NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Online shopping has been all the buzz amid the holiday season, as retailers promote their social and e-commerce efforts.
Shoppers have welcomed the digital push, as all reports point to huge surges in e-commerce, especially during the Black Friday weekend.
But for all online shopping's benefits -- price comparison, avoiding crowded malls -- there appears to be some hidden qualms that need to be sorted out if retailers plan to operate a seamless brick-and-mortar and online business.
It started with a story TheStreet published earlier this week regarding cancelled Black Friday orders at Best Buy (BBY). But it appears the electronics retailer isn't the only one dropping the ball on holiday orders, as I have received a batch of e-mails from shoppers complaining about similar issues at other national chains.It looks like retailers will need to take a long, hard look at their technology and e-commerce operations in 2012 if they want to keep up with the growth in digital shopping. Theresa Brown wrote in an e-mail: "Target.com has done the same as Best Buy. I placed an order on Black Friday and received confirmation emails with expected shipping dates. Then I received emails extending the shipping dates. Last week I received emails canceling everything on my order. I sent an email to Target asking for an explanation and have received no response. I wonder how many other websites did the same." Sandy Hochecker wrote: "I just read your article on Best Buy cancelling orders for Christmas and I just wanted to comment that Kohls.com does the same thing you can order an item get confirmation and days later get a cancellation notice! Very Frustrating!" Deborah e-mailed: "Walmart is worse than Best Buy. No one takes responsibility for the last minute cancellations and the consumer has no recourse, as Walmart the store says that Walmart online are different business entities and that Walmart the store would lose money if they matched the advertised pricing on the Black Friday deals with the online Walmart. I responded that branding is everything and that essentially the fallout would be recognized with the Walmart name in general since most buyers, such as I, do not know that one company does not honor the other and that they cancel orders long after a consumer could have gone to another company advertising the same price point....In my case I ordered the 51-inch Samsung on Nov. 25 for $498, e-mail said pickup ready on Dec. 9. [Then I received an] email that package [was] delayed until Dec. 11 and then got a cancellation and refund email on Dec. 14....This online hype appears to be a hoax and unethical advertising that is allowing our monies to be used and accrue interest for the company."
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