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Industry Trends

Spelling Mistakes Affect Online Sales

By July 20, 2011July 30th, 2023No Comments

Spelling mistakes in shopping websites are proving to be very costly for the marketers, according to an article recently published on the BBC.

According to Charles Duncombe, director of the Just Say Please group,  spelling errors are resulting in losses of millions of pounds in terms of revenue generation.

Duncombe, whose company runs travel, mobile phone and clothing websites, says that an analysis of online sales figures shows that even a single spelling mistake can reduce online sales of a product by half.

A simple test conducted on one of the group’s own websites measured the revenue generated per visitor with and without a prominent spelling mistake. They found that the revenue doubled after a spelling mistake was corrected.

It is a widely-held belief that spelling errors could lead to concerns about credibility, in a day and age when online fraud has become rampant. The spellings of words become important on the Internet because the selling itself is done by the written word online.

If we extrapolate Duncombe’s findings across the whole of online retail, then it’s easy to see how millions of pounds worth of business is probably being lost each week due to simple spelling mistakes.

The Confederation Of British Industry (CBI) has also issued similar statements, warning that often employers have to invest money in improving the literacy of their staff. The CBI’s head of education and skills, James Fothergill says, “Our recent research shows that 42% of employers are not satisfied with the basic reading and writing skills of school and college leavers and almost half have had to invest in remedial training to get their staff’s skills up to scratch.

Among school and university leavers, spelling mistakes and poor grammar are very common. Some people even use “text speak” in their job cover letters and official business communications. One of the reasons for this could be a growing dependence on social sites such as Facebook, where spellings and grammar are not given due importance.

William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University says that “In these instances, when a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a mis-spelt word could be a killer issue.”