An analysis of 4 varied error pages to help educate marketers and webmasters on the best practices and value of great 404 error page design.
Amazon Fail: A PRIME Use Case For Intelligent 404 Pages
The Amazon Prime Day fiasco is a good example of why the standard 404 page is a dead end that’s losing you visitors and traffic.
Welcome to a marketer’s nightmare. Amazon Prime day has been hotly anticipated for weeks now, yet come game time, the landing page for Prime Day does not work. Instead, most of the links on the landing page are kicking visitors over to either an error page, or to a redirect that sends shoppers back to the main landing page.
It’s not a site-wide issue either. The product pages themselves appear to be working fine, even though their internal site-linkages seem to be down. Given that Prime Day is one of the biggest sales days for the retail giant, which by some estimates earns approximately $1 million per minute during peak shopping hours, it’s not a good look for them.
What hurts the most in this case, is that these visitors are highly engaged shoppers who are ready to purchase. Shoppers were expected to spend $3.4 billion on the site during the event, up more than 40 percent from a year earlier, according to Coresight Research. Instead, what they got was a standard error page featuring the “Dogs of Amazon”. Cute, but not exactly useful.
The internet had pretty much that reaction as well. As of Monday afternoon, there were 4,670 social media posts about the Amazon Prime Day crash. Eighty percent of online sentiment about Prime Day conveyed anger or sadness, according to Crimson Hexagon, which monitors social-media feedback.
Which brings us to a point we’ve been making at Cludo for a while now- the standard 404 page is a dead end that’s losing you visitors and traffic. There usually isn’t a spotlight on this, (right up to the point where a retail giant executes a massive belly-flop into the deep end of the pool) but it’s losing you customers nonetheless, and my guess is most of you out there in internet-land can’t afford to lose as many sales as Amazon can.
Estimates say that 73.72% of people who reach a 404 error page will leave your website and not return, and that that 79% of visitors who are dissatisfied with website performance say they are less likely to buy from the same site again. Which is basically a pedantic way of saying that you could have sold a bunch of people stuff, but instead you drove them away because you don’t have your act together.
Long story short, there is a much better way (shameless plug alert!)- Cludo recently launched a first of its kind: truly machine learning driven 404 pages that offer intelligent pathways to content that is relevant to website visitors, when the URL they land on does not exist.
The power of these pages has been borne out- in tests with Vodafone Australia, The Bank of England and Parkinson’s UK (among others) Cludo’s Intelligent 404 pages moved 1,510 visitors from a broken link to a relevant page on average per month for EACH customer! We’d imagine there’d be a lot fewer red faces over at Amazon if they had Intelligent 404 in place, automatically detecting and redirecting shoppers to the product page of their choice, rather than the (admittedly cute) dog pictures.
You can learn more about Cludo’s Intelligent 404 here, or simply try it out for yourself by requesting a demo.
Which brings us to the end of this column. We’re waiting on a call from Jeff Bezos.