purchasing flows of band sites

Here’s the (Flemish) web site for the band Flat Earth Society:

It’s nice looking.

If you click around for a page that lets you buy something, here’s what you get:

It looks like a scuzzy back hall that nobody goes to, doesn’t it?

Hit one of those Add To Cart buttons and here’s what you get:

Pay Pal page


It’s like shopping at Prada and finding the checkout counter is in the bathroom. But nothing unusual there — the purchasing experience is often the weakest part of music on the web.

P.S.: That Pay Pal screenshot is a data URI embedded via data URI kitchen. It’s more convenient to do that than to upload a file to my web server. If it doesn’t work for you, can you leave a comment saying what browser you use? I wouldn’t do this on a commercial site, but this is a blog…

5 thoughts on “purchasing flows of band sites

  1. About that dataURI..

    It’s included in the RSS feed, probably making it at least double in kb size.
    Google reader appears to strip out <img src=”data:..
    In Chrome I can’t right click and save the image from your page. Firefox has no problem saving it.

  2. love that you are using dataURI.
    it’s so edgy.

    the downside of framing these sites though is that they use popup ads. screenshots are more appropriate but then you are back to uploading images to your webserver or using a service via bookmarklet etc.

    as for the point of your post… yeah bad example of a good purchase flow. ideally, and technically, a purchase can be made without leaving a page (no refreshes etc). but their is an issue of security. i’m on the side that most sites should use SSL on most if not all of the pages. some pages can be used either way and let user toggle back to https. other pages can force https. the problem is with linking to outside sources that are not secure. then your ssl certificate looks compromised as your page is now only ‘partially secure’. however, a good music blog can offer a secure page for purchasing that integrates another 3rd party secure page, either via iframe, javascript and APIs.

    now that you have posted a bad example… could you post (or refer to an older post) that demonstrates a good example?



  3. It’s surprising that data URI are still edgy. But it still creates a lot of friction.

    Too bad. It would be nice to eliminate the step where I fire up Filezilla, upload, type out the image URL, check it, paste it into the blog post. When I deep link to somebody else’s image it’s just to avoid that labor and not because of the bandwidth. Same reason I iframed those sites rather than doing screenshots.

    If you had in-place purchase flows, do you think users would feel comfortable entering the credit card?

    About a good example, I’ll be damned if I can think of one.

    I like the Amazon MP3 downloader. I like the iTunes app store, and I like the song purchase experience at least a little. I love the eMusic experience.

    With In Rainbows I found the download software so awkward that I fired up LimeWire to do the download *after I had already given the band $15*.

  4. |”If you had in-place purchase flows, do you think |users would feel comfortable entering the credit |card?”

    not normally, not now. but ideally, we will eventually get to that point where your one-click purchase is a web-wide standard, not just a site-wide feature (ie. amazon.com).
    whether or not is is client(web browser) or cloud based… or a mix… we’ll see.
    i do anticipate there being a “pay with twitter” in the mix. maybe sooner than later. wouldnt still have some bouncing back and forth pay-pal style though. but i know its possible to do cross-domain ajax. ive done it with flash, javascript and a crossdomain.xml setup. i also know that as part of the html5 draft, it is achievable through supporting browsers, natively.

    so we should see improvements in this area.
    and when we do, everyone wins.


  5. ‘With In Rainbows I found the download software so awkward that I fired up LimeWire to do the download *after I had already given the band $15*.’


    Why not separate the sale of copies from the sale of the art?

    If the copy costs nothing to make or distribute, it’ll end up being priced at zero (in a free market).

    Whereas the art, being expensive in labour, time, and skill, you can pay a commensurate amount for.

    Sounds like a fair deal to me: “Audience make your own copies. I’ll only sell you what you can’t make yourself: my art.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *