‘Tis the season for big sales and big opportunities, but if you choose to dictate to your visitors instead of catering to their needs, it’s also the season of big headaches. Don’t make these seven common website mistakes, especially with Cyber Week on the line.
It’s like the Super Bowl of the e-commerce world; the World Series of retail. However you look at it, Cyber Monday is the largest online shopping day of the year, and it’s creeping closer than ever before.
Maybe you’ve been preparing for the holiday season since March, or maybe you’ve been putting it off. You know your website can always be improved, but some things you think help may actually hurt your conversions.
Below we’ve listed seven examples of common website problems that drive away customers and what you can do instead:
No. 1: Bombarding customers with popups and invasive in-your-face marketing immediately
Let’s say you’re on a blind date, and within the first five minutes of meeting, your date is already talking about wedding plans and baby names. You haven’t even committed to a drink order, not to mention a second date!
Using popups to promote your newsletter sign-up is pretty much the same scenario. You’re asking a visitor who may know nothing about you to commit to a relationship before the person has even learned about your business.
Why it’s an issue: Stop reading stats about popups and expecting it to work wonders on your website.
Yes, popups can add value to your website, but they can also drive away future customers who are pestered by your efforts to find leads.
What to do instead: Reconsider the frequency of using popups on your website. Let visitors find out more about your business before immediately asking them to commit to a newsletter or a quote request. Turn to popup best practices if you aren’t using them already.
No. 2: Ignoring mobile-specific issues and concerns
Mobile, mobile, mobile is the modern-day version of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” from the “Brady Bunch.” Sure, you know it’s important to cater to mobile traffic, but you have a good excuse, right?
Next time you’re waiting in line somewhere, put down your own smartphone and look around you. You’ll see people of all ages and genders glancing down to check their phones while they wait.
In 2017, mobile users accounted for 52 percent of total online traffic, and the mobile revolution isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Why it’s an issue: People are using mobile decides, and research shows that 61 percent of internet users are unlikely to return a website they had trouble accessing. Guess where they are going – your competitors.
What to do instead: Make mobile-friendly adjustments such as simplified checkouts and links far enough apart to be easily tapped, resize your images and avoid hero sliders (to name a few). Make mobile a priority.
Tip: If you’re struggling with figuring out your mobile traffic, run a dynamic heatmap and filter data for specific devices. You may find that one of your pages isn’t even accessible on certain phones or aren’t formatted correctly.
No. 3: Leaving your font, font size and font color unreadable
I’ll admit that I have a pretty good eyesight, but I can’t say that for all of your visitors, especially older visitors. If your parents or grandparents are like mine, nothing – not even vision issues – will prevent them from shopping online.
Even if your target audience are millennials, font that is too small or too light in color is going to require too much work to read. If you think visitors will stick around to read it, you are w-r-o-n-g.
Why it’s an issue: I’ll make this simple – if no one can read it, it’s not working. Your narrow font that’s a darker gray over your gray background isn’t working. Especially as we move into a mobile-centered design, you should have text that can be read without needing to zoom in.
What to do instead: First of all, make your font larger – 14 pixels is suggested for mobile – and clearly readable. If you’re stuck, use a standard font like Open Sans and make sure you have contrasting colors. Use this free tool to check your contrasting color ratio, and see how if it passes the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) level AA. Also, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAPS LOCK ON, PLEASE.
No. 4: Excusing slow load times
In 2017, the average attention span of a human was a measly eight seconds. If you think many people are going to wait much longer than that for your website to load, you’re in for a rude awakening. Google research found that 53 percent of people will leave a mobile page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Unfortunately, Google found that 70 percent of webpages take seven seconds for content above the fold to load.
Why it’s an issue: Faster is better, end of story. In the world of page load times, every single second matters:
What to do instead: Start with compressing images and text and resizing high resolution images. Run your website through a tool like Google’s Test My Site to check your own site speed.
No. 5: Having no contact or support information on your website (or burying it deeply)
I know, I know. You have an excellent excuse for not having any contact or support information on your website. If someone wants to get in touch with you, they can just fill out your “contact us” form, right?
Why it’s an issue: It’s 2018 – people want to contact you. While that “contact us” form may go straight to your email, customers don’t know that. For all they know, it’s gets sent to the internet’s middle of nowhere.
