Friday, 7 September 2012

Your browser is more important than you think when selling online

When running an online store, you may think that the important part of online selling comes in having the right products, right descriptions and having an easily accessible store. While these are all incredibly important in ensuring that your store is a success, surprisingly, the browser that your customers uses can also play a significant role in whether a customer decides to purchase from you or not.

The problem is that depending on the browser a customer uses, your listings may appear different on each platform. This means that while you have added the product to your store correctly, in some browsers it may be shown to the customer with the image missing or other aspects of the listing incorrect. This problem has been widely seen particularly with eBay stores.

Problems can include headers being displayed incorrectly or sometimes not at all, text appearing on the wrong part of the page making it difficult for customers to associate it with a particular product and also product images not appearing on the page at all. While this isn't your fault, from the perspective of any visiting customers this makes your website seem much less professional.

According to figures published by web development site, W3Schools, the four most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. In July, 42.9% of all Internet users used Google Chrome, 33.7% used Mozilla Firefox, 16.3% used Internet Explorer and 3.9% used Safari, with the vast majority of Safari users being people accessing websites through their mobile devices. This year, Google Chrome has seem an over usage increase of over 8%, up from 34.6% at the end of 2011. 

How can you fix this?

Well obviously there is nothing you can do to force customers to use a certain browser when visiting your ecommerce store. However, you could place a notification on your website suggesting to customers that the website will run better if they use a particular browser. This notification will not only result in more customers using a more efficient browser when purchasing from your store, it will also let customers know that if any products are displayed incorrectly, the problem lies with the browser rather than being your fault which may help stop the browser errors deterring customers from making a purchase.

As a business owner what you need to do is constantly check that that your website works correctly across all browsers. This means that whenever a browser is updated, you should be downloading it on to your computer as soon as possible in order to check that it works correctly on your store.

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