In the midnight before Amazon's 2018 Prime Day, thousands of shoppers were waiting for the Amazon Prime sales to begin. A few minutes later, and with the huge traffic coming in, Amazon started crashing. With different kinds of errors and glitches appearing all over the website. Starting from Error 404 pages, all the way to things like an endless loop displaying the "Shop All Prime Deals" consistently that the customer wasn't able to access the deals page.
These few hours of glitches were estimated to cost Amazon around $72 million to $100 million in lost sales. With an army of web developers working on the glitches, Amazon was able to fix these technical problems within a few hours. But this accident magnifies a very important fact that eCommerce merchants sometimes overlook. When it comes to online stores, small glitches and technical errors are no joke.
Especially in eCommerce websites, A LOT could go wrong! starting from minor issues in displaying the product (like a glitch in the zooming feature) all the way to major checkout or payment problems. That's why most eCommerce websites need to perform regular website audits to scan for and fix any technical problems or glitches before they cause any major problems for their customers. And it's not only the obvious technical errors and glitches that can cause your company to lose sales.
But there are also several unnoticeable issues that the audits look into that are usually overlooked, but can easily drive your customers away. Here are some of them.
For eCommerce, having web pages that load slowly can kill your sales. They give a bad impression about your website and are really annoying for shoppers. According to Neil Patel's blog post, and based on actual statistics, 40% of customers will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance, don't come back to shop from it again. And unfortunately, it's not just about the visitors who actually came to your website and encountered delays. It turns out that 44% of online shoppers will also tell their friends about their bad shopping experience.
Around 52% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, 40% of online transactions are done on mobile and According to BrightEdge, 69% of smartphone users said they're more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions and concerns. When looking at the statistics, you'll find that not only using mobile phones for online activity is already huge, but the trends show that consistently increasing as well. With all of this data, having a slow mobile-version of your online store or, even worse, lacking a mobile-friendly shopping experience altogether is costing you a lot.
Accessibility is basically about how easy is it for users with disabilities to navigate your site. Disabilities in vision and hearing can be deal-breakers when it comes to shopping online. Some might say that the portion is small. But when we look at the numbers, things are not as rosy. According to the World Health Organization, more than 217 million people around the globe suffer from moderate to severe visual impairments. In addition to all other kinds of disabilities that might affect the shopping experience of a disabled person. That's why making sure that your eCommerce website is following accessibility best practices means giving access to even more people to shop from and interact with your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For eCommerce marketing, generating relevant traffic is a must. When your website is following the best practices for Search Engine Optimization, search engines rank your website as more relevant and brings you visitors who are already looking for what you have to offer. The web pages of your online store appear first when customers search for the names of the products you sell. And even if you decided to start search engine advertising, you'll find that having an SEO-optimized website reduced the amount of money you have to pay per acquired visitor. That's why it's really important to perform an SEO website audit on your website every once and a while.
Performing regular website audits will ensure that your website is in a good shape, and the user experience is seamless. But most importantly it will decrease the possibility of being bombarded with major glitches or technical issues in the middle of a high-traffic period and costing your business a lot of money and reputation.