Other times, technology seems to get the best of retailers. When the out-of-stock Narciso Rodriguez dress that Michelle Obama wore during the State of the Union address started trending online, a promoted tweet that Neiman Marcus sent in October began to resurface on shoppers' feeds, despite the fact that the item was out of stock.
But Ginger Reeder, vice president of communications, said Neiman's did not resend or repromote the message. A spokeswoman from Twitter said she was not able to provide any information, as she cannot comment on individual clients.
Retailers' much-touted service that allows shoppers to buy online and pick up in store also can lead to more miscommunications. Orgel remembered a time he placed an online order for in-store pickup, only to learn that it wasn't actually available at that location.
A recent study by JDA found that nearly 1 in 4 shoppers has chosen to pick up an online orders in store, but nearly 40 percent experienced a hiccup with the service. The most common issues were that the staff took a long time, or was altogether unable, to locate the order.
Eric Feinberg, vice president of marketing at ForeSee customer analytics firm, said this is one way in which Amazon has gotten a pass. Whereas traditional retailers have to worry about being in stock online and across their store network, Amazon only has to worry about digital inventories. Feinberg added that his firm's research has found that shoppers tend to give more leeway to their favorite retailers when they make a mistake.
"It's basically a three-strike rule," he said. "Customers who have good experiences with the brand give them a break three times. If they don't live up to their increasing expectations over time it is a recipe for customer attrition."
If a shopper does not already have a relationship with a brand, it's more of a one-strike rule, Feinberg said.
"It's a very highly competitive retail landscape right now," he said. "These retailers, all of them, are going to be part of the one-strike club soon."