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Hi everyone,

I personally shop at a wide number of ecommerce stores and combined with my experience of working with stores built by VP-ASP merchants I’ve built up a list of ten things that annoy me when shopping online:

1. Being Forced to Log In / Create an Account

While having customers register is great for your marketing efforts, a lot of online shoppers (including myself) just want to ‘get in and get out’ without signing up for an account. Ensure that your store offer a guest checkout option so that customers can purchase with minimum fuss. VP-ASP store owners can offer a Guest Checkout with the One Page Checkout module, available as an add on or included with the Premium Business Ready Plan.

2. Out of Stock Items On Display

Not long ago I was shopping around for a product that was sold out almost everywhere I looked, I finally found a store that appeared to have the item in stock and gleefully placed my order. I received my order confirmation email and carried on with my day satisfied that the product was on its way to me. 

Two days (yes TWO DAYS) later I received an email from the store saying the item was out of stock. I don’t need to tell you how annoyed I was, needless to say I won’t be shopping at that store again. 

Avoid annoying your customers like this by using stock control that auto hides products from your store when they are out of stock or at least display an ‘out of stock – back soon’ message. 

3. Slow Website

If I click onto a website and it takes more than 3-4 second to load I am gone! And so are most other online shoppers.

Not only are slow sites annoying for customers, they are bad for your Search Engine rankings, slow site = bad news! If your site is loading / running slowly, it may be time to switch host, check out VP-ASPs high performance severs which are optimised to run VP-ASP Stores - View Hosting Plans.

4. Confusing Coupon Codes

Coupon Codes are a great way to attract customers and encourage them to spend more in your store but they can be annoying if they don’t work. If your coupon code is for ‘free shipping when you spend over $100’ make sure you tell your customers this and make sure the coupon works! Otherwise you’ll leave your customers feeling cheated. 

5. Products That Are Not For Sale

This might be hard to believe but there are ecommerce stores with product on show that are not for sale, why any merchant would choose to do this is beyond me and I advise against it.

6. Marketing Overload

Ecommerce stores that bombard me with marketing, in particular email marketing, promptly get added to the ignore list. View my previous article - Is your ecommerce marketing annoying your customers? To ensure you don’t fall guilty of this. 

7. Unsecure Store

This is not so much an annoyance, more a concern but if a store does not have an SSL certificate installed (the green padlock on the checkout pages) then I simply will not purchase. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, I strongly recommend you purchase one today – View SSL certificates.

8. Auto Play Videos / Music

I am absolutely horrified if I click onto a website and I am forced to watch a video and / or listen to music, this is NEVER a good idea – don’t do it!

By all means have a promotional video, but let visitors choose whether or not they watch it. 

9. Poor Customer Service / Lack of Communication

In today’s competitive market, good customer service is the difference between an average ecommerce store and a great one which maintains loyal repeat customers. 

Just recently I placed an order online and did not receive an order confirmation email, I waited 24 hours then contacted the store via email, a day later I received a reply saying my order had been received and the products will be dispatched ‘soon’. 

I found this to be very unprofessional and short of what I would expect when shopping online. 

Providing good customer service is not difficult, and it is one of the most powerful customer retention tools in your arsenal. 

10. Not Mobile Compatible

Not having a mobile compatible version of your store in the year 2014 is borderline ridiculous, especially if you own a VP-ASP store because we give you a FREE mobile store if you host with us or use our Business Ready Plan.

Is your ecommerce store guilty of any of these? If so, what can you do make them less annoying? If you’ve been annoyed by anything while shopping online let me know in the comments below!

Happy Selling!

VPASP Shopping Cart



Business to Business (Friday, May 16, 2014 00:00)
I agree with all the top ten annoying things for business to customer e-commerce but it would be nice to get a few tips on the business to business model. Some aspects of B2B sales are extremely different. We don''t want to attract the general public to our site, we don''t want top ranking in search engines, we don''t want rival companies to see our special offers etc. but we do want to make the registered trade customers buying process as easy and as efficient as possible.ThanksC

Carrol - UK
Thanks Carrol (Sunday, May 18, 2014 00:00)
Hi Carrol,

Thank you for your comment.

You are right, I always focus my blog posts on B2C businesses, I promise my next post will be for B2B!

Gareth - VIC
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