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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Limiting Your Exit Opportunities, A Lesson in Poor Usability

Since Christmas is coming mighty fast I spent some time last week doing some Christmas window shopping. I have an idea of what I’m looking for so I’m trying to find the least expensive source with the best product that fits my line of thought. I’ve been to several shopping engines and many different websites looking at different products and comparing prices when I came across one of the absolute worst conversion killers I’ve ever seen. I know there are a lot of ways to lose ROI on your website, but this one is just… special.

Let’s walk through the process and see if we can spot all of the opportunities to exit the site!

Step 1: Find the product you want


Wait, where’s the price? Huh? you have to be logged in to know how much the product costs?!!!! That sound you just heard was the click of thousands of shoppers clicking off your site! Exit opportunity #1.

Step 2: Create an account


Now I have to wonder why they need my phone number. I know why they want it, but do they really need it just to allow me to see how much this darn thing costs? I’m not ready to give them my personal information. I have no assurances of privacy or that I won’t start getting telemarketing calls. Exit opportunity #2.

Step 3: Proceed to account setup step 2


Oh, not they are really getting personal. They want my Business name, tax ID number, fax number and address. Exit opportunities #4, 5, 6 & 7. But look here, they want my phone number and email address all over again! Exit opportunity #8.

Step 4: I’m still not logged in


After all that I’m still not logged in and still cannot get the pricing information I need. Exit opportunity #9.

Step 5: Log in


Look ma, more forms! Exit opportunity #10

Step 6: Where is my product?


Thanks for telling me I’m logged in. Would have been nice to take me back to the product I was originally looking at. You know… the one that I only wanted to get pricing information from? Heck, that was so long ago I don’t even remember what it was. Exit Opportunity #11.

This site created eleven opportunities to exit the sitebefore I was even allowed to see the price of the product I was interested in. I’m willing to bet they lose well over 90% of first-time shoppers by forcing them through that process. I would hate to see what their checkout process is like. (Actually, I took a peek, and it’s bad. Real bad.)

Why give your visitors opportunities to leave? Instead, you should be creating opportunities for them to say on your site. Give them the information they came looking for, present links to more details, more products, more about shipping, etc. Shoppers want shopping to be easy. The more difficult you make it for them the more customers you’ll lose.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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