Email Pop-up on 2nd Visit

Many sites show an email signup pop-up when a new visitor lands on their site–

Their logic is sound– let’s capture this customer’s email address ASAP.  That way, even if they don’t buy today we can entice them later via email.  Here is the trouble– when a visitor first comes to your site they know very little about you (i.e. guards are up), their focus is the search query that landed them on your site.  So when you show a pop-up they instinctively close it.  You might be better off showing email signup pop-up on their 2nd visit.  Don’t take my word for it, test both approaches and see which one generates more signups.

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Leveraging Both Quantitative and Qualitative Insights

2 weeks ago I posted an article about Zappos’ new product page layout.  Here is the layout (click image below twice to see enlarged view)–

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This new design was most likely driven by clickstream analysis (quantitive data).  However, if you look closely you’ll see this call to action on the page–

Interface shown above was added so visitors can submit their own feedback (qualitative data).  You see, quantitative data can only answer the “what” (what page element is most important?) but it can’t answer the “why” (why is this page element most important?).  Zappos uses its statistical abilities to create a new design concept but also gathers customer feedback to confirm if the insights unearthed through statistical analysis really matter to shoppers.

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New Product Page

This is a standard product page template–

This standard template is used by 98% of ecommerce sites.  Wisdom of crowds philosophy suggests the widespread adoption of this template is because it’s the most efficient way to display product information. has decided to challenge this view (click image below twice to see enlarged view)–

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What I love about their implementation is that they’ve significantly increased product image size and made customer reviews the most visible content.

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Conversions Explained

Generating a conversion is like filling a 10-quart bucket, where conversion happens moment water spills over.  This is how I look at it– your point of assurances (money back guarantee, low price guarantee, about us page, exclusively carried by us seal, over 5,000 units sold seal, product benefits listed on product pages, etc.) are 1-quart cups.  Every time a visitor interacts with these we add 1-quart to our 10-quart conversion bucket.  We need to add 10 cups to make water overflow and generate a conversion.

If we run a product page test where the variation page has 3 extra point of assurances, and if the test doesn’t lift conversions it doesn’t mean those point of assurances weren’t important.  What it means is that what ever point of assurances the visitor interacted with before reaching this page + the three on this page didn’t add up to 10-quarts.  We just need to address more shopper fears, uncertainties and doubts.

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Measuring the Right Goals

The purpose of a Pay Per Click (PPC) landing page is to incentivize visitors to get deeper into the site.  Let’s say you want to optimize a PPC landing page and design a completely new layout which you A/B test.  The results show that conversion rates went down a little but 12% more visitors reached product pages.  Should we draw the conclusion that the landing page failed because it didn’t lift sales or should we say it was a success because it brought visitors deeper into the site?  If the landing page brought people deeper but those visitors didn’t convert it means the steps after landing page need to be optimized.

Let’s look at another example.  You want to increase sales of a particular product so you rewrite product description and run an A/B test.  For such a test we should set conversion goal as visits to cart page.  The primary job of the test product description is to inspire visitors to add this item to their shopping cart.

My point is that each test has a very specific purpose and test success should be measured based on how well the variation page is able to complete that purpose.

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Long Copy Or Short?

There is a prevalent belief that shoppers don’t read long form copy.  This is a wrong assumption.  What shoppers don’t read is poor long form copy.  But then, they don’t read poor short form copy either. is a subscription service.  The business objective is to generate maximum signups.  This is their current page–

Here is what they tested–

Result: 37.5% increase in net signups over original.  [Screenshots above taken from (]

Even mighty uses long form copy for its top selling Kindle–

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Do What Works For You

If you have a page that converts first time visitors really well then it’s your job to make that page stand out.  The homepage layout of may be unconventional but it’s clear they want visitors to read their About Us info:

What’s really clever about the layout is that while it makes About Us the star it also efficiently highlights other important aspects of the site:

1. Their unique selling proposition is highly visible: Preparing You Today For Tomorrow’s Instability.
2. Popular Products are easily accessible.
3. Free Shipping call to action is impossible to miss.

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