Wow, I have to say I'm very impressed with Verizon Wireless' shopping cart system. Well, with caveats of course - the first being I had to do it with my PC as it was coming up blank on my Mac, but after that it was amazing. As I went through the process, I was assisted by audible voice prompts, it really was great.
Well first let me praise Phone Scoop for their amazing phone comparision wizard. It's so easy to type in phone models and compare. I was looking at the VCast phones to use for testing, but they aren't in the shops here in California yet, so I compared the phones using Phone Scoop and was able to see that what I really wanted was the Audiovox because of the memory card and MP3 player support (though I guess the LG has a nicer screen). Such a nice job in choosing the phones to compare - it made it so easy to see the differences visually.
Then I went back to VZW and started through their wizard. Each page had a subtle Flash player embedded which walked you through the choices audibly. At first I thought it was going to be annoying, but then as I was going through the process, it became *very* helpful and comforting. The "hmm, what do I do here" part of the process was minimized completely. I've never seen this before on any shop, let alone for wireless phones which are relatively complex in terms of buying phones and plans, etc.
I am now completely sold on the voice-assisted shopping experience. I bet you Amazon would see a 500% increase in orders if they implemented something like this on their site, it's that helpful. You can turn it off if you're an expert, but the first time you go through a multiple-step process online, it's always a bit confusing. The voice prompts alleviated that immensely. Try it yourself and see.
Very cool. (Oh, by the way, I'm getting some EV-DO goodness delivered to me next week. W00t!).