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Top five frustrations experienced by online shoppers

March 15th, 2002
The Retail Forward company just carried out a survey about the top five frustrations experienced by online shoppers. This is not exactly new but it still gives us a "quantified" confirmation of what to avoid when trying to convert lookers into buyers and customize them.

Pop-ups: 52% of Internet users reject them

Pop-ups come first: for 52% of the respondents, pop-ups constitute the element Internet users hate most.

Indeed, it sometimes proves difficult to put up with their extremely intrusive nature (size, position, animated elements...).

In our study "Homepages that sell", we determined that only 15% of the sites of our panel used pop-ups on their home page and that only one single web site within the group with the best Internet performances used a pop-up on its home page (browser-to-buyer conversion rate higher than 8%).

And yet, the frustation pop-ups cause is also linked to their message. If it is an incentive such as free delivery, they sure become more "bearable".

If you still want to use a pop-up, despite Internet users' dislike for this display technique, you should at least try and use one of reasonable size and avoid putting it right in the middle of the screen ; you should also supply a button, so that users can close it.

Please also see that it does not come up each time users go back to your home page. And finally, try and use this technique for special occasions and for a limited period of time only: a pop-up box must not become a permanent element of your home page.


Stop to banner advertisements

Banner advertisements come second, with nearly the same percentage as the pop-ups: they get as much as 50% of negative opinions.

As far as sites whose business model cannot do without banner advertisements are concerned, try and reduce their size as much as possible and isolate them from the rest of your page, in order to reduce their nuisance.

Complicated pages

Screen reading is more difficult than reading a printed paper: as a consequence, try and make it as easy as possible for your readers by giving them well-spaced pages, than can be understood quickly and easily.

According to the Retail Forward survey, 35% of Internet users declare feeling frustrated by web pages that prove too complex (too many images, too many advertisements, too much information on a single page...).

Slimming course

26% of Internet users declare feeling frustrated by web pages' slow load times. And yet, it is very easy to answer this problem until broadband has become common use. In the meantime, you should try and respect those of your visitors who do not have high-speed connections such as cable yet, otherwise you will reduce your chances to convert them into buyers even further.

Navigation and high-performance search engines

Fifth frustrating element: difficulty to find a specific product.

20% of online shoppers report feeling frustrated when they have difficulty finding a product when surfing on a shopping site.

Site navigation is implied but so are search engines, whether they are too easy or else too complicated.

In total, among those top five frustrating elements for online shoppers, the fifth happens to be the most difficult to solve. Luckily, it also happens to be the least frustrating one.

On the other hand, the top four negative elements could be solved quite easily, and it is rather difficult to understand how so many shopping web sites still spoil their sale potential because of their negligence to solve this type of problem.

Source : Retail Forward



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