Poor spelling costs online businesses – research


14 Jul 2011

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Spelling errors are costing online businesses millions of pounds in lost sales, an entrepreneur’s research into online businesses suggests.

Charles Duncombe’s findings reveal a single spelling mistake can greatly reduce the number of sales because potential customers perceive the online business as being less credible.

Internet sales in the UK amount to more than £527m a week, figures published by the Office for National Statistics show. That’s a significant amount of money at stake if errors persist and turn off potential buyers.

Duncombe, who runs mobile, travel and clothing websites, cited one example where a corrected spelling error resulted in sales doubling. He had measured internet revenue per customer before and after an error was corrected.

“Spelling is important to the credibility of a website," Duncombe said. “When there are underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.”

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