Micro Conversions Matter

Labrada.com is a sports nutrition site that sells to people who are into body building and losing weight.  They understand that once a shopper believes in the Labrada brand they’ll buy Labrada nutrition products on a regular basis.  This is why when a new visitor comes to their site they don’t aggressively push product sales.  Their primary goal is to get shoppers to learn more about the brand.  Getting the shopper’s email address is the target.  And this is why their top navigation has a prominent call-to-action for the email signup.  But it isn’t just that, they’ve designed this email signup in a very specific and persuasive way—


1: They’ve shown a picture of Lee Labrada (name behind the brand).  Eye tracking studies show our brains are programmed to zoom in on pictures of faces.
2: Lee Labrada signature has been positioned right next to email signup.
3: They’re offering a 12 Week Body Transformation book as a bonus gift for signup.
4: The picture of Lee Labrada has been strategically positioned so that it is partially obstructed by email signup box.  Think this isn’t deliberate?  Think again.

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Come out and Say It

3ACTIVE is a brand of 3D glasses by Dimensional Optics (dimensionaloptics.com).  3Dglassesunlimited.com is an e-tailer that competes against Dimensional Optics.  Makes sense so far?  Ok.

I Googled 3ACTIVE and this paid ad appeared on my screen—


With a juicy message like What 3active Owners Wish They Knew. Before Buying – Avoid Regret! it’s impossible to not click the ad.  Clicking the ad takes shoppers to a page where 3Dglassesunlimited.com very eloquently explains why doing business with Dimensional Optics is a bad idea.  The page has been cleverly constructed and I recommend you check it out.

Is 3Dglassesunlimited.com playing fair?  Who knows?  Is the tactic working? Most likely.  Google certainly doesn’t mind PPC bidding wars.

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Case Study: Make Them See Your Point of View

As online retailers we want our site visitors to behave a certain way.  Our visitors have their own ideas about what they want to do.  E-tailers who figure out a way to get what they want are the most profitable.

Misterart.com sells art supplies.  Most art supply items are fairly inexpensive (averaging $5-$10) so one-time purchases aren’t in the interest of misterart.com.  Art supplies are purchased by artists, and art is a lifestyle so if MisterArt can get a shopper to buy from them exclusively they’ll generate a nice profit over the lifetime of that relationship.  This is why they created a VIP Program which gives shoppers a small discount on each purchase.  The VIP Program costs $25 a year.  MisterArt wants shoppers to purchase this.  Shoppers might not feel as enthusiastic, so MisterArt has a clever tactic.  At every turn they remind shoppers how much they could save if only they were VIP program members.  In itself individual reminders aren’t persuasive enough to generate a signup but each instance nudges the shopper just a little.  Hopefully, by nudge number 4 the shopper will just give in.

Nudge 1 happens at the homepage—


Nudge 2 happens on product page—


At this point the shopper at least wants to see how they could save 30%.  So they click the Learn More link and are transported to sales pitch page.  Here they’re told about the $25/year fee along with nudge 3—


This nudge is a poor one because they are listing how much these shoppers saved in one order.  Since the VIP program has an annual fee it would have been more effective to showcase how much VIP members are saving annually.  Anyway, that’s a minor detail.  Overall, their sales pitch page is quite good.  I’d recommend reading it fully— http://www.misterart.com/vip.html

Now, if some fool is still not convinced they’re hit with nudge 4 on cart page—


If you liked this post you will also like my Novica.com case study.

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Let Us Call You

Anything you do that reduces friction will improve conversions.  You know this, and williams-sonoma.com knows this.  That is why on product pages they have this prominent call-to-action—


How does this make a difference, you ask?  Well, shoppers who have unanswered questions have 0% probability of converting; shoppers who have unanswered questions have 15% interest in going trough customer service hoop hell (note: it’s possible that Williams-Sonoma has little to no call wait time, but skeptical shoppers just assume they’ll be on hold a long time, thus the 15% interest in placing the call).  However, when shoppers with unanswered questions are given the option of having a service rep call them (thus no wait time) their interest level spikes to 40%.  This delta of 25% between 15% interest and 40% interest is what williams-sonoma.com has eliminated by displaying a Let Us Call You call-to-action.

