10 Things Frustrating Your Online Customers

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In our recent e-commerce articles, we looked at why customers are abandoning their online baskets, and what can be done to improve conversions. However, even with the most well-designed, high-functioning site, there could be a few small things tripping you up, irritating your customers, and killing your chance of conversions.

  1. Be transparent – we’ve mentioned not hiding shipping costs until the last minute, as this is likely to give customers a last-minute push in the wrong direction. But this can be the case with sales and ‘offers’. Do not heavily promote ‘60% off your first purchase!’ if the hidden small print clarifies this is only the case if they spend £50 first. (example)
  2. Don’t forget them – do not let a basket a user has filled with items vanish the second they leave your site. Whether or not they are a member or have signed in, this is incredibly frustrating, especially as it can happen for reasons beyond the customer’s control – they may not have left your site on purpose.
  3. Keep an eye on problems – if any of your customers are encountering issues, be it with putting in data, not finding certain items quickly, or failing to find items with certain search terms within your site. Noting when your users are getting error messages will help you tweak these to ensure a smoother experience.
  4. Keep it fun – a site can work very well, but it can only support you if purchasing something from it is an enjoyable experience. Ensure your design is bold and stylish, give them a feel for your company, and make it as fun for them to order as it is browsing in their favourite real-life shop. (example?)
  5. Keep in contact – this is especially important if your products are made-to-order, or just can’t be shipped extremely quickly. Keep in contact in a humanised way, signing off with the name of one of your staff, rather than a robotic ‘confirmation of order’ email. Keep them updated on their purchase, and only ask for feedback once delivery has been successful.
  6. Let them wish! – Always offer wishlists alongside baskets, and include ‘add to list’ buttons on each product page. This allows your customers to save items they are considering in an alternative way to entering the purchasing funnel. Give them the ability to move products between wishlist and basket quickly and easily.
  7. Put your products in context – include images of your products in situ, as part of an environment. This works especially well for furniture and household and garden items. Ikea both succeed and fail at this in that they do this for some products and not others.
  8. Always include testimonials – even those that aren’t entirely positive, as this gives an edge of authenticity, and may well contain valuable information. While it always encourages potential customers to see that previous customers are happy with purchases, it will help them to see any issues or concerns that have been raised. Any reviews that are wholly negative should receive a measured response from you.
  9. Make SURE it’s responsive – despite it being well recorded in recent times that mobile shopping now accounts for the larger proportion of online shopping, a lot of sites still fall at this hurdle. Make sure important text, such as measurements and details, has not become tiny when viewed on phones, and make sure it is your site that is fully responsive – do not assume that they will download your app.
  10. Listen to them – if your customers leave a review, or any kind of feedback, be it via email, social, or on the phone to you, make sure you let them know that it has been recorded and, if possible, implement even a small change in the direction of what they have been said. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling you’ve been ignored.

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