Retail, in the eyes of the everyday customer

new ideas and thoughts about the online retail world

Fear Tactics

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


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’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 lately.  So I clicked the ‘unsubscribe’ link in this email footer.  The next page changed my mind—


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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 …


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


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


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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—


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 does.  On their homepage they have this floating tab call-to-action—


And on click it expands out to—


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

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March 2, 2015 at 5:29 am

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Compare and Contrast

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Few facts about online shoppers—

1: They are impatient and unexcited about reading your 2,000 word product description.

2: They hate making a bad purchase decision, but the alternative of comparing multiple products on multiple sites isn’t ideal either.

To solve for 1 and 2 consider adding an infographic like this on your product page—


Click for zoomed view

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February 23, 2015 at 5:15 am

Riding Coattails is Clever

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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

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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.

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February 9, 2015 at 5:48 am

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