Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

new ideas and thoughts about the online retail world

Author Archive

Virtual Greeter

with 3 comments uses a virtual greeter on their homepage—


On your first visit the greeter reads a standard welcome script, lists brands carried and assures lowest prices. But if you exit and return to site her message changes to, “Still browsing? Confused about different compression levels and styles? Call us toll-free at (877) 330-5900. Speak to our experienced certified fitters. I’m very confident you will get all your questions answered.”

Is the virtual greeter a good idea? Is it  too gimmicky? Would you use it on your site? Why do you like/dislike the idea of greeter video? Currently, the video on auto-plays. Would it have been more effective if video appeared in paused mode?

Written by betterretail

May 12, 2014 at 5:19 am

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Clever Way to Capture Email

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On this popup appears on landing pages—


Couple observations—

1: Well designed.  Design matters.

2: Creates sense of urgency via Limited Time ONLY! banner.  Could be more effective if they showed dynamic date.  Example— Offer Ends [current date + 4].

3: They use a non-generic promo code (0EC211Y8IJ).  This is an important detail because when shoppers see generic coupon codes they tend to assume they’re freely distributed, a promo code like 0EC211Y8IJ looks special.

4: “We’ve applied your coupon, start shopping and save!”— clever.  The shopper doesn’t have to worry about manually entering coupon code since it’s been applied preemptively.  I did notice that on their cart page they show the discount …


… but don’t clarify that this discount is the automatically applied discount.  I’d clarify that through simple messaging tweak.

5: WANT TO SHOP LATER?— this is a super important detail.  Many people who are seeing this popup might not be ready to use the coupon code today.  Offering the convenience of emailing that coupon code to the shopper is a win-win for both parties.

Written by betterretail

May 5, 2014 at 5:23 am

When Something Needs to Be Highlighted, Highlight the Heck out of It

leave a comment » is proud of their free shipping free returns policy.  So they want to ensure every visitor sees it.  When you first land on their homepage (does not repeat during session) they play a short but prominent animation to highlight free shipping free returns (top right corner of video below)—

Written by betterretail

April 28, 2014 at 5:33 am

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Interesting— Pay with Two Debit/Credit Cards

with 2 comments presents an interesting option on their payment page (red arrow in screenshot below)—


When “Pay with two debit/credit cards” is clicked an additional payment option appears where you can split payment between two credit/debit cards—


Does this add friction or solve a problem?

Written by betterretail

April 21, 2014 at 5:37 am

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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.

Written by betterretail

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

with 9 comments

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.

Written by betterretail

March 24, 2014 at 5:25 am

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Words are Powerful

with 2 comments

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


Written by betterretail

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


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