I recently discovered that Newegg is branching out beyond mere tech to more consumer oriented products. Sort of like a Newegg version of Amazon or Target. You can buy clothes, automotive supplies, cosmetics, etc. It’s called the Newegg Mall.
When I say you “can” buy such stuff at the Mall, I’m speaking in purely hypothetical terms. Whether you’ll ever find exactly what you’re looking for is highly unlikely. Let me give an example…
Last night I saw a kid wearing a Rock Band t-shirt and I thought it’d be cool to get one for my son. So rather than hit Amazon, I decided to give the Newegg Mall a try. A simple search for “rock band t-shirt” (without the quotes) brought this as the first choice:
Sure it’s technically a band, but it is neither a t-shirt nor a rock. So it’s not even close. None of the 36 products offered on that first page were actual t-shirts with the Rock Band logo.
Still, the search was modified for lowest price. I decided to try the “best match” option. The results got even worse:
Sure, it’s a wedding band, but it’s not even close to being a t-shirt or a rock. At least the headband was made of cloth like a t-shirt and could be worn by rock stars. Nearly all of the 36 results on the “best match” page involved rings.
I decided to give Amazon a try with the same search, and sure enough, I actually found t-shirts with the Rock Band logo.
I then gave the Newegg Mall another chance. I have a 6 year old daughter who loves the color pink, so I decided to look for pink drum sticks. They’re easily found on Amazon by searching for “pink drum sticks.”
The Newegg Mall was not quite as accurate. The first “best match” result was this:
None of the first 36 results were drum sticks, pink or otherwise.
I know what some of you are thinking. I’m searching for things the Newegg Mall doesn’t carry and I’m somehow wrong to expect that the Mall should carry everything I want. However, that’s BS. When a store does not have something I’m searching for, the store should simply tell me that.
This is how that simple process works. I searched for “mobius monkey salad” on the Newegg Mall and it gave me 58 irrelevant results. Amazon, however, said my search “did not match any products.”
I then tried “clarified righteous sweater.” The Newegg Mall gave me 167 irrelevant results. Once again, Amazon politely informed me that my search “did not match any products.”
When I’m shopping for something, the emphasis is on the “thing.” I certainly do not want to be distracted with crap I do not want to buy. And I don’t want to waste my time hunting through irrelevant results given to me when the store is not even selling the product I want. If you aren’t selling what I searched for, tell me that. Don’t waste my time.
Accordingly, narrow results are very important to me, and I imagine, to customers in general. Burying what the customer wants in an obnoxious mix of bad search results is not a good way to run an online retail business. The vast majority of people will try it and then leave when they can’t find what they want. And if they get ridiculous results like I got, they’ll never come back. The only reason I’ll go back is because of the amazing goodwill Newegg has earned with me. I’m sure Newegg will eventually get their search engine working correctly. If not, my guess is that the mall will close up shop.