Site Search

If your site has a search box and a user enters multiple search terms (one after another), it tells us two things: a.) they are motivated, b.) they are having a difficulty locating their target item.

When this happens you need to show them a really well-written message that suggests they speak with a product specialist. These people are frustrated, serious buyers.

Think Different

1: Brick and mortar retail is really cost intensive.

2: Brick and mortar retail can’t compete again Amazon.com.

3: With brick and mortar retail one has to sign long-term storefront leases.

4: Enter Bulletin (bulletin.co).

5: Bulletin takes the flexibility of ecommerce and brings it to brick and mortar world.

6: The advantage of a retail store is the idea of unexpected discovery. Online, if people don’t think about searching the product you sell then they’ll likely never find you. Few examples: gelpro.com, skiersedge.com, excaliburdehydrator.com and pitbarrelcooker.com.

7: With Bulletin any of these retailers could rent space at a Bulletin store and allow shoppers to stumble and experience their product.

8: And it’s just like your own online store. If someone buys your pit barrel cooker from a physical store you will get that customer’s info. So you can manage that relationship moving forward.

9: Basically, ideas like Bulletin are helping take brick and mortar from being an inflexible high fixed cost model to highly flexible utility like solution.

10: Expect a lot more innovation in this space.

Copy Sells

We know that making a connection with the consumer can increase conversions through price points, warranties and guarantees and promotional freebies, but have we overlooked a more powerful connection?

Joshua Glenn is writer, editor and brand analyst and Rob Walker is also a writer and contributor to the New York Times. These two creatives came up with an idea to test how the value of an object, or one might say “junk”, is perceived when it is sold with a story. A fictional short story.

They named the experiment The Significant Object Project (nicknamed the quasi-anthropological experiment). They invested about $130 to purchase items like the Flannel Ball at second-hand stores, rummaging through junk drawers, garages that store garbage bags of who-knows-what to sell in their online Ebay auction. They invited over 200 writers to tell a story about each tchotchke, written without truth, but with a charm that becomes the emotional connection between the audience and the object.

Many of the auctioned items were marked with a starting price well under a dollar. The original price of the Tiny Message in Bottle was 33 cents (some may think 33 cents more than it was worth). The final bid was 19 dollars! That’s an increase of 5,757%.

Some examples:

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Story of how a TINY MESSAGE IN BOTTLE engrossed triplets over living life. Original price: 33 cents. Final price: $19.00.
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Story of the COW CREAMER named Norman. Original price: $1. Final price: $26
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Story of a FLANNEL BALL that is weighted and weightless. Original price: $1.50. Final price: $51.00

This project by Glenn and Walker emphasizes that we can’t discount the importance of creative copy. It can add significant measurable value.

Why Curiosity Matters

Bob Moesta is a curious person. He was involved in home building and selling condos. His condos were designed based on the stated needs of their target audience (ranch style, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, granite countertops, hardwood floor, etc.) But still, a big percentage of interested people didn’t pull the trigger.

Bob wanted to understand why.

He discovered people who were moving into this condo were moving from bigger homes and were anxious about the downsizing process. They simply didn’t know how to pack up 20 to 30 years of stuff that had been collected. Important, nostalgic stuff. They didn’t know how to purge collected memories. So people would say things like, “Boy, we don’t know how we’re going to downsize. We’ll need to cancel on the condo because we need another year to figure out how to downsize”.

Here is what Bob did: he raised the price of the condo and included (in price of condo) moving plus 2 years of storage. Result? Sales went up 17%.

Be more like Bob when thinking about your ecommerce business.