Well that's annoying.
When you walk into a store, or a shopping center, or even a restaurant, you cannot help but notice the look of the building and the layout of the products. The general appearance and upkeep is important to not only bring customers back, but to have knowledge of the store spread by word of mouth. No matter how polite the sales-people are, how amazing the products, or how delicious the food is; if the store looks dilapidated, the products are all over the floor, or the food comes from the kitchen as a mess on the plate, people will not want to come back.
That's why with a brick and mortar business, the owner keeps the building in good repair, their space fits in with the surroundings, employees regularly arrange products to keep the displays pleasing to the eye, and kitchen staff presents food a specific way. The same can be said for an online business. In this series, we are going to discuss the virtual equivalent of keeping things tidy.
This week we are going to begin with an option many businesses like to use, but shouldn’t. There are a number of sites that auto-play music or a video when you go to the website. In a number of cases these sites belong to musicians or bands, but not all of them. Sometimes, auto-play items are setup to add a musical ambiance to the site, or to provide a video about the product, or the website itself. As helpful as the options might seem, it can be really distracting to the regular web user.
First you have to ask, if the person “surfing the net” comes to my site what else might they be doing? Many will have something laying already, either they will have their own music playing, or an internet radio site, like Pandora or Spotify running. Or they may have their television on. If either of these are the case then your auto-playing music or video is going to interrupt that, and could easily push potential buyers away.
Another possibility is that some people may not have the best internet connection. An auto-playing feature on the website is going to slow down the loading of your page. People do not mind waiting for a page to load, but if it takes too long, they are likely to just abandon your site before they even take a look.
If you want to include music or a video, then set it up on the page, but let the person who is coming to your website decide to play it. If you are a musician or the page is for your band, then provide samples and let the person coming to your site choose a track to checkout. Someone may have told them about a particular song, and they want to checkout that one song first and foremost.
Keep in mind that when people are online, they want to pick and choose their internet experience, by auto-playing something you are take that choice away from them. And keep in mind Amazon does not auto play anything on their site, and they don't do too bad.