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Top Five Frustrations Experienced By Web Shoppers

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Luc Carton

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User since: 01 Feb 2002

Articles written: 3

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


Indeed, it sometimes

proves difficult to put up with their extremely intrusive nature (size, position,

animated elements...).

In our study "Home

pages 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 (looker-to-booker

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


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


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.

Luc Carton -

Luc Carton
Author of Homepages that sell
Phone: 331 45 45 15 22
Fax: 331 53 01 32 68

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