A small online retailer started using SpringTrax and expected that 404's wouldn't affect their business.
Like every ecommerce website, they intended for people to visit their website and buy products. Also like a lot of ecommerce sites, this retailer frequently added and removed product pages from their site.
They knew they could be at risk of visitors reaching their website's 404 not found error page. But how many people could they really be losing due to 404's?
After installing SpringTrax, this online retailer found that 2.7% of their visitors encountered their site's 404 not found error page. Worse, a little over 85% of those visitors left the site. That meant they were losing 153 people per month due to their site's 404 error page.
For a small business, a loss of 153 visitors per month was substantial.
The managers of the website knew that about 2.2% of visitors bought something after visiting the site. With 153 visitors leaving due to a 404 page per month, they were losing at least 4 customers every month. At an average sale of $50/order, they were losing at least $200/month due to 404 errors. For a smaller business, $200/month was a notable loss.
Worse, that was only a conservative estimate. Chances are they were losing more. After all, those 4 lost customers per month wouldn't become repeat customers and those lost customers also wouldn't refer new business to this online retailer. A large part of the online retailer's business depends on repeat and referred customers.
After signing up for a pro-level SpringTrax account, the managers of this site found out what 404 error pages people were encountering on their site. Because SpringTrax offers a more complete look at error pages than other broken link tools, this ecommerce site uncovered lots of 404 errors they didn't know existed.
What surprised them the most was that there were 14 different sources leading visitors to a 404 error page on their site. In fact, broken links on their site accounted for less than a third of all the 404 errors visitors encountered. Most visitors reached a 404 page due to old bookmarks or from Google and Bing search results that contained recently removed product pages.
Along with providing insight into the problem, SpringTrax also helped the site fix those 404 error pages. Our recommendations tools gave them step-by-step instructions to fix each 404 error. They began to fix new 404 errors more quickly as well. In fact, by the fourth month of using SpringTrax, the number of visitors reaching a 404 error page decreased by 77%. When we saw these numbers, we were thrilled at how much SpringTrax had helped this site.
With continued monitoring from SpringTrax, this ecommerce site will be able to find new 404 errors immediately and fix them before those 404s cost them customers. The site is set up for regular alerts so that they are notified immediately when new problems arise and the site is set up for weekly recap emails to closely monitor what 404s their visitors encounter.