is on the Customer Service side of things. I ordered a Christmas present and literally the day it arrived the gift showed up on the lightning sale. Naturally I figured saving 50% of what I paid for the gift would be worthwhile. My options were check with Customer Service and see if they would hook me up with a credit or just buy it again and return the more expensive version of the same thing. Amazon wisely chose to provide a credit back to my account. The win for me was saving a few bucks and the win for Amazon was keeping me as an even more loyal customer. The loss was for UPS who missed out on a chance to ship some packages.

Land’s End staggers in the corner…
My experience with Land’s End on the other hand was less than ideal. All I needed was a new jacket for my kid. I picked an item on sale and had a code for free shipping. The cart process immediately turned me off. First was the painful coupon entry process. The code and pin combo wouldn’t work. I’m still not sure what I did to make it work, but the code was finally applied correctly. The address and shipping screens were equally difficult to comprehend. It almost felt like they didn’t want me to order the jacket. Eventually I got the order processed and confirmation email showed in my inbox.

Land’s End is down for the count…
When checking on the status for a package I’m used to a company providing me a UPS/USPS/FedEx tracking number for the package my order is in. Land’s End appears to do something different. They provide just one number, your order number. Then you have to visit their website and track the order through them. They also put the order tracking section in “Customer Service” rather than “My Account”. This really seems strange to me. Perhaps this is a carryover from the mail order mentality or something, but I only found it there after I exhausted the other locations of the site where I thought it might be.  You enter your order number and they display a page that includes the information on the tracking from UPS. In my case there was nothing. Just an error. Then things get interesting.

I pull open a chat window and chat with a CSR. They open my order details and tell me that I will get my package by X date. When I ask for a tracking number they don’t have one. Just that UPS hasn’t updated their website. Uh, wait, what? This person told me that is was a UPS problem? No, you clearly can’t provide a UPS number for me so either it hasn’t shipped yet or you are so jacked up you can’t actually provide me a UPS tracking number.  If the package hadn’t shipped I wouldn’t care, but the fact that you imply UPS has a problem suggests that a tracking number does exist but you won’t give it to me.

Clearly I’m not a regular at Land’s End and never will be. I found the entire process to be quite painful. When it comes to e-commerce I expect the process to be EASY- hurdles just question my decision to buy from your company. Kudos to the Amazon CSR that responded with a mutually beneficial decision in a timely manner.