Why Expectation Factors Could Be Ruining Your Conversions

< Blog
Updated on: August 23rd, 2022Ken Braun6 min read
Why expectation factors could be ruining your conversions

Right now there are thousands upon thousands of websites that are scaring away customers and losing out on conversions. In many cases, that conversion loss happens on a subconscious level and could be avoided if you understood more about expectation factors. Many of the top web development companies know why expectation factors could be ruining your conversions and today we are going to share this wisdom with you.

Fight or flight takes place online too

Being human has a lot of advantages and a few drawbacks. Take our hardwired ‘fight or flight response’ as an example of something that is usually an advantage. This physiological reaction occurs in response to things we perceive to be harmful, an attack or a threat often giving us a boost of adrenaline, increasing our heart rate and allowing increased air flow in the lungs.

On the other hand, stress and anxiety can also trigger similar responses in the body, even if something shouldn’t really be considered that stressful and you took the time to consider it rationally. But it has been proven that chronic or repetitive stress, or repeated exposure to those stress causing factors can trigger the fight-or-flight response.

This is an important concept to understand because stress and anxiety triggers exist online and unknowingly using them could be scaring away your customers.

The Expectation Factor and being in control

For the most part as humans we want to be in control. While there are many factors beyond our control, we still want to exert control over our lives as much as possible because it helps make us feel safe and secure.

Then you have the Expectation Factor which is a psychological effect related to the natural expectation anyone has as they enter a certain situation. If you go to a sports bar you expect to find beer, bar food and sports on TV. These are things that are expected and anticipated.

However when any situation fails to live up to the Expectation Factor then the person in that situation is suddenly faced with a loss of control. That loss of control can affect people in different ways and in some it creates stress. For example, if that Sports Bar had no TVs, only served organic teas and farm-to-table food, it is not meeting expectations.

Not meeting expectations

Here is where things get interesting. Certain design elements of your website can actually cause much more harm than good because they don’t live up to the expectation factor for a visitor. A good example is auto-play videos that are either embedded in a story or in the ad space on the side of webpage.

A visitor goes to a site to learn about something, often with the anticipation of calmly reading an article or blog. Instead when the page loads they are greeted with a video they weren’t expecting. It can be even worse if sound is enabled and they have the volume up.

This creates a natural response to stress much like fight-or-flight because there is a surprise factor that occurs. Most of the time we need to eliminate the thing causing the stress or get away from it. On top of that, being humans we need to rationalize and understand what we did to justify it.

For example, if we pause or stop a video, in many instances we act angered or affronted. “I didn’t ask to be interrupted by that video.” Or we might think that obviously the video wasn’t worth watching because we stopped it. If it wasn’t able to hook me in the 3 seconds it took to find the pause button then it’s not interesting enough to resume.

Common stress factors can include:

  • Feeling lost – This occurs on pages that are very long that involve a lot of scrolling. It can also happen when navigation buttons and cues are not apparent and user-intuitive.
  • Surprise – Pop-up ads are the easiest example to use because they unexpectedly will surprise us and trigger an emotional response often of anger or annoyance.
  • Confusion – When sites don’t have clear Call-to-action buttons, straight forward checkout options or other areas that can cause confusion the natural response is stress. Or if the ‘pause’ button for an auto-play video is hard to find. People do not like to feel like they don’t understand how to do something which often results in, “This is stupid,” responses because obviously they aren’t stupid so the site is at fault, often rightfully so.

The bottom line

In the big scheme of things is there really much of a difference in having an auto-play video versus allowing a user to click on it to start? For the business the answer is no, but to the visitor the answer is yes. Whether you are developing a website or even an app one of the key factors should be the user experience and part of that should involve not causing any stress to your visitors.

Those visitors, after all, did not come to your site or download your app looking for or expecting to be surprised, annoyed or confused; that is why expectation factors could be ruining your conversions if your are inadvertently causing stress based on design choices.

Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.



Published on: June 20th, 2016
Blog cta banner bg


Related articles

How do you choose the content to share on social media
5 min read

How Do You Choose The Content To Share On Social Media?

August 23rd, 2022

Did you know that the content you share on social media platforms affects your brand perception? That is why it is very important to not simply [...]

The big list of top wordpress plugins
6 min read

The Big List Of Top WordPress Plugins

August 23rd, 2022

The world of WordPress plugins can be rather confusing. Many people take advantage of WordPress, the open source tool businesses of all types use for blogging [...]

How holden caulfield would make your app go viral
7 min read

How Holden Caulfield Would Make Your App Go Viral

August 23rd, 2022

With the number of available apps well into seven digits, it gets harder each day to make a new offering stand out from the crowd. As [...]

You havent seen this on page seo tips list on buzzfeed
5 min read

You Haven’t Seen This On Page SEO Tips List On Buzzfeed

August 23rd, 2022

Getting top billing in today’s internet can be hard. Let’s be honest, if it was easy then a caveman could do it. With all due respect [...]

How clearly defined goals translate to success
6 min read

How Clearly Defined Goals Translate To Success

August 23rd, 2022

It is surprising how often we run across business that have not taken the time to clearly define their goals before making a change in their [...]

How not knowing about these free online marketing tools makes you a rookie
5 min read

How Not Knowing About These Free Online Marketing Tools Makes You A Rookie

August 23rd, 2022

There is an old saying, “The right tools can make a man,” and that also conveys well to businesses where the right tools can make you [...]

Why Expectation Factors Could Be Ruining Your Conversions
Share On:
Newsletter Sign Up

"*" indicates required fields

0 of 60 max characters
0 of 60 max characters

Ready To Grow Revenue?

Digital Experiences That’s Driven Growth Since 1998

"*" indicates required fields

Help My Business*

New York City
112 West 34th Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10120
Long Island
991 Main St.
Suite 200
Holbrook, NY 11741
Washington D.C.
1101 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 450
Washington, DC 20036
424 Church St
Suite 2000
Nashville, TN 37219
Los Angeles
1100 Glendon Avenue
17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90024
1221 Brickell Ave
Suite 900
Miami, FL 33131
170 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
919 E. Main Street
Suite 1000
Richmond, VA 23219
Video popup bg
Important Message from our
Co-Founder Ken Braun

"*" indicates required fields

12 Best Tech Website Designs in 2024