I’ve noticed something odd in my web wanderings today. When I buy stuff online, it’s almost always of the uber-popular books/CDs/movies/computer stuff/playstation games/toys variety, so naturally, I’m well covered by the heavyweights of the e-commerce industry. But, when you go outside the realm of the everyday online products, the pickings are slim, and the sites are horrible.
I’m looking for some airwalk shoes that I can ride my mountain bike with (w/ spd pedals), but airwalk’s site is giving me ASP errors and I can’t actually buy anything direct from them. Terrific, so I go to fogdog, the “amazon of sports junk” but they don’t have what I want.
I’m also looking for some new skate shoes, but fogdog doesn’t have any Vans or DC shoes in my size, and the company sites are these horrible flash monstrosities that don’t let you actually buy anything.
So I go to skateboarding.com, surely they must have some sort of paid portal where I can find some good e-commerce sites that will offer me the goods I want to purchase. But everything linked off their shop is pretty weak in terms of navigation, shopping carts, and product availability. I’m not going to trust any of them with my $80.
Several months ago, a similar experience came up when I tried to look for Futon bed/couches, and when I looked for a new mountain bike. Nothing but unprofessional sites that lack features Amazon/B&N/buy.com/Borders.com had in 1997.
I guess the moral of the story is, there’s plenty of sites out there that still need building, the e-commerce pie is far from completely taken.