u active?? check this proactive interactive biz.

I have become a running fiend over the past four months and prefer bookin’ it outdoors, but as Iowa temps dropped from balmy autumn 40º  to inhumane subzero, my regular route to the Mercer Park rec center often proved too excruciating, despite layers of old XL t-shirts, sweats, and a windbreaker. So, as the gift-holiday rolled around, I sent my sweet mom an xmas list topped with a request for some outdoor-Midwestern-winter-exercise duds. Being the HIGH QUALITY LOVIN’ WOMAN she is, mama headed over to, where she reported back on some very cool interactive-social-techy business.

As my mom waffled between polar-tech and fleece, hopping from page to page, clicking a radio button and then changing her mind, a chat window popped up.

Can I help you find something?

And it was a real dude! Not an automated computer system, ready to send her to some pointless search window, but an actual person at a keyboard, ready to help.

Now I have used a help-by-chat option on sites before – that service at HostMonster’s cpanel is always my go-to when I’m lost – but a proactive interactive online salesperson? Replicating the irritating in-store commissioned employee CYBER-LY? Cool. I am not sure if the chat was a response to my mom’s fruitless searching, or the length of time she spent on the site without purchasing, or if it is something that happens to even the most direct-linking customer, but how neat is this? And how totally helpful! If there was something missing in the online shopping experience before, it was that you were on your own. My mom described what she was looking for to the helper and he pointed her in the right direction.

Another perk? If you do not want help it’s way easier to ignore a chat window than something with bones and a smile. Job well done, Patagonia. WAY 2 B FASCINATING.


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