So it's that time of year again, when I need to MOT both of the family cars. For those of you outside the UK that's a mandated annual car check.

I tried two new e-commerce channels from two leading suppliers. The first was Kwik-fit-fit who had mailed me a reminder and an offer to book the MOT online and some offers combined with servicing. I found it very hard to make the booking online, on fact for both Kwik-fit and Halford's booking online was way more complicated than booking via phone which was a very simple process where I was asked only two or three simple questions, name car make and registration.

One restriction on the Kwik-fit site I could not understand was that I had to pay in advance when booking, OK they were offering a discount to do so but it was not possible to book without paying, which it is possible to do over the phone. 

In addition I had to go through for pages of data entry, and the site could not find my car model, just a Toyota! If I am playing in advance why do they need all this data there is no risk to them if I don't show up and again over the phone I would have just supplied name, phone and car registration.

Just because I am sitting at at keyboard doesn't mean I want to spend all day key entering data in your website. Also they sent me a document to my home with my car details on this, why do I have to key-enter data that you already know about me, why not provide a link/document number like the DVLA do for Vehicle Excise duty do?

What also made me laugh on the questionnaire that Kwik-Fit sent to me on abandoning checkout was that it gave an option for other but did not allow you to tell them what you meant by other. I wanted to tell them to include a non-payment option but Kwik-fit are only interested in answers that they have pre-approved, good listening to customers!

I think the HalfordsAutoCentre MOT booking was a lot easier to use, with address look-up based on post-code, car model look-up based on registration and a simple slot to book. Again there is probably a bit too much information to enter compared with booking by phone but at least its clean and easy to use even if they do add quite a few up-sells!

There is competition for all business, keeping your e-commerce channel simple and easy to use is a key differentiator in the quest for new business.

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  1. Great article Mark and I couldn’t agree more, you not to want to spend half your life entering data on websites. Bricks-and-mortar stores wouldn’t ask these sort of questions so why do they need to do this on their websites? Research from Postcode Anywhere found that over complicated forms was one of the main reasons consumers prematurely abandon carts, so it is something ecommerce sites need to take more seriously. Anything that can expedite the agonising process of form filling is sure to have us smiling again!

  2. Thanks for the link good stuff. I also noticed 38% rated "Enforced Sign-up before purchase" as a major turn-off which I agree with, today I may want to buy from you, perhaps I will see how good your service is before signing up!