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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
She used to work in a diner / never saw a woman look finer / I used to order just to watch her float across the floor
— Neil Young, Unknown Legend
March 4, 2007
Why Chapters is NOT Amazon

It’s a cliche to point out the dominance of Amazon. A few years ago, it was just as cliche to point out the dominance of Chapters in the Canadian book selling world. Small booksellers were doomed in the face of this behemoth.

What’s astonishing is how badly Chapters have failed the online war. I recently found an example of why.

I was considering, for the first time in ages, going out of my way to buy a book at Chapters — specifically Deborah Eisenberg’s Twilight of the Superheroes which I’ve been looking for every since hearing a review on Eleanor Wachtel’s Writers & Company The book has just recently been released in trade paperback.

I searched on locations and found this:
Chapters Store Locations

That last column, the one that lists the store hours, is what caught my eye. Vancouver is notorious for stores that close early — Friday night closings at 6 p.m. are not uncomon. It’s Sunday, and I’m not sure how late Chapters stays open.

The things is, every location said the same thing about its hours:

Our hours of operation are occasionally subject to change - please call the store to confirm store hours.

And if it says that about every location, why bother having the column in your search results at all?

Amazon has succeeded because they have consistently delivered an excellent shopping experience for their customers by focusing on the entire business relationship. It’s not just low prices, it’s a good shopping experience.

Chapters would do well to do the same. They fall far short.

I’m ordering the book from Amazon.

Posted by skooter at 6:20 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
This entry is tagged: Information Architecture, Usability

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