Monitoring the online customer experience, by Mark Hurst.
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Boo Bites It

Friday, May 19, 2000
by Mark Hurst

The much-hyped e-tailer finally shut its doors this week. No surprise there. Back in November -- at the time Boo was most slathered with press hype -- we stated here: "With a slow and difficult customer experience, of course is headed for failure." (November 19)

Anyway, now that Boo's run is over, the Web press is running stories on what went wrong. The usual business reasons are suggested -- lack of capital, changing markets, management... whatever. Let's just state the plain reason for it all: had a bad customer experience. And since the customer experience drives the success or failure of a site, Boo failed because it ignored its customers.

Ernst Malmsten, co-founder of, was quoted in the Financial Times with his own reason for the dive: "We have been too visionary."     (No comment.) gave a refreshingly accurate look at the Boo news. Lydia Lee stated that "was wildy overdesigned, difficult to navigate and completely out of touch with most Web retailers' vision of quick shopping and ease of use."

Here's our November 1999 column on from our e-business best and worst practices site.

In related news, CNET article reports that the Digital Entertainment Network is also shutting down. The article mentions capital, management, markets, etc... yet all that one need to notice is the overdesigned, slow-loading, hard-to-use site.

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