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.

Unique Chat Prompt

Chat is an incredibly valuable tool. If your site has chat you know chat conversion rates are at least 2x site average. On the flip side, however, chat utilization is typically low. To boost usage some sites show a persistent floating chat prompt or pop open a chat message that says something like, “We can help you …”. These tactics are OK. But what squadhelp.com does is great. When the user first lands they show an open chat prompt but the first thing presented to the visitor is their “How Squadhelp works” video:

Chat_Prompt.png

This is clever because the video warms the user, and a warm visitor is much more likely to engage in chat.

Before/After

Miracle Method specializes in restoring tubs, ceramic tile, and countertops. When you visit their homepage you’ll see this nifty before/after widget (screenshot):

MiracleMethod_HP

My video to describe how widget works:

They could have just shown a video but adding a sliding bar that the user controls is what makes it effective. Remember: conversion rates go up when users feel they are driving the experience.

Using Email for Word-of-mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is so powerful.  But it’s hard to get right.

Here is an idea I thought up:

DANAT is a gourmet chocolate manufacturer (not a real company).  Their fans absolutely love them but only 0.005% of chocolate lovers in the US even know of DANAT.  DANAT could spend on spray and pray marketing but they want to use their marketing dollars wisely.  DANAT wants to reach friends of DANAT fans.

So they send their super fans an email with an interactive map.  The teaser copy reads, “Can you think of 1 close friend who would love DANAT?  Where does this friend live?”:

DANAT_Map

The reader feels compelled to interact with the map (all humans feel compelled to interact with interactive maps).  Picking a state takes them to a landing page.  For the sake of argument assume they click Michigan.  This is what they’ll see on landing page:

DANAT_LP_Message

When they visit this page a cookie is set.  That way if visitor returns to email and clicks on some other state the site recognizes the cookie and prevents user from making an alternate selection.