In the December 2000 issue of I.Merchant, the Cybercritic reviewed our Website, www.successories.com. We are always interested to see what an objective user has to say about our Website. Our site does have some shortcomings, and we are constantly working to get these issues resolved.
Your article made mention of some user difficulties, a few of which we’d like to address. We feel that some important information was left out.
Gift finder: The author writes that he was returned to the blank option page after submitting certain criteria. It was not mentioned that there is also a message that appears in red type that informs the user that no matches were found and instructs the user to widen the criteria and try again.
Browse arrows: The article states that our navigation arrows at the bottom of each category-level page are the only way to move to the next page. We do also have all of the pages within a particular category listed at the bottom of each category-level page, which allows users to randomly select the page they wish to view.
Checkout: The author writes that when he moved to checkout with items in his shopping cart, he was given an empty cart. We have no explanation for this beyond a possible user error. This action should move the user to a payment screen and then to a confirmation screen that completes the ordering process. Our site processes close to $5 million worth of orders a year, and this is the only time we have heard of such a problem.
Otherwise the article seemed to give a fair and objective representation of the user experience. Tim Dumler, e-commerce administrator Successories
In your article “Making Affiliate Online Marketing Programs Work” (page 47, January), I know that Lisa Wolff of [affiliate organizer] Freeshop stated that 5% of gross sales is the average commission of pay-per-performance arrangements. But we have been checking into affiliate programs for a while now, and in the few we participate in, we offer 10% on a pay-per-performance. We find that we’re actually on a low end of the scale with this percentage; many are paying 15%-25%. True, we don’t do business with Freeshop, but we think the 5% commission doesn’t represent what’s really going on in other affiliate programs.
We’re looking forward to more articles on the cyber side of things. Kathy Schaefer, affiliate manager Indian Harvest Specialtifoods