Top Five Summer Shopping Nightmares and How to Dodge Them

Olivia Shaw
August 17, 2023
5 mins

Summer – the season of sunshine, vacations, and then of course, shopping for vacation essentials. While most of us have had our fair share of delightful shopping sprees, let’s not forget those cringe-worthy moments when shopping experiences go wrong. We’ve compiled the top five shopping horrors to ensure you’re well-prepared to dodge them and instead deliver a delightful customer experience.

Discover our ultimate three tips to ensure your summer shopping experience remains a breeze.

Text Overlap on Mobile: Can’t Read, Won’t Buy 

Picture this: you’re on a quest for stylish sunglasses to soak up the summer sun. You excitedly land on a website, only to find that the text is so jumbled up that it’s impossible to decipher. The lesson here? A visually appealing design is only half the battle won – if customers can’t read about the product, they won’t be reaching for their wallets.

The Perplexing Picture Swap

Ever stumbled upon a product online, clicked on it, and found yourself looking at an entirely different item? Frustrating, right? Here’s the image of swim trunks we clicked on, versus the product page that came up:

It’s a clear reminder that seamless navigation is key to keeping customers engaged and converting.

False Representation Leads to Tarnished Reputation

Bad shopping experiences don’t just happen in retail! Imagine booking a cosy hotel room for your vacation, relying on the rosy images and stellar reviews, only to turn up and discover  a gloomy room with train tracks right outside the window. True representation of your offering is important, a tarnished reputation can spread like wildfire, and no one wants their vacation dreams shattered.

The Ill-Timed Campaign: Outdated Emails and Missed Discounts 

Have you ever received an email announcing an ongoing campaign when the discount code has already expired? Your customers won’t trust you if they receive irrelevant or expired offers — it only demonstrates that you don’t properly understand your audience (and we all want to feel understood, especially when we’re parting with large sums of cash). Remember, a well-timed campaign can be a win, but poor execution can lead to lost loyalty.

If there’s one thing that can drive customers away faster than you can say “checkout,“ it’s countless popups, obscuring the very products  that they’re trying to view. Worse still, offering discounts exclusive to non-subscribers. Is there no reward for loyalty? Popups should enhance the user experience, not hinder it.

So now that we’ve revealed our top five shopping nightmares, how can you avoid these pitfalls and ensure a smooth-sailing summer shopping experience?

Top Three Tips to Improve Customer Experience and Ensure Shopping Bliss

1. Create a Smart Content Structure: Your website’s content structure should be flexible enough to accommodate updates without needing a complete overhaul (or too much development time). A Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to preview content changes in context, and in real-time, is a must.

2. Consider Timing and Placement of Your Content: Carefully consider when and where you present your content, and at which stage of the buying journey. A headless CMS enables you to strategically place content variants in specific slots to match different time events. Previewing these placements in context ensures a seamless customer experience.

3. Think Strategically About Your Popups: Yes, popups can be great for conversions, but ill-placed and frequent popups can be a frustrating hindrance. Use them wisely, avoid excessive interruptions and most importantly, don’t use them as a Band-Aid for poor or missing content or assets. Make sure your offers are genuinely enticing for your customers, and time popups well to encourage rather than deter conversions.

Farewell to Frustrating Shopping!

So, as you embark on your summer shopping sprees — and on your mission to provide the very best shopping experience for your customers — remember that avoiding these shopping nightmares is entirely within your control. Creating a user-friendly and transparent shopping journey with strategically-placed content demonstrates that you understand your audience, and can turn potential customers into loyal advocates.

Always keep in mind those top three tips – well-structured content, thoughtful timing, and strategic use of popups will transform your customer experience.

Want to know more about what it looks like when retail therapy goes wrong? Watch the first episode of our webinar series, Bad Shopping: 5 Epic Summer Cart-tastrophies and the Lessons They Taught Us.