A customer recently warned me that he was scared away by something on my website. What are some other website features I should eliminate / modify to avoid scaring away potential buyers?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Pop-Up Ads
By far, the biggest turn off (and a bad scare tactic) on any business website is being too pushy way too soon. Let your potential buyers first get to know what your business and products are about. Don’t blast them with a sales pop-up immediately upon their arrival and before you raise their interest. Don’t come across as desperate. Earn their trust first.
– Juha Liikala, Stripped Bare Media
2. Offensive Additions
Trying to sell to everyone often means you’re not selling to anyone. Something offensive should go — as should any annoying processes — but don’t worry about making everyone happy because you’ll never win.
– Alexis Wolfer, The Beauty Bean
3. Bad Photography
Customers want to feel that they’re making a wise investment when they use your product or service. Bad photography, whether it is of products, staff or your office, screams, “Don’t trust me.” If you don’t care enough to invest in your own business, how can you be trusted to take care of your customers?
– Dustin Lee, Playbook
4. Unclear Return Policies
Your return policy is one of the first things savvy consumers will want to know about, and if yours is confusing or missing, you could lose out on potential sales.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
5. Outdated Information
I always cringe when I see copy on a company’s homepage about forthcoming endeavors in 2009. If your text isn’t evergreen, make sure it’s up to date. If it’s not, you’re broadcasting a portrait of oversight and obsolescence.
– Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs
6. Hidden Contact Information
Make contact information easy to find on every page. You don’t want customers to think you’re hiding behind your product, but instead that you’re readily available and legitimate.
– Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent
7. Intrusive Questions
Trust is at an all-time low, according to recent studies. People are very cautious on the Internet, especially when dealing with the unknown. The best way to get people comfortable with your business is to slowly ease them into it. To do this, you should only ask for the information you need during customer requests, and clearly explain why you need it and what you’ll do with it.
– Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
8. Price Tiers
It’s become fashionable to list a lot of price tiers on websites to show buyers there will be a feature set that is ideal for them. Be careful not to have too many pricing tiers because it may overwhelm a prospective buyer. Too many choices can paralyze a potential buyer in making a decision, so make sure to streamline your pricing options shown online.
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
9. Long Loading-Times
Page load time directly affects page abandonment rate, so when it comes to loading time, every second counts! Consumers have come to expect increasingly faster load times on both desktop and mobile, and meeting those expectations is extremely important as it ultimately affects your bottom line.
– Katie Finnegan, Hukkster
10. Stock Photos
Stock photos make you look cheesy, outdated, and unrealistic. It makes people think that you couldn’t get any “real” people to stand behind your product and smile. When landing on a page, the user wants to think they belong there. I don’t know a single person who sees a model in a stock photo and says, “that person is just like me!”
– Heidi Allstop, Spill
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