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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

“What a pity, there are so many errors!” What mistakes really matter to consumers?

Published: May 28, 2019


Brigitte Müller, University of Toulon, IAE, Cergam; Christelle Martin-Lacroux, Université Grenoble Alpes, Cerag; Alain Lacroux, Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France, IAE


spelling and typographical errors; brand attitude; website trust


In a context of intensification of the use of professional writing and decrease in spelling performance of students and employees, our study aims to highlight how spelling and typographical errors on a commercial website may impact a company and the brand. 1991 respondents were randomly assigned to one of three conditions (no errors, typographical errors and spelling errors) when visiting a website. Results suggest that they only identified typographical ones and that this kind of errors had a detrimental impact on both the attitude towards the brand and trust in the website. By using a sub-sample of people being able to really spot the errors, we also demonstrate the negative impact of spelling errors. Implications for companies are discussed.