6 Website Flaws That Will Chase Your Customers to a Competitor
Your website is the first impression you make on a user and the last you leave. It will either provide an intuitive experience or a frustrating one. It has the power to either engage prospects or deter them, inviting them to make a purchase or encouraging them to seek out a competitor instead.
According to Baymard Institute, about 70 percent percent of online shopping carts are abandoned. When it’s so easy to lose a customer and yet so complex to keep one until the end, it’s important to remember six factors that matter most in their online buying process:
- Neglecting Mobile: When research shows that more than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and 62 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase online using those devices in the last six months, creating a website that’s mobile friendly is no longer a quality that’s just nice to have, it’s a necessity. Purchases are increasingly made on smartphones, tablets and screens of varying sizes, which means that responsive design can no longer be ignored if you want don’t want to exclude the majority of your market. Additionally, testing on mobile devices ensures that your website will be working for its mobile visitors.
- Annoying Advertising: Whether it’s paid advertising or a self-promotional call to action, there are plenty of good reasons to implement pop-ups, alerts, and overlays in order to capture attention. However, this stops being productive once it starts being annoying. Limit the number of times you interrupt your users experience on your website, and make sure when you are, it’s only for necessary action items. You don’t want to be the website that makes it impossible for people to get around your site. If it is, they’ll leave.
- Buggy Design: When it comes to designing a website, things might look great at first, then get tricky when you look in a different browsers. This is why it’s important to be mindful of the inconsistencies that arise when you skip browser compatibility testing. Just because something looks great in Chrome on your Mac doesn’t mean it will look the same for a Firefox user. When text, images, layout and other elements aren’t properly optimized, your visitors will discover problems with wrapping, spacing, distortion, overlapping and other visual bugs that will lead to an unpleasant experience.
- Slow Speed: Patience is a virtue, but that doesn’t mean you want to keep your site visitors waiting for your page to load. In fact, according to Neil Patel, 40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load, and a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions. The numbers speak for themselves. Site speed and performance should be a priority if you want to keep your customers.
- Confused Customers: Your website needs to guide your customers through the buying process. Otherwise, they’re going to hit roadblocks that prevent them from purchasing. Consider the usability of essential features such as account creation, login, navigation, search, filtering, checkout, and form fields. Check places that could easily trip up your customers, and focus on optimizing these areas in order to increase conversion and reduce irritation.
- Frustrating Functionality: There’s more to a website than meets the UI — which is to say, you actually want it to work properly for users. Pay attention to business-critical functions as well as items that will be high risk — i.e., that will prevent customers from using the site if broken. For example, if it’s the application that crashes or doesn't work when someone’s trying to create an account or process their payment, it’s going to make it difficult for them to follow through with a purchase. Chances are they probably won’t stick around long enough to figure it out.
As soon as someone lands on your site, the clock is ticking. Every step in their journey will either take them closer to check out or to the exit button.
Sometimes, shopping cart abandonment is inevitable and users simply aren’t ready to buy. However, there are also ways to optimize your website for those who are ready, and there are steps you can take to make up for the users you may lose along the way.
By paying closer attention to the flow of your website, prioritizing usability for important functions, and testing areas that are proven to impact customers, you’ll start seeing less abandoned shopping carts and more satisfied customers.
Alexandra McPeak is a content marketing specialist at SmartBear, a provider of software quality tools.
Related story: Performing a Risk Analysis of Your E-Commerce Website
Alex McPeak is a Content Marketing Specialist at Zaius, the B2C CRM that connects customer data and orchestrates your campaigns. In her role, she strives to assist marketers at every touchpoint in the customer journey and stay atop of the trends of retail and e-commerce.