Beware Buyer Browser Bias
February 21, 2012
To be successful online you have to make sure that your sites work on all the major browsers. Your site may look great in one browser, but be disjointed and broken in another. You should always test any changes or site modifications across different browsers before you upgrade your live site.
There are countless browsers out there, but you should always ensure you’re covering the basics; Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. It’s also not just about the brand of browser, but the version as well. Chrome and Firefox have many versions, but they’re designed to be upgraded automatically so you’ll find most people using them are using the latest release.
Internet Explorer is another matter entirely. While Internet Explorer is the most popular browser in the market, you’ll find customers still widely use versions 6, 7, 8, and 9. Microsoft plans to introduce automatic updates to Internet Explorer soon, but in the meantime, check your site against older versions as each can interpret the same page dramatically differently.
With all these options, how do you know where to focus your browser testing energy? As much as anyone will tell you this browser or that browser is most important, each site’s customers are different. Go look at the last few months of your traffic browser history in Google Analytics or Omniture or whatever you use to track visitors and see for yourself. The answer may surprise you.
In fact, we looked at two different customer accounts; one that sells software and another that sells power tools. Look at how different the browser concentration was between these two sites…
|Internet Explorer 9||20%||4%|
|Internet Explorer 8||35%||5%|
|Internet Explorer 7||7%||1%|
|Internet Explorer 6||<1%||<1%|
However your customer base is structured, these four browsers generally cover over 95% of the market. Being compatible across these browsers will ensure your site is widely viewable.
So keep up the testing and keep your sites looking sharp.
The Commative Team