Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

new ideas and thoughts about the online retail world

Why eCommerce Is Such a Big Deal

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The magic of ecommerce is that it allows a retail entrepreneur to launch a virtual store that would have failed as a brick and mortar space. For example, livingstonepillow.com is a site that sells pillows shaped like pebbles. This is an idea that only appeals to 0.01% of US shoppers–

Livingstonepillow.com

It would be silly to open a retail store for this product because only 2 people in a 10 mile radius would be interested in buying what livingstonepillow.com sells. But online this 0.01% could be a nice audience size for a niche business because 0.01% works out to 32,000 people.

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August 31, 2015 at 5:46 am

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Oops! Please accept our apologies …

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Not sure if this is a ‘real’ technical glitch but I bet the email performed really well.  Email from Lucky Brand–

Lucky Brand Email

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August 24, 2015 at 5:05 am

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Graphs are Powerful

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If you’re running a super efficient business (and ecommerce is way more efficient than traditional retail) then you’re offering shoppers excellent savings. But, if you don’t explain ‘how’ these savings are possible shoppers might associate low prices with poor quality.

Saatvamattress.com uses a simple visual technique to communicate the amazing savings they offer–

Saatva brings its luxurious mattresses to you for up to 70% off the price of comparable beds found in stores. As an online-only retailer, we eliminate the costs and waste associated with the traditional mattress market, including rent, commissions, inventory inefficiency, and utilities.

Price_Comparison

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August 17, 2015 at 5:26 am

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Orders of Magnitude

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Most online retailers smile when they hit 30,000 Facebook fans.

Rareseeds.com sells heirloom seeds.  Not only do they have 469,000 Facebook fans they also have 5,300 customers who’ve given them 5 out of 5 stars on Facebook reviews.  That’s five thousand three hundred five star ratings.  Think about that for a minute–

Rareseeds.com_5_Star_Ratings

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August 10, 2015 at 5:17 am

Hardest Working Customer Service Rep in the World

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I don’t know her name but someone give her a raise–

reponline

Either that or someone is misusing stock images.

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August 3, 2015 at 5:29 am

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Taking a Stand Right on Their Homepage

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This might not be the most elegant approach, but it works (pointed by red arrows)—

Homepage_Message

Click to see larger image

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July 27, 2015 at 5:19 am

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Starting the Process

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The most important step in driving conversion rates is to get the shopper to take an action that clearly demonstrates interest.  It doesn’t have to be a big action, the smallest of actions will do.

Something magical happens once an action is taken.  When a visitor first lands on the site their personal investment is 0, and with 0 investment you have 0 relationship with the visitor.  This is terrible for the business.  However, moment the visitor takes a concrete action things start to change.  It might not be big enough to make a purchase but it’s infinitely more valuable than 0.  To see an example of this strategy I’m sharing a screenshot from ontimeairfilters.com homepage.  Ontimeairfilters.com is a website that sells a simple product— filters.  Here is their homepage—

Ontimeairfilters.com_HP

You’ll notice that the first thing they do is ask shoppers where they live (“Do You Like In A …”).  I tried both options and the results page is identical, which makes me think this question doesn’t really have a business purpose.  But I bet it meets a big psychological purpose because moment the shopper makes a selection (home or condo/apt) they are unconsciously starting the process of engagement.

And don’t assume such a tactic can only work for a site that sells filters.  It can work for any site.  Here is another example (notice the dropdown question)—

Gardensalive.com

And here is an example from freedomvoice.com.

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July 20, 2015 at 5:35 am

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