eCommerce – Big Companies Make Mistakes Too

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Wednesday, 03 March 2010

People come to us at MPP Global because they know we have all of the eCommerce and mobile marketing solutions they need to give them a professional image. Those who try to do the job themselves often end up with a site that looks slick, but frustrates the customer by not functioning properly. Obviously, this isn’t the way to do business.

However, it isn’t just small businesses that make mistakes. There are plenty of larger companies with poorly designed sites, as well. The 2009 eCommerce Accessibility Report, run by web user consultancy Webcredible, analysed the eCommerce sites of 19 UK high street chains; scoring them over 20 best practice points. Top of the list was John Lewis, with 74% satisfaction. Next was Boots. Overall, there was only a slight improvement in web accessibility from the previous year – up from 57% to 62% last year. To put this in context, you must remember that even 74% is only a borderline pass in some business exams.

The problem, it seems, is that stores are still placing slick new features and functionality over customer accessibility when it comes to eCommerce – in other words, the basics. A lively video streaming guide to your site is all very well, but only if the audience can actually access the pages you’ve offered to them.

Areas where eCommerce sites failed included incorrect or missing image alt-text, a lack of skip links to the main menu, and incorrect text embedding within images. Check over your own site, and make sure you’re not losing customers at the first hurdle – the home page.