Fresh From Site Judging, Web Makeover Author Reveals the Five Most Commonly Encountered, Off-putting E-commerce Errors.
Boston, USA - 27 March, 2002 (PRN):While getting less public handwringing than during holiday season, the "abandoned shopping cart problem" continues to wreak havoc on online sales. Having recently judged a raftload of sites for the Webby Awards and the Inc. Web Awards, Internet marketing expert Marcia Yudkin compiled a list of the five irritants and obstacles most commonly encountered at e-commerce sites.
1. Lack of quick orientation for first-time visitors. What does the site sell? "I've had to poke around for several minutes sometimes to understand the focus of a site," Yudkin says. "Jargon is one culprit. Another is lack of context, like an airline site that sells tickets not giving a single clue on the home page in what countries or even what continent it flies."
2. Explanations that don't explain. What does the product do and not do? "Another basic, but it happens often that a site doesn't explain whether their "Turbocharge VT27-Plus" is a one-time download, a subscription, a Web-based service or something else," notes Yudkin. "An alternative payment system's site failed to offer a clear, systematic description of how it works."
3. Missing prices and shipping charges. How much? "You shouldn't have to put something into a shopping cart or enter your credit card information to learn how much an item costs, including shipping," says Yudkin. "Unfortunately, you still find this mistake at sites that have had plenty of time to get their act together."
4. Unreadable text. Say what? "Creativity gone haywire seems to be the hallmark of some Web designers," Yudkin charges. "Orange letters on a blue background, olive green on black, light gray on white and blue on blue were combinations that sent me packing, as did lettering too small for over-40 eyes."
5. Inconsistencies. Huh? One site says, "To sign up, click on the Sign Up link at the top of every page." But the site does not have any "Sign Up" link, only "Sign In." "Such carelessness wastes the time of earnest shoppers and gets them frustrated and fed up, never to return," Yudkin comments.
Yudkin is the author of Poor Richard's Web Site Marketing Makeover: Improve Your Message and Turn Visitors into Buyers (ISBN 1-930082-16-9) from Top Floor Publishing (http://www.yudkin.com/mmakeover.htm) and numerous other books on marketing.
"Blunders are equally rampant at well-funded corporate sites and those from home-based businesses," notes Yudkin. "The good news is that many of the errors are extremely easy and inexpensive to fix."
For more information, contact:Marcia Yudkin
P.O. Box 1310
Boston, MA 02117
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