Regardless of your industry or your company, there are people with questions. Maybe they are future customers interested in learning more about your product, or maybe it’s a journalist wanting to feature you in a story. By hiding all of this information, you’re leaving visitors wondering if you run a legit business and questioning if social media sites are the only way to get in touch with you.
What to do instead: Don’t play coy with your visitors; just make it easy for people to find your contact information (phone number and email address). Make this information mobile-friendly if you can by making the phone number and email address clickable.
Tip: Live chat can be especially helpful in addressing visitor questions immediately without clogging up an email account. Lucky Orange offers a live chat feature for all plans, including our free trial. It’s easy to customize and set up and works whether you’re a team of one or 21.
No. 6: Making it impossible for visitors to find pricing information
So, you don’t share your pricing information. Maybe it’s just what your company has always done, or perhaps you want to have a leg-up on the competition with hidden pricing.
Whatever your reason, it’s time to re-evaluate its success rate. Customers aren’t interesting in being kept in the dark; most would rather know the cost upfront than have it hidden.
Why it’s an issue: Let’s say you’re shopping in a retail store, but all of the prices were hidden. You wouldn’t want to wait to “add to cart” to see the price, or worse yet, talk to an associate to get the information you want to find. You would probably never return to the store if a brick-and-mortar retailer that did this.
The same goes for your website. Hiding your pricing creates an air of concern for your visitors and makes them question if they can trust you. Your customers aren’t going to wait to call your sales staff to get information; they want it now.
What to do instead: Keep pricing upfront and easy to understand. Offer live chat to help clarify any pricing issues or provide any assistance. It’s as easy as that. If you’re worried about sticker shock, take this advice from Doug Kirk, president of an inbound marketing agency called Optimize 3.0. He recommends using testimonials, showing actual results and even listing competitor pricing to help ease any sticker shock concerns.
Doug would know. One of his agency’s clients faced low conversion despite decent traffic, and the addition of a price chart placed behind a landing page had impressive results:
The client received 223 submissions over just four months. Read more from Doug here.
No. 7: Worrying too much about upselling
If you want to realllllllly tick off your visitors and customers, turn your focus to upselling. It sounds like such a dirty word with not-so-nice connotations. We think of sneaky waiters at restaurants that innocently ask, “would you like onion rings with that?” without disclosing that onion rings cost an extra $2.
To be fair, there are ways to manage upselling without ticking off your visitors too much. Some e-retailers even say upselling can help them build a stronger relationship with customers. For the rest of the e-commerce world, upselling just tends to turn away visitors.
Why it’s an issue: Too many businesses turn to sleazy sales tactics for upselling. Instead of looking at the customer’s problem, they push their own solution instead.
As Andrew McDermott so wisely said in a Business.com article about shoppers, “They want you to fix their problems, to meet their secret desires. Present a product that fails to do that, and they reject your offer.”
Here’s an example from a Lucky Orange customer: This Shopify store was using an upsell popup app, but the Shopify user saw an uptick in cart abandonments. She installed Lucky Orange and watched live recordings of visitors on her Shopify store.
She saw that visitors would add products to their carts and immediately be faced with an upsell popup. The products were generally irrelevant, and the popup itself seemed to annoy and confuse visitors. The popup wasn’t working here.
She turned off the upsell app, even though it warned her she would lose 15 percent of sales. Seconds after turning it off, she watched live recordings to see visitors complete their purchases in just three steps. With no annoying popup in the way, checking out was quick and easy.
What to do instead: I’m not saying upselling is bad and a horrible, terrible business method. It’s obviously something that works when used correctly. Learn what about typical upselling makes visitors flee, and employ better strategies to make it work.
Best yet, watch how visitors are actually interacting with your upsell offers. Like the Shopify store example from above, you might learn an approach that promised higher sales is actually confusing and hindering conversions.
The bottom line
If you notice, there was a theme with this list of visitor annoyances. It all comes down to transparency and adaptability to what visitors to your website are actually doing.
I know you’re busy, but it’s time to stop putting off the things you know you need to address. Understand what’s working, what’s not working, and what can be changed quickly in time for Cyber Monday.
One last tip: Lucky Orange can help you understand why your visitors aren’t converting through visitor recordings, form analytics and conversion funnels. If you haven’t tried them out already, the first seven days are on us.