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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I'm Just Browsing

Off and on over the past few weeks, I've browsed for kitchen chairs. I'm not serious yet about buying any, but I want to see what's out there and how much they'd cost. However, because of cookies and overly aggressive marketing, I'm being bombarded with ads for chairs. Not just on websites I visit, but also in my email.

All of the sites where I've looked at chairs are now competing with each other for Facebook ads to display to me. I think they're on rotation right now as I see a different site pretty much every time I check my feed.

Other websites that that personalize ads are also displaying pictures of chairs I viewed on the websites I visited. It's pretty creepy and it puts my back up, making me less inclined to buy anything. When I mentioned this in a tweet to two of the sites which have been really bad about the cyber hard sell, one of them said clear your cookies. Sigh. I have cookies turned off on my laptop, but don't on my iPad. Clearing cookies there means having to login again to all my sites and I don't want to. I also feel I shouldn't have to do this to avoid all this personalized marketing crap.

One of the sites I've looked at has been bombarding me with emails every day highlighting the various chairs I've clicked at to view more closely. This is one avenue where online shopping falls down in comparison with in-store shopping.

In the store, I can tell the sales associate that I'm just browsing and that I'll find them if I need any help. They then leave me alone to check out the chairs in peace. When I walk out of the store after I'm done browsing, they don't follow me and hold up pictures of the chairs. They don't pass me notes warning me that they only have six sets of chairs in style A and that I better buy now. Nope, they let me leave and that's that.

Online... Sigh. Too needy. Too intrusive. Too much nagging, pestering, reminding. I wish they'd figure out an algorithm that would differentiate when someone is seriously looking with intent to buy and when someone is merely browsing. Then the site could target the serious shopper and leave me the hell alone. Gah!

Am I the only one that hates this so much that I'll probably spend my money at the least obnoxious store rather than the site that won't leave me alone? The price would have to be drastically better at the obnoxious site before they'd see a penny of my money.