Ignore Firefox And Suffer The Bottom Line Consequences

January 01, 2006
By Robbin Steif

Here’s the most prevalent conversion problem we see when working as a web conversion consultant: websites that don’t work in Firefox.

You may use Internet Explorer and wonder who cares about Firefox. In fact, according to Omniture, Firefox has an average market share of 11%. We started tracking Firefox usage for one large customer a year ago, when it was only 12%, and now they are up to 15% on their site.

These are the kinds of problems we see, with links to examples from the LunaMetrics blog:

  • Type that is a reasonable size in Internet Explorer but becomes far too tiny to read in Firefox.
  • Error codes that show up in the Firefox version but work perfectly in IE
  • Pages that fold in on themselves so that the elements overwrite each other
  • Pages that fold in on themselves so that part of the page is missing
  • Scripts that don’t execute correctly

In fact, every time that we get ready to dis a site for problems, we now check it in IE and almost always see it working beautifully there.

So what is the financial fallout of not working in Firefox?

Let’s assume that 25% of the Firefox users are actually able to make the site work despite the problems, that 2% of your visitors convert, that you are doing e-commerce (to make this easy) and the average sale is $200, and that you have 1000 visitors/day.

1000 visitors – 25% who can make it work = 750 who can’t make your site work

750 x 2% conversion x $200/order = $3000/day, or over $750K counting just the business days (after all, most sites don’t convert as well or have the same traffic on the weekends). Just think what that would be like if you had 10,000 visitors/day (it would be over $7.8 million.) Or if you had an average order size of $2000 (it would still be $7.8 million.)

Makes it seem like downloading the browser and checking your site there is worth the time.