Online sales suffer due to spelling errors

According to a BBC News article on July 13, mistakes in spelling and grammar can be extremely costly to an Internet business. Even a single spelling error on a company website may deter consumers by raising concerns about the website’s credibility.

Charles Duncombe, director of the Just Say Please group in the U.K., was said to have estimated that one spelling or grammatical mistake can cut a website’s sales by half. Duncombe runs various websites dealing with travel, cell phones and clothing sales, said BBC News. After measuring the revenue per visitor to one clothing site before and after the correction of an error, Duncombe reported that revenue was twice as high after the mistake had been rectified. 

“When you sell or communicate on the Internet, 99% of the time it is done by the written word,” Duncombe was quoted by the BBC.

Furthermore, Duncombe said, job applications by recent college and university graduates too frequently contain mistakes in spelling and grammar. In fact, these kinds of errors have become so crucial that many companies have chosen to put their employees through remedial literacy training.

BBC News also quoted William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute, who said: “When a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a misspelled word could be a killer issue.”

“You get about six seconds to capture the attention on a website,” Duncombe said.

The original BBC News article can be found here.

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