Screenshot of popup that appears when button is clicked—


You might not have the call center headcount of williams-sonoma.com, but you can still use this tactic by displaying Let Us Call You call-to-action on select product pages (i.e. product pages that have a high visit count but low conversions or products that are higher ticket items.)

Also, you can set this as a test and measure sales generated via Let Us Call You feature.  Once you know attributed sales it’s easy to determine if leaving the feature is a good idea or not.

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Data Breach + Bad Usability = Worst Possible Combo

Target (the retailer) was hacked recently and 110 million customer records were stolen.  Target took swift action and offered customers free credit monitoring for 1 year.  They sent an email asking customers to visit protectmyid.com and enter their activation code.

Let’s think about this from the perspective of a Target customer.  They are obviously freaking out and any personal information requested by Target is a sore topic.  But I wanted my identity protected so I visited the requested page.  Screenshot of top half of page—


On protectmyid.com I’m required to enter my Social Security number.  That’s a big deal.  I wanted to make sure this was a legitimate site so I scrolled to bottom of page and clicked BBB (Better Business Bureau) link on footer—


Guess what?  The link doesn’t work.  Don’t believe me?  Go to protectmyid.com/target and click BBB (Better Business Bureau) link on bottom half of page.

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Comment Back

If customers leave an unfair review diffuse the situation by responding to their comment (pointed by red arrow in screenshot below)—


Why does this matter?  Because reviews live on forever.  If your site has 100s of products with 1000s of reviews I suggest starting with your top selling items and working backwards.

This might seem like a labor intensive project but if you break it down based on most important products and create a system around it you will quickly be able to work through the list.

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Social Proof on Steroids

37signals.com blog has an excellent example of how social proof can be a conversion catalyst.  Am sharing their post snippet–

There’s a flash flood warning for all of Chicago today. Unfortunately there’s water in my basement (like other Chicago home owners)…

The flood fixing company U.S. Waterproofing has a cool feature on their website. Look at who we’ve helped in your neighborhood–


Back to my post …

See U.S. Waterproofing interface live– http://www.seepage.com/getreco.php?zip=60606

Now, U.S. Waterproofing is a Chicago based company so they are using their Google Map mashup to attract Chicago customers.  But you could do the same for your ecommerce business.  You could export a list of addresses shipped to in the last X years and create a Google Map mashup that places a pin over each shipped destination.  Then, shoppers could zoom in to see different locations in their state where other shoppers have bought your products.

Don’t think it’ll work?  A/B test it.  Don’t know how to A/B test?  Post a comment and I’ll help you out.

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Case Study: Novica.com Product Page

Once a serious shopper is ready, their attention shifts to ADD TO CART area.  Novica has a 5 course meal laid out for them (numbered in screenshot below)-

Course 1: Today’s Price- 99.9% of shoppers pay attention to the product price, which means they notice this hyperlink.  Novica.com uses that click to tell their story.

Suddenly the price becomes a little less important and the human behind the rug comes into focus.

Course 2 and 3: How can a shopper know if $162.99 is a good price? The site does mention ‘real value’ for the item is $305.95, but as a shopper I know this is marketing talk.  I know retailers mark up prices and then give discounts.

What I am familiar with are shipping costs.  Look at what happens when I click “calculate shipping”-

I believe the shipping price of $2.99 is much more effective than making shipping free.  Here’s why: when a retailer makes shipping free my skeptical mind immediately throws this argument, “Why is this guy absorbing all shipping costs? Something doesn’t add up.”  Giving a $2.96 discount is different; in this case my mind imagines, “If the retailer was being sneaky he would have taken the whole shipping price off.  The fact he only took off $2.96 must mean this is the best they can do.”  Note: this is how my mind is interpreting this information.  You should run a test between ‘free shipping’ and ‘discounted shipping’.

Course 4: Only 1 left at this time- This line introduces a sense of scarcity and as we’ve seen in other posts (here and here) scarcity lubricates conversions.

Course 5: “Why are quantities limited?”-

In course 4 novica.com made a claim.  Now they’re explaining it.  I can’t tell you why this works so well on shoppers but it really does.  I did a test where we added a “price explanation” link next to product price.  On click a pop-up described our manufacturing facility and quality ingredients.  We didn’t change the price in any way.  Yet, page conversions shot up 41%.  General conversion rule: the more shoppers are informed, the more they feel they are driving the shopping experience and the better they convert.

At this point the shopper is ready to ADD TO CART.

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