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7 Ways to Bore Users to Tears

04 December 2014 by Daniel Lewis


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(image: Read Me Deadly)

From dull, lifeless copy to poorly designed websites, there are a zillion ways to drive users away from yours. Today we’re going to look at 7 ways to bore your users to tears.


#1 Harping On and On About Your Product or Service


Whether you’re a small fish or a multi-corporation, shouting about your brand from the highest rooftop gets old pretty quick. The reality is the vast majority of products and services are pretty boring. Nobody likes a pushy salesperson, but everybody likes a good storyteller.

 

Find a great hook to draw your reader in, look at what competitors are doing but also what they’re not doing and fill the gap.


If you’ve got a blog, don’t stuff it with thinly veiled product promotions but instead use it to tap into your target markets interests. That’s not to say you can’t mention your services at all, but only if it fits organically into your content.


#2 A Long and Arduous Checkout Process


Users like simplicity. It’s a fact. Sending your user through labyrinths to get to the checkout will not only bore them, it’ll infuriate them. Don’t do the X Factor on your customers; assess the damage by analyzing your checkout funnel. What obstacles can you identify? How can you speed the process up?


Once a customer starts the checkout journey, they are indicating a strong intent to purchase and as a business it’s your job to ensure they don’t leave empty handed.


#3 Snail Slow Loading Pages


Congratulations, a user has been enticed by your cleverly crafted meta descriptions and they want to click through to your site. Hooray. But wait, hold the champagne toast. Remember that painfully slow landing page? Well, it turns out your user hasn’t got time to sit around and watch paint dry. They’ve gone with a faster competitor.


Making site speed a priority will improve organic rankings and give the user a better overall experience. It’s also worth mentioning that according to KISSmetric, a 1 second delay in response time can result in a 7% decrease in conversions. This means is you were making $100,000 a day, this tiny delay could set you back $2.5 in lost sales over a year period.

(image: Fine Art America)


#4 Lacklustre Product Images


A picture really does say 1,000 words and if yours are poor quality then users are going to be turned off pretty quickly. Make sure to include product images from a range of angles, not just straight on. Invest in a photographer who can produce high quality, clear images and also provide images of the product in use.


360° angles, zoom options and video clips can make your product seem more tangible in an e-Commerce environment where users can’t actually touch the goods.


#5 Complicated Web Design


This leads on to our next point- complicated site design. This includes everything from navigational structure to product presentation and copy. All aspects of your design coexist to form an overall impression- fail to get the nuts and bolts right and you’re doomed.


Simplicity is key. Give your website a seamless user interface that’s memorable, responsive and functional. Consider the use of different devices and the size of the screens on each device- make sure the user experience is consistent on smartphone, desktop and tablet alike.


Keep the focus clear and concise, short snappy sentences which will convince the user to buy your products and separate you from the competition.


Add a rotating set of high quality images and slider banners for a visual feast and make sure the navigation menu is a breeze to figure out. Last but not least, always get a second opinion before you hit launch. A target customer is recommended as their feedback is apt to be most valuable.


#6 Bland Copy


You wouldn’t hire a boring salesperson, you’d hire someone with sparkle, personality and charisma. Similarly with web content, it’s the freshly pressed, storytelling copy which sells products, not the bland stuff.


In an article on e-Commerce mistakes, Shopify found that when users looked at flat screen TV’s, 82% of viewing time was spent on the text and only 18% on the product photos. With this in mind it makes sense to work on your product copy as much as possible.


Highlight at least 5 main features and benefits, consider how the product fits into the customer’s lifestyle and ensure that the tone matches your target audience. Engaging your users is half the battle, if you can keep them reading you’ll be onto something.


#7 Bad or Non-Existent Search Capability


If a customer clicks through to your site to search for something, they’ll already know what they’re looking for. And according to e-Commerce consultant Andy Eades, “customers who use on-site search to find products are three times more likely to convert than customers who don’t”.


If your website performs badly on search or is missing a search function altogether then you’re missing a trick. Your role as a business is to make the users experience as uncomplicated as possible so enabling a search system will help them to get the relevant results they want quickly.


Site search can lead to improved sales, higher conversion rates and better customer retention, so it’s a function well worth investing in.


What do you think? Have we missed any major points off our list? Let us know your biggest website gripes in the comment section below, or talk to us on Facebook, Twitter or Google +.


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