Over the past decade or more, companies have been automating their web ordering/selling engines, in the quite reasonable belief that it is a lot more profitable to take orders over the web without a live sales person answering the phone than it would be to pay a real human being to do the same job.
But that may not be true.
Yesterday I called Road Runner Sports to ask a product question that I needed answered before I could place an order through their web site. As I thanked the person who answered my question and tried to sign off so that I could complete my web order, she financially incented me (with a discount) to stay on the phone and place the order through her. Which I did, of course.
Why would Road Runner Sports want to tie up a live person to do something that a server could do infinitely cheaper? It was so she had the opportunity to further sell and upsell me.
This is something for all web vendors to consider and evaluate; lower cost of sales doesn’t always mean greater profitability.