Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

new ideas and thoughts about the online retail world

Author Archive

Riding Coattails is Clever

leave a comment »

Fact 1: 100 million people watched the super bowl this year.

Fact 2: The shark to the left of Katy Perry made a great impression on popular culture.

Fact 3: knows online shoppers have an attention span of 5 seconds, tops.

Fact 4: The one thing wants new site visitors to know is that they offer free shipping over $39.99, guarantee lowest prices, and have excellent customer service.

Combine Facts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and you get this—


Nearly every visitor to homepage will notice the shark graphic, and by association, the assurance message next to it.  And that’s the whole point.

Only thing I don’t like: Combining shark message with President’s Day sale message might be a mistake.

Written by betterretail

February 16, 2015 at 5:44 am

I Know Nothing

with 8 comments

Because I’ve been obsessing over ecommerce for 8 years I often erroneously start believing I’m an expert.  I’m not.  Case in point— on my virtual stroll through ecommerce stores I stumbled on  Please stop reading, visit their homepage and return in 10 seconds.  I didn’t take seriously because it was obviously a “small” site with a “1995” look.  For laughs I checkout out their visit stats (—


In 5 seconds flat my smile was gone.  Please help me understand why this site has so much traffic.  And if they have so much traffic what could have convinced the owner to never redesign?  I mean, at first look it seems like the site has tons of “friction”.  But maybe I’m totally wrong.  Maybe the owner of understands something about online shoppers I never well.

PS: Their customer service email ID is  I would never buy from a site where their customer service ID was  But I guess that’s just me.

Written by betterretail

February 9, 2015 at 5:48 am

Posted in uncategorized

Tagged with

What’s Better Than Customer Reviews? …

leave a comment »

… reviews of customers who live near you. understands this and that’s why they have a cool feature called “Search For Reviews In Your Zip Code:”—


The shopper can enter their zip code and see listing of reviews of shoppers near them—


Basically re-sorts reviews starting from the searcher’s zip code.

This is a good tactic for sites that have a large number of geographically wide customer reviews.

Written by betterretail

February 2, 2015 at 5:13 am

Posted in uncategorized

Tagged with ,

It’s the Way in Which You Say It That Matters

leave a comment »

There are two ways to let your shoppers know an item isn’t available.



5x better—


Written by betterretail

January 26, 2015 at 5:31 am

Posted in uncategorized

Tagged with

Correlation Does Not Imply Causation

with 2 comments

Humans are evolutionarily predisposed to see patterns, we confuse coincidence with correlation and correlation with causality.  Always keep this in mind when studying your analytics data.

Fun example— pirates cause global warming:


Written by betterretail

January 19, 2015 at 5:42 am

Posted in uncategorized

Tagged with ,

VIP Priority Processing

with 3 comments

Noticed something new and am not sure if it’s a bad idea or a brilliant one.  On when you add an item to cart, and start checkout process, this popup appears—


At one level it feels brilliant because $2.95 is a small enough fee but at the same time I feel it may end up annoying anyone who doesn’t want to take the offer.  What do you think?

Written by betterretail

January 12, 2015 at 5:36 am

Posted in uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Small Tweaks Are Amazingly Powerful

with 2 comments sells scuba gear and offers free returns all year round. But they understand during holiday gift buying season non-scuba divers are on their site buying for scuba divers, so they make 1 small tweak to their free returns message—


Every time you change a word to something that relates to the shopper’s state of mind it gets their attention. This is an important detail.

Written by betterretail

January 5, 2015 at 5:07 am

Posted in uncategorized

Tagged with


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers