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On my e-commerce website I create many sale event/campaign related categories which are put offline after a specific event/campaign is over. Lots of customers bookmarks those category page and then they got 'Page Not Found' page when they try to visit that category after the event is over.

What would be the best custom experience?

  1. Present 'Page Not Found' with information that category they try to visit does not exist and present a list of links to related categories.
  2. Redirect customers straight to the "closest" category (I can make that guess by checking URL) without letting them know that the category they were trying to visit does not exist any more.
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

A simple "Page Not Found" error should be avoided wherever possible, as it has very little use.

A better option would be to show a page letting your customer know that the campaign has ended but also show them the content that you think they are most likely to be interested in given their interest in the campaign. Or if you have other similar campaigns currently active, you could like them to these.

Although not as bad as a simple "Page Not Found" error, redirecting people to a page that they weren't looking for is bad UX in general, as it creates a disconnect between what the person does and what happens.

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I would use option no 3 and continue on your idea of the closed category of the campaign and let the users know that this campaign is over - but the products are still there to be bought to a regular prize.

  • This way you let your customers know that these products was actually part of a campaign, which has now ended. You keep the customer informed - at all times.
  • Second, you still let the users know that they still can buy the products, and you do not loose revenue.
  • And third, you subconsiously let the user know that campaigns doesn't last forever, and if they want the campaign prize they need to be quick.
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