Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

new ideas and thoughts about the online retail world

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Reducing Checkout Friction

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An incredibly large number of shoppers abandon during checkout.

On the first half of their visit (homepage, category page, product page and add to cart click) shoppers are building a mental case for buying an item.  During second half of visit (cart page, shipping and billing page) they’re building a case to not buy.  During this phase even the slightest inconvenience could derail the purchase process.

Typing out shipping/billing info is a pain.  Every typed letter adds friction.  This is why this address field was so great (screenshot below).  I just started typing the first 10 alphabets and an address match appeared on the dropdown menu—

Getsignals.com_Form

This saved me an additional 22 types.  Seems like it small detail.  It isn’t.

The great news is that Google has a free API for address autocomplete functionality.  You can see video explanation here (I’ve set video start to point when example is demonstrated)— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSdM3yZkj1w#t=260

See live interactive example here— https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/examples/places-autocomplete-addressform

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October 27, 2014 at 5:16 am

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No Michigan Sales Tax

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Personalization works—

Vineyardvines.com_HP

When I see a message like screenshot above (pointed by blue arrow) the thought that crosses my mind is, “Michigan residents don’t have to pay sales tax.  I’m a Michigan resident.  Awesome.”

Turns out, this kind of location based targeting is pretty simple.  Just add a piece of free javascript code (https://freegeoip.net/) to your site and then the code will know the visitor’s state by looking up their IP address.

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October 20, 2014 at 5:18 am

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All Conversion’s Aren’t Created Equal

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I’ve had a thought float in my mind a long time, but never managed to figure out a way to express it.  Now thanks to Smriti Chawla from VWO (who pointed me in the right direction) and Rand Fishkin (who beautifully described it) I can just link to my thought— http://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/xq1iovyyaa

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October 13, 2014 at 5:26 am

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We All Make Mistakes

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I was looking for a replacement cartridge for my HP printer. So I ran a Google search …

HP_Search_PPC

… and clicked HP’s paid ad (the blue box in screenshot above is a perfect match for my search term). Here is HP’s landing page—

HP_Landing_Page

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October 6, 2014 at 5:16 am

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Paid Service

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Allrecipes.com is a great site where members submit and rate recipes.  They have a paid plan.  If you want your customers to signup for a paid plan don’t talk about features that are down the road, no one cares about that—

Allrecipes.com_PRO

Written by betterretail

September 29, 2014 at 5:14 am

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Remembering Learnings

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This is a slightly longer post.

I’m sure you learn a new thing about your online business 2 or 3 times a week (if not more).  When that lesson happens what do you do?  Do you just internalize it or note it down?  If you note it down are you noting it in a format that an intern could easily read or grasp, or are you writing it down for just yourself?

The fact is that 90% of these daily lessons evaporate into nothingness, which is why I strongly recommend noting them down and making note in a language that someone totally inexperienced could read and make sense of.  I use a dead simple free site called http://30boxes.com/.  I’ve been using it since 2010.  The site has a very simple interface, it’s essentially a page with 30 boxes, one for each day of the month.  If you click a box a popup appears where you can type in your daily learning.  The lesson needs to be written in a summarized format (around 7 words).  You can use Bitly.com to add a short link to a Google Doc for lessons that are more detailed, but my advice is to keep things simple.

I make it a point to note one lesson a day.  It’s not always easy to do because some days I feel I didn’t learn anything new, but that’s not true.  I just need to think through my day and a lesson will pop.  If you want to keep your learnings private just mark them as ‘private’.  I personally don’t think this is needed because your calendar is only accessible via your login and password.

Every 30 days I have a calendar reminder to review daily learnings.  I randomly scroll back, select a month, and go over the lessons for that month.  It never takes more than 5 minutes and always ends up reminding me of a few forgotten lessons.  It’s also a great way to have a reality check.  Sometimes I just feel my mind isn’t learning anything new but when I go through daily learnings it immediately dispels that myth.  We ARE learning all the time, we’re just not cataloging it properly.

Another cool benefit is that if I vaguely remember a lesson but want more detail 30boxes.com has a search box where you can enter the name of the idea (for example “reactivation email”) and see every idea with the phrase “reactivation email” in it.

Written by betterretail

September 22, 2014 at 5:45 am

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Cleverest Email Signup

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I felt I had seen every tactic possible to goose email signups (example, example, and example).  Then I saw this clever tactic on basspro.com.  Below their main advertisement banner they have a giant SOLD OUT! sign for a $10 catch of the week item—

Basspro_Email_Signup

A naive person would think it’s silly to waste so much homepage real-estate promoting an item shoppers can’t even buy (it’s sold out).  But basspro.com isn’t naive, they understand human psychology and know shoppers hate the idea of missing out of something (even if they weren’t really interested in this particular item).  Basspro.com isn’t advertising a sold-out item, they’re advertising a solution for shoppers who never want to feel like they’ve missed out on a deal.  That’s what they’re using this vital homepage real-estate for.

Written by betterretail

September 15, 2014 at 5:15 am

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