Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

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Quick View. Is It Really Needed?

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It’s very very common for ecommerce stores to show a Quick View option when you mouse over items on subcategory pages—


When Quick View is clicked a lightbox like this appears …


… allowing the shopper to buy directly without having to go to product page.  I can totally see how this makes sense for a heavy repeat buyer who wants to just quickly complete the purchase.  But that’s a very small minority of visitors.  Why I hate Quick View— product images on category pages are shrunk down, and Quick View takes up a fair amount of image screen real-estate.  Thus, it’s highly likely people will end up clicking it accidentally, I know I do.  Run an A/B test where 50% of site visitors see Quick View on sub category pages and 50% don’t.  You will likely see no difference in conversion rates (meaning Quick View has no conversion value).  Now, if you still want Quick View because you think it looks great go ahead and leave it in.

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April 14, 2014 at 5:39 am

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Great Email Marketing Subject Line

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Add a personal annual calendar reminder for April 1st so you too can send an email like this to your list on April 2nd (assuming sending occasional sales emails is part of your email marketing strategy).

Written by betterretail

April 7, 2014 at 5:08 am

Social Sharing

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On when you get to cart page they have a clever design element that shows a partial 5% off coupon code—


On click we see this popup—


The idea is pretty simple, shoppers who are incentivized by the discount can access it by letting their Twitter or Facebook friends know about the order.

Idea described above is a plug and play widget by, so you can implement it on your site too.

Written by betterretail

March 31, 2014 at 5:52 am

A Request

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Please don’t force browsers to show a warning message that could freak shoppers when they land on your site.  I saw this when I visited from my desktop computer—


Without even seeing actual opt-in rates for this pop-up I can bet it’s less than 15%.  And the 15% that do allow to know their location probably click it by mistake.  If you’re going to try a strategy like this please either A/B test it or annotate date of change in Google Analytics and measure bounce rate metrics for first week.  If you see a 10% spike in bounce rate it’s probably due to this location request popup.

Want to see other common mistakes e-tailers make?  Here is a listing of 41.

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March 24, 2014 at 5:25 am

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Words are Powerful

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We are programmed to decline newsletter signup offers.  The copy used by oDesk is an example of how to do it right


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March 17, 2014 at 6:33 am

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Micro Conversions Matter

with 2 comments is a sports nutrition site that sells to people who are into body building and losing weight.  They understand that once a shopper believes in the Labrada brand they’ll buy Labrada nutrition products on a regular basis.  This is why when a new visitor comes to their site they don’t aggressively push product sales.  Their primary goal is to get shoppers to learn more about the brand.  Getting the shopper’s email address is the target.  And this is why their top navigation has a prominent call-to-action for the email signup.  But it isn’t just that, they’ve designed this email signup in a very specific and persuasive way—


1: They’ve shown a picture of Lee Labrada (name behind the brand).  Eye tracking studies show our brains are programmed to zoom in on pictures of faces.
2: Lee Labrada signature has been positioned right next to email signup.
3: They’re offering a 12 Week Body Transformation book as a bonus gift for signup.
4: The picture of Lee Labrada has been strategically positioned so that it is partially obstructed by email signup box.  Think this isn’t deliberate?  Think again.

Written by betterretail

March 10, 2014 at 6:27 am

Come out and Say It

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3ACTIVE is a brand of 3D glasses by Dimensional Optics ( is an e-tailer that competes against Dimensional Optics.  Makes sense so far?  Ok.

I Googled 3ACTIVE and this paid ad appeared on my screen—


With a juicy message like What 3active Owners Wish They Knew. Before Buying – Avoid Regret! it’s impossible to not click the ad.  Clicking the ad takes shoppers to a page where very eloquently explains why doing business with Dimensional Optics is a bad idea.  The page has been cleverly constructed and I recommend you check it out.

Is playing fair?  Who knows?  Is the tactic working? Most likely.  Google certainly doesn’t mind PPC bidding wars.

Written by betterretail

March 3, 2014 at 5:23 am

Coupon Codes Page

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Shari’s Berries ( knows shoppers are trained to hunt for coupon codes.  Instead of having shoppers visit sites like or Shari’s Berries wants to keep coupon searchers on their site.  So they’ve created a page that lists their current coupons.  This is a win-win for both the shopper (convenience) and retailer (saving on affiliate fees, plus preventing a site like from showing a better discount code from competitors.)

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February 24, 2014 at 5:30 am

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Case Study: Make Them See Your Point of View

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As online retailers we want our site visitors to behave a certain way.  Our visitors have their own ideas about what they want to do.  E-tailers who figure out a way to get what they want are the most profitable. sells art supplies.  Most art supply items are fairly inexpensive (averaging $5-$10) so one-time purchases aren’t in the interest of  Art supplies are purchased by artists, and art is a lifestyle so if MisterArt can get a shopper to buy from them exclusively they’ll generate a nice profit over the lifetime of that relationship.  This is why they created a VIP Program which gives shoppers a small discount on each purchase.  The VIP Program costs $25 a year.  MisterArt wants shoppers to purchase this.  Shoppers might not feel as enthusiastic, so MisterArt has a clever tactic.  At every turn they remind shoppers how much they could save if only they were VIP program members.  In itself individual reminders aren’t persuasive enough to generate a signup but each instance nudges the shopper just a little.  Hopefully, by nudge number 4 the shopper will just give in.

Nudge 1 happens at the homepage—


Nudge 2 happens on product page—


At this point the shopper at least wants to see how they could save 30%.  So they click the Learn More link and are transported to sales pitch page.  Here they’re told about the $25/year fee along with nudge 3—


This nudge is a poor one because they are listing how much these shoppers saved in one order.  Since the VIP program has an annual fee it would have been more effective to showcase how much VIP members are saving annually.  Anyway, that’s a minor detail.  Overall, their sales pitch page is quite good.  I’d recommend reading it fully—

Now, if some fool is still not convinced they’re hit with nudge 4 on cart page—


If you liked this post you will also like my case study.

Written by betterretail

February 17, 2014 at 5:51 am

Let Us Call You

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Anything you do that reduces friction will improve conversions.  You know this, and knows this.  That is why on product pages they have this prominent call-to-action—


How does this make a difference, you ask?  Well, shoppers who have unanswered questions have 0% probability of converting; shoppers who have unanswered questions have 15% interest in going trough customer service hoop hell (note: it’s possible that Williams-Sonoma has little to no call wait time, but skeptical shoppers just assume they’ll be on hold a long time, thus the 15% interest in placing the call).  However, when shoppers with unanswered questions are given the option of having a service rep call them (thus no wait time) their interest level spikes to 40%.  This delta of 25% between 15% interest and 40% interest is what has eliminated by displaying a Let Us Call You call-to-action.

Screenshot of popup that appears when button is clicked—


You might not have the call center headcount of, but you can still use this tactic by displaying Let Us Call You call-to-action on select product pages (i.e. product pages that have a high visit count but low conversions or products that are higher ticket items.)

Also, you can set this as a test and measure sales generated via Let Us Call You feature.  Once you know attributed sales it’s easy to determine if leaving the feature is a good idea or not.

Written by betterretail

February 10, 2014 at 7:28 am


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