What’s Better Than Customer Reviews? …

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

Lifesourcewater.com_Review

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

Lifesourcewater.com_Result

Basically lifesourcewater.com 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.

You Decide

Backcountrygear.com has a page called WAYS TO SHOP–

Backcountrygear.com_ways_to_shop

Here a shopper can specify a criteria they care the most about (like buying American made or lightweight items). This leads them to a page that lists all items that match the criteria.

Behavioral studies show that once people make a decision they tend to stay consistent with it. On this page a shopper has to choose between shop green and sale items. By picking shop green they are making the choice that environment matters more to them than item price. I wonder what impact that choice has on their price sensitivity?

Filter Options

The more filter options you offer, the more confident I’ll feel in finding the perfect product. Here are the filter options backcountry.com shows for winter jackets–

Not only is this filter format helpful, it gives backcountry.com a hidden benefit. When I landed on backcountry.com I was ‘generally’ looking for winter jackets. After seeing the screenshot above I realized I wanted a windy weather jacket. Backcountry literally changed my search criteria.

Gift Ideas

MetroKitchen.com is a site that specializes in cookware.  They have a simple, yet very effective Gift Ideas page …

… where shoppers select a relevant option and see a list of highly targeted gifts.

Opportunity: On “For wine fans” page (for example) MetroKitchen.com just lists products–

Which means I have to click the first item, read description, hit back button, click the second item, etc.  I wish they had presented Wine Gifts in this format …

… so the shopper could read a short description for each product and then visit product page to make purchase.

Building More Top Lists

I’m a huge fan of top lists and believe every ecommerce site should slice and dice top lists in as many ways as they can imagine. There is no bad top list and no limit to how many you can create. Today I visited aveda.com and discovered 5 new ways to slice a list:

– Travel Favorites
– Award Winners
– Pro Picks
– Editor’s Picks
– Recently Launched

… Nice. Here is a screenshot:

Related articles: Our top 10 most desired items, Gift shoppers are different, Top sellers, Top seller lists

Our Top 10 Most Desired Items

There are products that sell well and then there are those that people desire. And while any retailer can list their hottest sellers have you ever seen one list their top ‘10 most desired items’?

Before we jump ahead, let’s define a desired item. A desired item is:

– An item on whose product page customers spend inordinate time
– An item that tends to get ‘forwarded to a friend’ most often
– An item that is most frequently tagged on an external sites like thisnext.com
– An item that tends to get the highest number of shopping cart abandonments
– An item that is most often added to customer wish lists

To sum it up, these are items that people dwell over, but never manage to pull the trigger on. And thanks to the wonders of online measurability we can now capture this behavior on a real time basis.

As I’ve said before (here and here) every marketer at an ecommerce site must spend time thinking up clever top 10 lists. You can build this ‘desirability’ list by using any combination of weighted averages from the list above or add other attributes to build a fully custom desirability list that better represents your product-line and shoppers.

For an etailer like vintagetub.com, where products tend to be higher consideration items, this would be particularly effective. Premium products are different and people who buy them are not necessarily as drawn to what sells the most as they are to what is desired the most.

What do you think? Do share.

Update: Mike Johnson had a great addition:

Instead of 10 most desireable items, I’d like to see the 10 coolest uses/installations (in the case of the bathtubs) modifications, etc. to products–I think the case study mode is more effective at getting to the “me too” state. Example: http://www.shedshop.com/testimonials/shed_contest/2008/index.html