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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.

Written by betterretail

April 27, 2015 at 5:28 am

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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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Something Different

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This post isn’t related to improving website conversion rates, but it’s worth sharing. And maybe this happens all the time but it’s never happened to me. Last week I received a piece of direct mail from nielsen and it included 2 dollar bill notes. Picture—

Direct_Money

Have you ever received marketing mail with cash in it?

Written by betterretail

December 8, 2014 at 5:15 am

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Cart Page Popup

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When new visitors to framesbymail.com add an item to their cart they see this popup on cart page–

framesbymail.com_popup

At first glance this feels like a bad idea (don’t shoppers rate popups?), but it could be a good tactic.

Popup offer is vague (receive a special discount) and according to Jakob Nielsen shoppers search in a hub and spoke format, so new visitors to framesbymail.com are simultaneously looking at competing sites.  Shoppers that see the popup will want to find out what kind of discount they’re going to get.  They’re going to wait till framesbymail.com sends them an email.  That  breaks their search pattern.  It might seem like a small detail but this popup might have the opposite effect of what we experts think, it might just drive up conversions.

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Have a great day.

Rishi Rawat

Written by betterretail

June 24, 2013 at 5:37 am

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Interesting eCommerce Facts

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In October 2007 I wrote a blog post listing 10 ecommerce facts.  Since then, every time a new ecommerce fact comes my way the original article is updated.  The article now has 37 interesting ecommerce facts; check it out– https://betterretail.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/ecommerce-facts/

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December 10, 2012 at 6:01 am

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Something New

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I was doing a Google search and noticed something new on a PPC ad …

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September 14, 2011 at 5:50 am

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