Why Curiosity Matters

Bob Moesta is a curious person. He was involved in home building and selling condos. His condos were designed based on the stated needs of their target audience (ranch style, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, granite countertops, hardwood floor, etc.) But still, a big percentage of interested people didn’t pull the trigger.

Bob wanted to understand why.

He discovered people who were moving into this condo were moving from bigger homes and were anxious about the downsizing process. They simply didn’t know how to pack up 20 to 30 years of stuff that had been collected. Important, nostalgic stuff. They didn’t know how to purge collected memories. So people would say things like, “Boy, we don’t know how we’re going to downsize. We’ll need to cancel on the condo because we need another year to figure out how to downsize”.

Here is what Bob did: he raised the price of the condo and included (in price of condo) moving plus 2 years of storage. Result? Sales went up 17%.

Be more like Bob when thinking about your ecommerce business.

Choreographed User Experiences

We all know how important user experiences are. But what about choreographed user experiences? They’re even more important. Let me explain …

Imagine you’re an author who has written an excellent mystery novel with 12 chapters. Would you let your readers read the chapters in any order they please (chapter 8 followed by chapter 2)? Or would you demand that they read starting in sequence, from chapter 1?

It’s very similar for your ecommerce site. Yes, we want to give our visitors freedom to explore our store as they like but make no mistake about it, the sequence in which potential first-time buyers consume your story has a dramatic impact on their overall conversion rates.

Don’t know what the magic sequence is? Here is a template that can be applied to any site:

— The first content first-time buyers need to see is why your product/service is unique.

— The second content first-time buyers need to see if what makes you unique (your story).

— The third content first-time buyers need to see is why they should trust you.

— The fourth content first-time buyers need to see if what happens if the promise you are making isn’t true (risk reversal).

As marketers, we need to ensure all engaged potential first-time buyers “buy” this content (and in that sequence).


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Navigation Speed

Shoppers who navigate your site at a fast pace are fundamentally different from leisurely movers. Do you treat these 2 groups differently? You should.

Fast browsers are typically in pre-research or post-research pre-commit mode. This means they either have just started their shopping journey or are at the end of it and have a shortlist of options but want to make sure they are making an informed decision. If you have prominent advertisements for things like “Download Buyer’s Guide” or “Schedule an In-person Consultation” and they are being ignored it’s because when shoppers are in pre-research or post-research pre-commit mindset they don’t want to engage with options that are time-consuming.

To serve these people create quick consumption content that doesn’t doesn’t add to mental load but powerfully communicates why YOU are the best option.


If you like ideas to boost your conversion rates you should subscribe. You can either email subscribe (option at bottom right corner of the screen) or follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BetterRetail).

Focus on Just 2 things

Marketing is a boundless playground and you can drive yourself nuts trying every flavor of the moment. So you need to narrow your focus. After nearly 8 years of testing I can tell you the only 2 things that matter are answering these 2 questions:

1: How can we do a better job converting first-time buyers?

2: What caused a first-time buyer to place their first order?

These are the only 2 questions that matter. Period.

First_Time_Buyer.png

The 1st question requires a telescope mindset. We’re looking at a big data set and picking up patterns. You will find a lot of valuable data in your Google Analytics.

The 2nd question requires a microscope mindset. It doesn’t matter if your site generates 2 or 45 first-time purchases in a month. What matters is if you specifically understand why transaction ID #4566 occurred. It’s really important we talk to these brave first-time buyers. They have taken a leap of faith on you and we need to understand what switch happened in their mind that caused them to make that leap. There are many forces that push the ‘almost’ shopper to quit, and it’s our job to understand how transaction ID #4566 overcome those opposing forces to place their first order.

These 2 questions are strongly related. By better understanding Question 2 you can better answer Question 1.

Your Free Sales Army

Having a sales force is expensive, which is why only large businesses have them. But, even little ecommerce sites have access to a sales force; their customers. This dormant force can triple the visibility of your brand, and they don’t even need a sales commission.

But, to activate them you need to establish an authentic relationship first. And it’s not like you have to sell a cool item like giantmicrobes.com to have a relationship with customers. Even a vanilla product like “business loans” can have an active customer marketing army.

But your customer’s wouldn’t market for you on their own, even if they love you. The relationship has to be kindled, and the only way to kindle it is to send heartfelt agenda-free custom communications (aka emails). Scott Jordan, CEO of Scottevest.com randomly selects 2 new customers each week and makes a personal “thank you for buying Scottevest customer” video for them. The video isn’t super polished, it doesn’t have to be. But it is 100% authentic and it makes it clear to the buyer that Scott cares about his product and customer.

You don’t have to copy Scott, in fact, you shouldn’t. But you should start thinking about ways in which your product or service is truly remarkable. And don’t think you aren’t remarkable, that’s a slap in the face of the brave shoppers who trusted you with their credit card info. You are remarkable, you just need to spend time thinking about this.

Take 4 weeks thinking about this. It’s a fucking important question.

Once the answer is clear start talking to people who bought from you. Email people who bought 2 years ago and didn’t buy since. Email the new order you had from Birmingham, Alabama 2 days ago. Email the customer who just wrote a review on your Facebook page. Email the person who just placed their 3rd order.

I know, the list looks daunting. You are busy and don’t have time to send personalized emails all day long. Are you planning on spending indefinitely to acquire new customers? Because if you aren’t then you don’t have a choice. So just get over it.

Also, using software automation to get the job done isn’t an option. Stop being lazy. Also, software automation doesn’t work. An online e-tailer had 7 customer reviews on their product page. They were sending the standard template “review request” email to new purchasers, to which hardly anyone responds. They then updated their review request email and made it super personal. The outcome? A 4.6x improvement in customer reviews collected.

If you do this one thing well you will singlehandedly change the trajectory of your business. Do it.