Sir, The recent launch of Waitrose’s new website, which promised to enhance customer experience “dramatically”, has instead caused widespread anger, as shown on its online forum (‘Waitrose running late on web improvements, 23 July). One of the most prevalent complaints was that the search function was “poor and random”.
This clearly demonstrates how important the search is when it comes to enhancing user experience. Another key problem users complained of was misspellings in product details. Incorrect spelling not only affects people’s opinion of your site, it affects their ability to find what they want.
It also highlights the need for retailers to build in error-tolerant searching. The lack of “longtail” functionality, where provided a misspelling is similar enough to the entries in the database the search will still return the correct product, could already be resulting in billions of pounds in lost revenue a year for online retailers.
Mathias Duda, head of UK operations, FACT-Finder