What’s a FUDD?

Okay, I have to admit I hadn’t heard this little acronym before this morning–had you? It’s nice that we have Linda at Get Elastic to help steer us straight. 

FUDDs are actually plural and they are:

  • Fears
  • Uncertainties
  • Doubts
  • Deal breakers 

… that get in the way of consumers making purchases. Linda Bustos points out in her blog entry how FUDDs get in the way of online purchases, and how very key the placement and style of the message is. Usability plays a huge factor in reducing FUDDs.

I found these statistics really interesting: Linda pointed out in her blog entry that PayPal and ComScore recently conducted a study on shopping cart abandonment and discovered customers’ top reasons (for shopping cart abandoment were:

  • Shipping charges too high – 43% 
  • Total cost of purchase more expensive than anticipated – 36%
  • Wanted to comparison shop at other Web sites before making a purchase – 27%
  • Could not contact customer support to answer questions – 16%
  • Forgot usernames and passwords for store accounts – 14%

Shipping charges too high–hmmm. Yeah, customers don’t like surprises at the end, and online shipping charges is one reason I hear people state almost every time they tell me why they don’t buy online. (Why they don’t realize that they are in reality paying shipping every time they buy something, I don’t know … the cost of shipping is a reality and if it’s not tacked on at the end, then it’s built into the price. But I digress …)

Suffice it to say, customers want to know what the purchase is going to cost them, and they want to know it up front, so hidden shipping charges are BAD. They make the customer think, which violates the number one law of usability: Don’t make me think!

So even worse are hidden “free shipping” messages. That means the merchant had the right idea, but it got lost in the delivery. At Get Elastic, Linda shows how several different stores handled the “free shipping” message.

If you’re offering free shipping, you better make sure customers know it at the critical point when they might actually add an item to their cart, and then again at the beginning of checkout. Customers need assurances every step of the way to overcome those FUDDs–and keep them on your site.

Because if you can’t relieve their FUDDs, they’ll find someone who will.

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4 Responses to “What’s a FUDD?”


  1. 1 Linda Bustos June 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks for the blog love! I heard about FUDs from Invesp Consulting – Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts. I added the extra D for dealbreakers because it seemed that some of these reasons for abandoning carts are above and beyond the general FUDs of “do I really want this product,” “is this an acceptable price,” “can I trust this retailer” etc.

    Just a heads up, the last link is broken.

    -Linda

  2. 2 krauseann June 3, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks Linda! I fixed the link, BTW.


  1. 1 Special Link Love + I Want to Link to You Too! | Get Elastic Trackback on June 6, 2008 at 1:09 pm
  2. 2 Shopping Cart Free Merchant Account Folding Shopping Cart Trackback on June 19, 2008 at 2:00 am

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