Testing the Microsoft online store experience
Microsoft’s first contact with a customer is usually through its online store and it has been optimised to offer a satisfying experience whether you’re buying or just browsing.
There’s a lot of competition in this space from Apple and even eBay so it’s in a company’s interests to offer a seamless experience.
We decided to purchase a Surface Pro 3 and thought we use that as an opportunity to put the online Microsoft Store to the test.
Physical Microsoft stores have been around for a few years now with a floor plan and products arranged in such a way that will make it products attractive and tells a story about the way it can be used.
Microsoft has transferred that physical experience to its online store to make purchasing the product you want even easier.
The website is now in 228 markets worldwide including Australia, US, Canada, UK, India, Japan, South Korea and the European Union.
From the home page it’s easy to shop by categories whether you’re looking for a Surface, Surface accessories, Xbox, Windows, software along with student needs and gift cards.
The site is well designed with an easy-to-navigate layout that had clear descriptions of all the products along pricing and customer reviews.
For us it was the Surface Pro 3 we were after and we were drawn to large image on the homepage.
It showed a person doing a crossword with a pen on the Surface Pro 3.
It had the heading “stay productive and endlessly entertained”. That would be pretty good outcome.
I clicked on the “Shop Surface Pro 3” link and was immediately presented to the main Surface Pro 3 page.
There was a video to showcase the tablet’s abilities along with a list of the product’s main features.
All of the configurations (memory capacity and processor type) were also laid out clearly with the price changing to reflect the selection.
It stated quite clearly that delivery was free and there was also free returns if you’re not completely satisfied with the product.
Once we chose the Surface Pro 3 we wanted – the 256GB with Intel i7 processor – we were taken to the next page which was the site’s upselling equivalent “would you like fries with that”.
Here we could choose a Surface Pro Type Cover, Office 365 Home, docking station, Surface Ethernet adaptor and a mouse – and we did.
From here we clicked on the shopping cart to see if we had everything we needed before checking out.
Then it was just a matter of filling out payment details and shipping address. Once that was submitted, we had our order number and a confirmation email.
To this point the whole transaction was smooth and straightforward. But what about if we had a question? Who could we talk to?
Well we did have a question and it was concerning the version of Office 365
The Microsoft Store phone number is manned 24/7 if you have any inquiries but another option for support was online chat.
This is what we chose and within a minute we were chatting with Samantha who answered my question about whether I’d be receiving Office 365 as part of the shipped package or would I simply receive the code.
Samantha on the Microsoft Store accessed my order and answered my question – it would be the code.
So far, so good.
We’d ordered the Surface Pro 3 and accessories late on a Saturday night and by Sunday night we’d received an email with a tracking number.
By Tuesday morning we could tell the package was onboard the truck and had also received a text message to say that the goods from Microsoft were on their way for delivery. It arrived at 2pm.
Start to finish the online Microsoft Store experience was a positive one.
Instead of going into a store and trying to find the version of the Surface Pro 3 I wanted along with all of the accessories in one place – it was a lot easier to let my mouse do the walking.