US Mint Online Enhancements, New Shopping Cart and Waiting Room

by Darrin Lee Unser on August 22, 2013 · 8 comments

Around the corner are U.S. Mint website improvements to enhance users experience while shopping via the online store, the bureau revealed this week and hinted at last month when it announced its free shipping promotion.

Screenshots of New US Mint Website Enhancements

Screenshots of new US Mint Website enhancements (larger images below)

Included in these tweaks are a new shopping cart and an online waiting room that can be used during peak periods to ease web system slowdowns and crashes that can occur when a high-demand product is released.

These latest enhancements will roll out to www.usmint.gov/catalog on Friday, August 30, 2013. They mark a continued effort on the part of Mint to address website shortcomings identified through customer surveys and changing technologies.

US Mint Online Waiting Room Option

US Mint Online Waiting Room option page

Perhaps the most welcomed change will be the addition of an online waiting room.

"The new online waiting room will be used to assist customers who want to purchase high-demand products from the online catalog on the first day the product becomes available," describes a U.S. Mint note sent to news editors on Tuesday, August 20. "As you know, the catalog website has often been overwhelmed by customers seeking to order high demand products on the first day of sales."

Anyone trying to visit the U.S. Mint’s online store during a peak period will have the option to return later or enter an online waiting room to "get in line." Once in the waiting room, a time is displayed that tells customers how long they have to wait before entering the online store.

US Mint Online Waiting Room With Wait Time

The US Mint’s Online Waiting Room will display an estimated wait time

To keep that place in line, the browser window for the waiting room must be kept open. Additional browser windows or tabs may be opened, but if the waiting room window is closed or navigated away from, the customer will lose their "spot" in line. According to the Mint, the concept has been tested by customers with positive results. The waiting room option is expected to be deployed on an as-needed basis.

Additional tweaks to the website include a new shopping cart. The updated interface is designed to be easier to read and will utilize additional industry standard features, the Mint states.

New US Mint Online Shopping Cart Interface

New US Mint Online Shopping Cart interface

Specifically, shopping cart web pages will be wider with more white space and less text. The online cart will also feature additional information on items in the order, including a product image, a link to the product description, price and quantity.

New US Mint Online Order Confirmation Screen

New US Mint Online Order Confirmation Screen

Finally, an order date has been added to the order confirmation screen to make it easier to sort through multiple confirmations.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin August 23, 2013 at 12:18 am

Good thing I read this article while reclined. I might’ve fallen over when reading that the Mint is trying to improve itself. I will be cautiously optimistic.

Kevin August 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm

You’ll understand if I don’t hold my breath waiting for improvements from the Mint. The WP 2013 silver eagle sets I ordered show an estimated ship date of Aug 9. That’s the latest info as of today. I don’t think they’re going to meet that estimate and ship by that date since it was two and a half weeks ago.

jim August 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

I like the idea of the waiting room. If they’re not going to improve the website’s capability to handle large numbers of customers when they issue limited edition coins then this sounds like a reasonable alternative. First time I’ve seen this kind of implementation on a web site. I wonder if they’ll play some elevator music while we’re waiting…

tom thumb August 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

last 3 online orders were suppose to be free shipping, not so. Had to call customer service 3 times to get a refund for shipping. First time they credited my card 2nd & 3rd time the said they could not do that, They issued 2 separate checks for $4.95. ?????

Kevin August 27, 2013 at 12:53 am

Tom, we can’t expect too many improvements at once. 🙂
These perma-employed highly paid federal workers with bullet proof benefits and pensions need to keep busy by taking a couple of hours to process your refund.

Kevin August 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

Oh btw, the Mint has now changed the estimated ship date for the five WP ASE sets mentioned above. Today they changed the est ship date from
Aug 9 to July 19. Guess I have my own unique “Waiting Room” going on.

RonnieBGood August 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

Kevin,
I just called and was given a guess-timate for the End of September for my 2 coin Enhanced West Point ASE sets!

The shipping delays were explained as delays with the Mint receiving packaging (from overseas). This of course means Made in China. Funny how the coins are required to be minted from ore mined in the USA but the packaging has no Made in the USA requirements!

Kevin August 28, 2013 at 12:15 am

RBG. Good to know, thanks.

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