Don't Confuse e-Commerce Customers

When you sell goods online conversion optimisation is a very important factor. One issue we see regularly is that companies can confuse their customers and create self-imposed barriers. Anything that confuses end users or makes them pause and consider some unknown element, you need to get rid of these and make the process seamless. If you have looked into conversion optimisation rates before you will be aware of some common issues such as:

  • Slow Loading Pages
  • Hidden Charges
  • Hefty Shipping Charges
  • Mobile Issues
  • Lack of Trust Elements

But what we are talking about here is mistakes in the actual written content that can confuse end users. You want your customers to look at a product they are interested in and purchase seamlessly. Sometimes less is more, yes give them good content, but don’t overbear them with detail, if a user does not understand some of what you are telling them, you will create barriers to purchase.

Don’t Scare Your Customers

Issue on a product page showing a product may be out of stock


In this example, a company is telling users if your size is not available they will send you an alternative shirt in a different colour. Now who wants to buy a shirt and if it is not in stock, receive a random colour? Very few.

Now sometimes people do buy products online that have just gone out of stock. If this does happen customer service needs to inform the customer and offer an alternative or a full refund. This is pretty standard. But by telling customers prior to the purchase they may receive a different colour in the event of a stock out, well, they are just imposing barriers.

A customer may not have even been considering the items being out of stock as displayed on the website. They may have been happy to purchase, but now we have planted a seed of doubt in a customer’s mind and only the brave would follow through with a purchase.

If you scare customers or make them less than 100% confident they are going to recieve the actual item they have purchased, they won’t purchase. Ensure you stock inventory is synced up to the front end and display available stock. If dropshipping, use an API or FTP intergration to show your suppliers stock on your website.


Confused Customers Will Leave

Issues on a product page


Here we see an example of shopping for pants. Now I would consider myself an average male, I know my waist size and my leg length. In picking sizes I see the word false in the drop-down menu, as a user I would assume this is an error and it would make me a bit worried about progressing.

But it’s when I read the text the confusion begins. It tells me the half hem width at the waist on a 43″ pair of trousers is 21cm. Well I’m not looking to buy a 34″ waist, and secondly, I have no idea what half hem width is.

Now I’m sure plenty of people do, but I would also bet plenty of people don’t. Is it the biggest issue in the world? No, probably not. But what they have done is made me pause, rather the just picking my size and checking out I am now questioning what a half hem width actually is.

And I wonder what size it is on a 32″ waist? Is it important?  How have I bought trousers all these years without knowing? Maybe I will just go off and Google it. And as an online retailer, this is the last thing you want users to do

Dont confuse your customers. If you work in a specific industry you may know the buzzwords, and if you are 100% sure your target market does add them for sure. But if you are dealing with the general public, don’t assume they know what you are telling them. Keep it simple otherwise they may go off in search of answers if they are not explained on your product page.

Keep It Simple

Keep your website simple and user-friendly. Try not to confuse customers with details they may not understand. If you are selling products that are out of stock this will not leave a good impression on the business.

Strive to have your website show accurate and up-to-date stock information so customers can purchase with peace of mind. This in turn will result in positive reviews and repeat purchases. You may also think everybody understands certain phrases or buzzwords but they may not.

Take surveys or ask members of the public if you are not sure. When you work in a specific industry like or in B2B this may be for forgiving. But if you work in B2C keep things as simple as possible so that somebody with a low reading age can understand the information you provide.

If you need any help with product optimisation, you can contact the ethical web agency and we would be happy to look over your site and point out more areas you can improve in terms of your conversion rate and user experience.

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