Difficult Web sites fail to entice customers



Bill Goodwin

Some of the biggest names in online retailing are failing to attract paying customers because their Web sites are poorly...



Bill Goodwin

Some of the biggest names in online retailing are failing to attract paying customers because their Web sites are poorly designed and difficult to navigate, it was claimed last week.

Customers visiting some of the top online sites, are giving up in frustration and abandoning their electronic shopping trolleys before they buy anything, research from management consultancy Shelley Taylor Associates reveals.

The survey of 100 online stores in the US and the UK shows that a range of design faults are damaging their profitability, Shelley Taylor claimed, with many sites focusing more on snazzy graphics than on ease of use.

"Much more attention should be given to substance than sizzle by online vendors, providing customers with the experiences that will translate into completed transactions and repeat business," said Taylor.

Navigation tools on many sites are so difficult to use or so badly designed that customers give up before they find what they want.

Customers left three-quarters of the sites analysed without buying anything.

Web sites they loved and hated

Top five sites

ToysR Us

Beyond.com

PlanetRx

Jungle

CDNow

Bottom five sites

JJB Sports

Sony

Waitrose

Elonex

Simply Computers

Survey results

  • Half of US and UK sites fail to tell customers when products are out of stock

  • Half the UK sites do not have instructions for first time users

  • Only 3% of UK sites provide reviews of the products they are selling

  • Read more on Data centre hardware

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