Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

new ideas and thoughts about the online retail world

Beautiful Design Can Hurt Conversions

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Here is a screenshot of the top half of mytarp.com—

Mytarp.com_HP

Spend 30 seconds looking at it and tell me which page element grabbed your attention the strongest.








[Don’t scroll down till you’ve made your selection]










For me it was the ugly neon green “Custom Made Tarps” message. Assuming mytarp.com makes highest margin on their custom products (which they most likely do) getting homepage visitors to click “Custom Made Tarps” is a super serious business goal. And I’m pretty sure that ugly neon sign is getting the highest number of homepage clicks.

Had mytarp.com CEO hired a world class graphic designer for $500/hour she would likely have got a really amazing graphical element for “Custom Made Tarps” but it would most certainly have a click-through rate that’s lower than our ugly neon message. But if that $500/hour graphic designer can’t improve custom made tarp sales then what’s their purpose?

Design has diminishing returns. Let’s set 3 design levels— ‘horrible’, ‘neat & clear’, and ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’. If horrible design costs x, ‘neat & clear’ will cost you 2x and ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ will cost you 8x. ‘Horrible’ design hurts conversions so moving from ‘horrible’ design to ‘neat and clear’ is the right thing to do every single time. But the relative difference between ‘neat and clear’ and ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ is so small that it’s pretty much best to avoid ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’. I’m not saying all ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ projects are bad but in order to pull off a ‘mind-blowingly beautiful’ design the ecommerce entrepreneur himself needs to have a very good understanding of great design. If that isn’t you then don’t spend your money on that super amazing designer you heard about. Chances are this designer doesn’t understand ecommerce and will defend his work even if it leads to net lower conversion rates. If you’re the type of ecommerce entrepreneur who doesn’t focus on metrics like conversion rate then you should ignore this post. For the rest of you keep this advice in mind as you plan your next site redesign.

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April 27, 2015 at 5:28 am

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Discount Code Location

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These days many sites have promos where they offer shoppers a discount if they ‘comment on’ or ‘like’ their brand on Facebook.  Most display these promos on landing pages or product pages.  While those location are OK the best idea is to do what saatvamattress.com does, they show their message on cart page, where it has the highest chance to getting the shopper’s attention and generating action—

Saatvamattress.com_cart_page

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April 20, 2015 at 5:29 am

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Add to Cart to See Price

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Sleepdirect.com has an interesting strategy where they let shoppers know a 48 hour sale is in effect but to see discounted price the shopper needs to add item to cart.  Is that a conversion killer or booster?

Sleepdirect.com_Product_Page

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April 13, 2015 at 6:15 am

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Fear Tactics

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I clicked on an abt.com PPC (pay per click) ad and this message caught my attention—

comparison_site_banner

Notice the Purchasing from an unauthorized seller may invalidate your warranty text.

This is a very effective message for a PPC landing page.  Why?  Because the #1 objective of a PPC landing page is to prevent shoppers from hitting ‘back’ button (and reviewing competing ads).  And that’s what abt.com’s warning message accomplishes.

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April 6, 2015 at 6:04 am

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Changing the Minds of Shoppers Thinking of Unsubscribing

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I’ve been getting a lot of emails from michaels.com lately.  So I clicked the ‘unsubscribe’ link in this email footer.  The next page changed my mind—

Michaels.com_Email

Written by betterretail

March 16, 2015 at 5:14 am

7 Reviews Versus 48

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I’ve struggled with product page review counts.  I know going from 0 reviews to 1 with 4.2 stars (or better) improves conversion rates 20% (source).  But, if an item already has 4.5 stars and 7 reviews …

review_count1

… is there additional benefit of collecting 41 more reviews (reaching a total of 48)?

review_count2

Well, it turns out, I don’t need to bother my head with this question any more.  According to research by Reevoo.com 48 reviews is way better than 7 (source)—

impact-of-ecommerce-reviews-on-conversion-rates

Written by betterretail

March 9, 2015 at 5:37 am

Are You Giving Your Top Seller Enough Love?

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Stop everything, open Google Analytics, select 9 month time period and see Conversions—> Ecommerce—>Product Performance report.  It’s highly likely that your top seller sells 2X as many units as the next best seller (Zipf’s law).  Now go to your top seller product page (on your site) and copy page link name.  Return to Google Analytics and go to Behavior—>Site Content—>All Pages report and enter the unique part of your top seller product page link name into this box and hit enter—

GA_All_Pages_Search_Box

This will pull up stats for top seller product page.  Note number listed under Unique Pageviews column.  Now go to Audience—>Overview report and note the number of Users listed.  Divide # Unique Pageviews by Users for the top selling item.  This number will tell you how visible that top selling product page is.  If this number turns out to be more than 12% you’re fine.  If it’s less than 10% you have an opportunity to improve top seller sales.  Think about it, less than 10% of site visitors are currently aware of your top seller.  The reason for this is that there are so many neon signs on your site screaming for the visitor’s attention they get distracted and never reach the one page that really matters.  Solution, do what proactive.com does.  On their homepage they have this floating tab call-to-action—

Proactive_Tab

And on click it expands out to—

Proactive_Top_Selller

This is a very simple tactic to ensure your top seller always gets top visibility.

Written by betterretail

March 2, 2015 at 5:29 am

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