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Black Friday filled with fails

Black Friday the world over – including South Africa – delivered its fair share of fails, despite extensive preparations, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The deal is unbelievable – 70% off – but you’re lucky if you can take advantage of it. That’s the story for hopeful shoppers visiting one of South Africa’s leading online retailers, Superbalist. Discounts for Black Friday range from 40% to 70%, but by Friday afternoon numerous products were marked sold out.

Payment processors, too, seemed to go down frequently. According to PayFast, FNB experienced some authorisation challenges, which affected all major payment processors, and sometimes rejected transactions – even ones that had nothing to do with Black Friday. Payments to both Vodacom for bills and SABC for TV license fees could not be processed at various times. Later in the day, the problems seemed to have been resolved.

In 2018, Black Friday frustration with Takealot.com – by far the country’s largest online retailer – was largely a result of payment processors unable to cope with demand. Kim Reid, CEO of Takealot, told Gadget that the company had worked closely with providers this year, and made sure it had both technological and human capacity in place.

“During Black Friday 2018, our scaling preparations across all of our platforms ensured that the site remained online and performed well under the extensive load. Unfortunately, our third-party credit card payment provider was not able to withstand the increased volumes, causing payment issues for some customers, which were out of our control. Due to this the credit card payment gateway was intermittently deactivated while our provider restored their service.

“During this time shoppers were encouraged to make use of other payment methods and our team worked through all affected transactions, manually authorising orders where payments were made but did not reflect on our site. 

“To avoid a repeat this year, we have worked closely with payment providers throughout the year. They will be deeply involved over season, and have also worked with us on load testing their systems. Additional providers have also been added.”

Visit the next page to read about the infrastructure that was put in place to cope with the demand of the shopping season.

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GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes

The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations

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GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.

In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”

The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.

GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.

The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm, GoFundMe.org, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.

Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:

  • Global giving trends and data
  • Top 10 most generous countries
  • Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
  • Biggest moments in 2019

To view the entire report, visit: www.gofundme.com/2019

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Cars

For users, in-car touchscreens ever more useless

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As touchscreens become more commonplace, the gulf of perceived differences in the performance of these features between cars and other devices (such as mobile and in-home) has become wider. A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has investigated car owners’ satisfaction with their on-board touchscreens. Long hamstrung by poor UX and extended production cycles, in-car touchscreens are seen by car users and buyers as lagging behind the experience offered by touchscreens outside the car. As such, consumer satisfaction has continued to slide in China and Europe, while reaching historic lows in the US.

Surveying consumers in the US, Western Europe, and China via web-survey, key report findings include:

  • Difficult text entry and excessive fingerprint smudging are common complaints among all car owners.
  • Because touchscreens have reached market saturation in the US, satisfaction with in-car screens has tailed off significantly.
  • However, touchscreens remain a relatively newer phenomenon in many car models in Western Europe (compared with the US) and thus their limitations are less prominent in the minds of car owners.
  • Overall touchscreen satisfaction fell for the fifth straight year in China, indicating a growing impatience for in-car UX to match UX found elsewhere in the consumer electronics space.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author, says, “Part of the issue with fingerprint smudging is the angle at which in-car touchscreens are installed – they make every fingerprint increasingly visible.

“Fingerprint smudging is an issue across all touchscreen-based consumer electronics. But in most form factors and especially mobile devices, consumers can quite easily adjust their viewing angle. This is not always the case with fixed in-car screens.”

Says Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP, “Although hardware quality certainly figures in many of the usual complaints car owners have about their screens, it is not the sole factor. Cockpit layout and UI design can play important roles in mitigating some issues with in-car touchscreens.”

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