Calls to action equals shopping elsewhere

I read a great article recently by Web Designer Lee Monroe on the virtues of call to action buttons.  The crux of his blog post was that the purpose of these strategically placed devices was to get you the viewer to carry out some form of action justifying the existence of the site.  Generally this will be to sign up as a member or in most cases buy something. 

In theory this should be a task made simple by a great web designer.  In theory it should lead to infinite riches for the ecommerce store in question.  Owners of large ecommerce web estates know this and the focus a lot of attention on getting call to action buttons right.

Which brings me to my gripe today.  When is it time to say enough of the call to action buttons?  In Dell’s case I think they have crossed that line long ago. 

Whilst trying to help my father-in-law choose a new laptop today I was simply overwhelmed with the number of call to action buttons on the Dell site once you get into the laptop area.  I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.  The dizzying array of options was so off putting I really didn’t know where to look to get what he wanted.   This was a customer standing with credit card in hand ready to purchase and he and I are both so baffled with the options that we have walked away with out answering that call to action.  I might add he wasn’t looking the cheepest thing available neither.  He needs power, and lots of it, so that meant i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and other options to the hilt.   The fight will be there for another day but today we didn’t buy.  Sort your act out Dell.