Don’t Let Amazon Eat Your Lunch

We can’t force shoppers but we can certainly gently nudge them.

If a visitor to your site leaves for your Amazon page you are basically paying an affiliate tax that was yours to keep.

Can this be prevented? Let’s look at a product page on

They have an impossible to miss Buy from button. On click, you are taken to their Amazon page. Goodbye margins.

Here is what we would have done if was a client. When a shopper clicks Buy from we’ll show this popup:

Buying Time

Have a look at your site data. You’ll find a majority of visitors spend comically low time on the site. Typically under 3 minutes.

Think about your own behavior. How much time do you typically spend on new sites? Are you going to read this whole article?

When I visit a site, even if my intention is to stay, I end up exiting too soon. And we know time on site is one of the biggest indicators of future conversion rates.

Could this be happening on your site too? You can bet your last dollar.

As marketers, our #1 goal needs to be to drive up quality time on site. Keyword being quality.

So how does one know what’s a good time target?

A good place to start is to create a segment of paid search traffic (non retargeted). From the group exclude site users who spend less than 20 seconds and visit less than 2 pages. Calculate the average time on site for this segment. That’s your starting target.

Let’s say this number is 5 minutes and 18 seconds.

Ask yourself: how can we get shoppers to spend more time on the site?

Priming is a good tactic.

My company sells conversion optimization services. Businesses consider conversion optimization a damn important business goal. Naturally, they will want to invest time to study my credentials. This would be what their rational brain would say. Yet, the typical time on my site for a new visitor is under 1.5 minutes. Are my customers superhumans capable of completing due diligence in 90-seconds? I’m skeptical. So I could use priming on the site. Here is how it would work. When someone visits Frictionless Commerce they’ll see a banner with 4 button options (red banner below):


We know what people actually do (spend an average of 1.5 minutes on my site) but guess which option they’ll pick? That’s right, they’ll click the [As long as it takes] button.

But that isn’t the fun part. The fun part is what happens after they make this selection. Because now when the visitor’s  irrational brain wants to bail at the 90-second mark the rational side will chime in:


Most will feel so conflicted they’ll end up spending 80% more time on the site.

Learn more about Frictionless Commerce.

Getting More Recurring Plan Signups

Our objective is to get people to buy the monthly auto-ship plan (and not the one-time option).

Here is the control (what’s online now):


Everything is laid in front of the user. This can cause analysis paralysis (too many options). Also, the shopper is likely to pick the one-time option because they don’t want to get into a monthly membership.

I had an idea to make this better. This is what I would have done if I was working on this site.

We added a priming treatment. The idea is to activate System 2 for the shopper. Where System 1 cares about the short-term (impulsive emotional side), System 2 cares about the long-term (rational side).

Now when the user reaches the product page we show a welcome message and ask them to make a selection:


This activates System 2. We fully expect most shoppers to select, “I want to change my life for the long term” option. Who wouldn’t? When they do that we show them this screen (notice we’ve eliminated the one-time purchase option):

Test_Option_2.pngThe user will be surprised but immediately remember, “Oh that’s right, I did say I wanted long-term benefits”. It’s now 7% more likely people will stick with this choice.

If the shopper had selected “I’m looking for benefits on the short term” they would have seen this:


Divide and Conquer is a startup that sells cultured meat. Cultured meat is made from animal cells, without the use of the animals themselves. It is biologically the same as the meat that comes from animals, but way better for the environment.

Their homepage is genius. They show one question with 2 choices:


2 noteworthy observations:

1: Our brain is designed to solve problems, so seeing a question gets our attention.

2: No matter which option you pick Meat is delicious or Stop animal suffering the answer is the same: eat Supermeat.