As someone who regularly makes purchases online from all manner of sites, I have certain expectations of ecommerce sites. Basically, I know what I like and, more to the point, what I don’t!
Perhaps my expectations of ecommerce websites have been affected largely by an understanding of conversion rate optimisation and time spent assessing our clients’ conversion performance – how users interact with their sites. For the most, part, though, I’d consider lots of the things that repel me from ecommerce websites before making a purchase to be the sort of things that would probably irritate everyone! And here are some of them:
If I’m on an ecommerce website browsing products, it means I am potentially looking to make a purchase. It does not mean I want some video popping up in my face to tell me about your latest offer or a persistent yellow box begging me for an email address that you will spam me on for the rest of all eternity. Pop ups are a real deterrent for me.
If I type in the name of a book on a book website, I expect to be shown everything by that name or a similar name. Irrelevant results will send me running.
On a site with thousands of products, it is reasonable to expect that some will be discontinued. But if half the pages I encounter on your site tell me the product isn’t available, I’ll get bored.
I have to admit, though, I have a soft spot for quirky messages on discontinued products or 404 pages. If there’s an effective message on such a page and I am able to navigate to something similar easily, I’ll probably stick around. (Either that or you can show me a picture of a puppy dog and I’ll buy there and then!).
I’m impatient. I have fast broadband and I like quick loading pages. Internet users have come to simply expect pages to load on demand. Long gone are the dark dial up days of the past when it was perfectly reasonable to navigate to a page and go off and make a coffee while it loaded up. So if an ecommerce website loads up really slowly, I am probably going to go elsewhere.
This irritates me. If your site is littered with dead links, the SEO within me is sighing in dismay… as the internet shopping addict within me is navigating away from your site and is Amazon-bound.
And I suppose that’s the problem for smaller independent ecommerce websites. There are so many big websites with an established customer base and who are so efficient and trusted that these finicky little annoyances on your site can easily drive users to one of the big players. Internet shoppers have no shortage of choice – so your sales could be crushed by a poor user experience.
And while we’re on the topic of online purchasing, this video from Google Analytics made me chuckle!
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About the Author
Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.Visit Stacey's Page
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