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Badly Designed Websites Keep Surfers Away

22 May 2002

ATLANTA, Georgia -- As reported by Newsbytes: ``Many businesses are losing customers because of inadequate Web sites - and most don't even realize potential customers are gone before it is too late. Once these customers are gone, says a new study, they don't come back.

``That is the message from Enterpulse, an e-business services firm based in Atlanta. The company surveyed 301 `heavy' Web users - defined as people who used the Internet both at home and at work at least once a day.

``Sixty-six percent of respondents said they rarely or never return to a Web site where they have a bad experience.

```This finding, which we called the 'Internet death penalty,' was a huge surprise,' Michael Reene, the chairman and CEO of Enterpulse today told Newsbytes.

``Reene said the company felt it had identified the primary needs of sites and wanted to find the priority that people placed on characteristics such as ease of use, being up-to-date and simple navigation.

```We thought there would be a high tolerance for mediocre sites,' he said. `The fact that such a high percentage of people would not return is shocking.'

``...What can companies do? Reene suggested concentrating on three areas.

``First, he said, it is important to meet customers' expectations for their Internet experience. `The Web is one way people meet you, so take it very seriously,' he said.

``Second, companies should understand their Web presence faces customers, and therefore sales and marketing should be in charge of the Web site, not IT or human resources, he said.

```Finally, companies should understand and embrace the minimum of expectations,' Reene said. `Besides easy navigation and use, people want and expect a site to load quickly, to be visually appealing, and to have customization and personalization.'..."

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