I have heard so much about Paula’s Choice, and wanted to go all in, and just order everything I need from her. I do not have a single doubt that the products are fantastic, but something happened between my decision to get them, and the result of me not having them in my hands.
Studying Information Studies, something like this can piss me off, so this is actually an analysis/criticism of their website – and I’m exploiting this (beauty) channel to get my frustrations out 😉 I’ll try to make it short and simple of what happened.
1. Language: I’m a foreigner, living in Hong Kong. And MANY foreigners are living in Hong Kong. So why don’t they have an English version of their HK-page? Plus, I also used their online-helpdesk. I could ask in English, but the replies were in Chinese. Considering Hong Kong being one of the most international cities, that they would be able to deliver help in English.
2. Locating the products I want: I read Chinese, but it took me so much longer to navigate around and locate the right products to put in my basket. I went through all the products on the US-page, and then found them on the HK-site to put in the basket. It took me some time.
3. Price/page confusion: It seems like there are some inter-linked confusions between their HK-site and China-site. This is critical as we are talking about two different currencies – Chinese Renminbi(Yuan) and Hong Kong dollars. Sometimes, I stayed on the HK-page, sometimes, I was sent to the Chinese page.
4. Registration: All right. I went so far to register. Somehow, it was so difficult for me to register, hereby meaning my phone number with +852 as a country code. It took some time, and I figured out how. But it seriously took me a long time to figure out. The main problem was again, that I was somehow sent to a Chinese version of the page, and the phone numbers there contain 10 digits and not 8, and the country code is only 2-digits(+86), whereas Hong Kong has 3 (+852).
5. Payment: I couldn’t just pay with my visa. I was sent to a Chinese version of PayPal(don’t remember what it’s called). Here, I was supposed to do a whole new round of registration. Again, I struggled with the registration – I was “forced” to put in a postal code, but Hong Kong does NOT have postal codes!!! I don’t remember how I got through it(or did I?), but then I had to choose a bank. The problem is that I don’t have a Chinese/Hong Kong credit card. I have my good old visa card from Denmark. That was not an opportunity for me.
6. Shipping fee confusion: So I went back to the HK-site to look for solutions, and actually saw the regular PayPal-logo. It seems like I can just log on PayPal, and pay directly. I went to my shopping bag to see the total amount, and saw that it included shipping fee. But on the front page, they advertised with free shipping if I spend 250 or more, and there was definitely more than 250 of products in my shopping bag. How would that work, if I just decide to subtract the shipping myself, and transfer the money? Will I get into trouble and they somehow don’t wanna send me the stuff anyway? There was not a more detailed guide, if I wanted to pay through PayPal. I felt like it was quite insecure doing that, so I gave up.
7. What I ended up with: After a really, really long time back and forth, I gave up. I felt like it was too much of a hassle to pay for the stuff I wanted. The whole process made me not wanting to buy the products although I probably could have made it work somehow with PayPal and if I contacted them. It was too much hassle already.
My suggestions for Paula’s Choice Hong Kong page: – have an English version page with an English helpdesk, – make a clear distinction between the China page and the HK-page, – make it easy to register, – make payment possible using PayPal(directly from the page) beside the existing system for local customers, – correct the algorithm so that it automatically updates the shopping list when the amount exceeds the 250 and makes shipping free(as they have advertised on the page).
Now don’t say I haven’t tried to get hold of their products 😉 I am just really disappointed, and I do not mean to criticise for the sake of doing it. That’s why I have explained it all through, and came up with suggestions.
There are so many websites out there that need to be improved, which is so ashamed, especially for those companies that have wonderful products.
Now that we’re talking about Paula’s Choice, have you tried it, and how do you find it? It has got really good reviews, so might consider to buy them once I get back to Europe. Then I can try to order online again, and see how that works out 😉