5 early warning signs your site has bugs

Posted by Amy Montague on Friday 21 December 2018

Having bugs on your site can be disastrous. Bugs frustrate your customers, prevent sales and do serious damage to your brand and business, remaining on your site for months at a time.

Often, bugs only exist on specific combinations of device, browser and operating systems, and unless you’ve rigorously tested these combinations, it can be impossible to locate and correct bugs with limitations of time and resources.

High street bricks and mortar brands are failing. Every month, more and more consumers are turning to the world of online shopping, where they can get the cheapest deals and avoid battling endless queues.

In the wake of this change, already many brands have begun changing their websites to be more user friendly, by adding on additional functions and more personalised experiences. But for brands who procced without testing, many run the risk of housing bugs which slow down their revenue and turn customers away. 

 

5 warning signs

With that in mind, here are 5 early warning signs that your site is housing bugs. 

  1. Low or falling conversion rates

If your conversion rates are low or falling and there is no obvious reason why, it could be because bugs are preventing a good proportion of your customers from purchasing. This is a very general indicator, and could mean there is a problem with various elements of your site like your checkout, shopping basket, product pages, or sign-in system (if you have one).

It could also suggest that you have bugs which affect an array of different device combinations, but won’t give you much indication as to which ones. The best way to discover this information is to work with a testing partner to have your site scrutinised across a large selection of devices.

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  1. Certain products aren’t selling

If you’re perplexed about low sales of a hot new product you were sure was going to fly off the shelves, you might want to consider whether a bug is affecting your digital performance.

Unfortunately, we have come across this multiple times. For example one of our clients, an online shoe retailer, came to us as they had recently purchased a large order of a certain type of ladies’ shoe. Precisely none had sold, however, leaving them with a warehouse full of shoes and no idea why. Due to the nature of a fast paced sales environment the shoes were quickly forgotten about as the ‘next big thing’ came in. But when testing started, testers uncovered the sizing fields at the front- and back-ends of their site didn’t match, meaning that customers were unable to add the shoes to their shopping baskets. As soon as this was fixed, the shoes began to sell, albeit at a slower rate than expected because the company had missed their window of ‘hotness’.

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  1. High shopping cart abandonment rates

At an average of 68%, shopping cart rate abandonment in eCommerce is always pretty high. But if you’re experiencing abandonment rates significantly higher than that, you’re in trouble and a software bug could be causing the problem.

If your customers are filling their shopping baskets in the first place, that suggests that there isn’t much of a problem with your product pages or the basket itself. But there could be a problem with the checkout – perhaps customers are trying to reach that particular page and finding that they can’t. Or, if you require customers to sign in before purchasing, a defect could be impeding that process. Either way, it’s something to be investigated.

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  1. Repeated click-throughs but low conversions

If you have a way of monitoring the actions taken by visitors to your site – how they reach it, which pages they’re visiting, which links are being clicked – and you are seeing repeated click-throughs to certain product pages but low sales of those products, it could be that those links are broken. Clicking them could result in a 404 error page, or they could redirect to the wrong pages entirely. This may only be the case on certain device combinations, of course, so testing across a wide array is advised.

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  1. Disproportionately low traffic from certain sources

Using Google Analytics, you should be able to monitor which browsers or devices your site traffic comes from. If sales are mainly coming from, say, Chrome, IE and Safari, but none from Firefox, there could be bugs on your site when accessed by that particular browser type. If this is the case, you may be missing out on catering to a significant portion of your market and should undertake browser testing.

The same hold true for operating systems – if all of your customers are Android, rather than iOS, users, that’s worthy of investigation. Of course the reality is that it is a much more complex question where you break down to a number of very specific devices and this can be confusing and time-consuming. Ultimately, ensuring your software works for all of your users, no matter what device combination they’re using, will improve your customer experience and increase conversions.

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Whether your business is ecommerce or technology based, all websites need a thorough 'clean up' to flush out any existing or potential bugs. For many sites who do not gain revenue from online traffic or conversion rates, web testing may seem like a waste of time. But this couldn't be further from the truth. By partnering up with a web testing community, you can examine and analyse any existing issues, including security breaches which are effecting your digital performance and brand prestige. 

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Topics: security, revenue, issues, CX, webtesting, Web Testing, UX, Retail & eCommerce