For more than a year, a mystery shopper recognized only as “John Smith” has been developing confusion across the web. He’s frequently visited numerous online stores, ranging from car supply shops to home items merchants, placed single items within multiple shopping baskets, and then still left without buying anything. The Wall Street Journal has the story from the mysterious shopper, and it’s really worth reading to get to the bottom of what’s been happening.
The impressive thing about John Smith is simply how relentless his online shopping has been. On a recent Wednesday, this individual went on a spree lasting an overall total of 48 hours. One screenshot shared by FinnBinn, an online shop that sells boxes for infants to sleep in, shows 17 abandoned purchasing carts from a period of just 3 days in April. It puzzled the company’s CEO Shawn Bercuson who had multiple theories regarding where the orders were coming from. It got even worse:
“Then it started getting out of hand,” Mister. Bercuson said. “The amount of abandoned carts we got were just insane.” In May, this individual said, John Smith started plus walked away from 73 orders.
The aborted purchases painted a fascinating picture of John Smith, since Jeffrey Gornstein from ComfortHouse.com, one more site hit by Smith, clarifies:
Mr. Gornstein stated he can’t picture John Jones but has sketched out a good identity based on his purchases. He’s a boat owner, or understands one, based on personalized picture structures designed for just such a person. A good order for monogrammed leather checkbooks indicates he might prefer an old-fashioned way of paying bills. The coccyx cushion in his cart suggests he may have suffered a fall.
He’s also a romantic, if an effort to buy a Valentine’s Day wall back plate is to be believed.
John Smith’s story would be more entertaining if he wasn’t creating issues for the stores. Sites that immediately send follow-up emails to people if they leave unpurchased items in their purchasing carts have received error replies off their email providers about sending email messages to nonexistent accounts. Others documented that the abandoned carts skewed their particular store’s analytics.
We don’t want to spoil it here, yet you’ll be happy to know that The Wall Street Journal does ultimately manage to get to the bottom of the Steve Smith mystery. It’s a great small investigation, and we’d recommend giving it a read.