What if you just spent thousands on a shinny new website and you noticed sales have dropped but not just by 1% or 2%, what if sales dropped by a whopping 15% and you don’t know why, what would you check first?
Well oddly this happened; however not as dramatic to a merchant I work with. I seen sales drop by 8% based on previous months this year. Sales just dropped but tracking was working. The new site they put up looked great, I could easily see how it could help conversions but still the stats (and money I was making) showed sales had dropped. So I fired off an email and it fell on deaf ears, couldn’t call the merchant as not one I had contact details for and wasn’t on one of the UK networks so couldn’t get on the Bat phone to someone I know.
I was left thinking, either I am getting ripped off or the economic downturn has really taken its toll and I thought, oh well good converter for me dropped and left it at that. However when I was talking with Graeme who works with me at Paid On Results I just happened to say a few things that triggered a response from him, “bet the site doesn’t work in IE6” and my response was, “who uses that these days”.. Well it turns out 15.4% do, according to w3school.com. I was shocked to find that it is the 3rd most used browser in the market.
Browser Statistics for April 2009
See full stats at http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp
So why is this a big deal? Well the site in question (not linking to it as I am one of the few promoting this niche and can do without the competition) went super 2.0 on it’s design in fact the style sheets have so much new code with no backward compatibility that the fancy buy now buttons (a transparent PNG) can’t be seen on the page correctly, in fact the page is a mess in IE6.
I never noticed this because like most folk who are online full time, I have the latest version of IE, Firefox and Opera installed (will get Chrome soon) and when I check websites I do it on these 3, thinking great it works for everyone! Graeme on the other hand has to run machines that have all the most used and up to date browsers on and that includes IE6 so can test tracking, content units etc.
So while everyone should always strive for great web design, think about your audience and check it works for them because you could be losing out on customers and have no idea its happening. And no telling your customers to upgrade browsers to buy from you, that won’t work 😉