An online entrepreneur has come out to claim that poor spelling on a website can cut sales by as much as half. Do you get turned off by misspellings and grammar mistakes – or are their bigger fishies to fry?
Charles Duncombe, who runs a number of websites, has told the BBC he thinks misspellings on shopping websites put off consumers so much that they avoid spending money on them.
In fact, he thinks spelling is so important that it’s costing the UK economy millions of pounds every wekk. He argues that misspellings can reduce a website’s credability:
‘I know that industry bemoaning the education system is nothing new but it is becoming more and more of a problem with more companies going online. This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet 99% of the time it is done by the written word.’
So how did Mr Duncombe come to his conclusions? Apparently he measured revenue to the website tightsplease.co.uk (which does what it says on the tin) and found the amount of cash coming in dubled when an error was corrected.
As far as the credibility of a website goes, Which?’s advice is to keep an eye out for misspellings as they can give a scam or phishing site away. You’re quite frankly much less likely to find mistakes on official, trustworthy ticket sites, for example.
Put off by misspellings
But how much does grammar and spelling actually matter to you? We take pride in being accurate, but the odd typo can slip through, which we’re happy for you to point out. Some have panned our use of “bored of”, and though it’s quite right that “bored with” is the “correct” phrase, the former has now entered popular usage. Language evolves, and this more colloquial usage seems to fit Which? Convo’s informal tone.
However, all of this can go too far. The introduction of txt spk is 1 of my biggest gripes. I can also be a grammar Nazi about “their”, “they’re” and “there” – if someone gets that wrong in they’re written prose, then their going to hear about it from me!
What about you? Do you think literacy skills have plummeted since the world has gone online? And more importantly, does a website lose your trust if you spot misspellings? (Oh, and a gold star to the person who can spot all of my very deliberate mistakes.)
Do misspellings on websites put you off?
Yes - spelling and grammar must be correct (91%, 514 Votes)
No - it doesn't bother me at all (5%, 29 Votes)
Never really thought about it (4%, 23 Votes)
Total Voters: 566