Welcome

Of all customer segments first-time visitors are most important.  Why? Because these customers have an unfilled need which they’re trying to fill on your site.  It’s fair to assume first-time visitors know very little about you.  One of the first and most important steps in the conversion process is building confidence in a new visitor.  One can do this many ways-

a) Offer a $ discount
b) Invite them to read your About Us page
c) Show them your points of assurances (BBB, Hacker Safe, BizRate etc)

In this post I’d like to discuss what designerplumbing.com does.  Instead of clamoring for attention the moment you reach their homepage they wait for visitors to get to a category page (clear sign of intent).  Once you get to category page they display a well written, concise and relevant welcome message-

Here is the clever part- instead of shoving the intro to every category page and making it look fake the company uses cookies.  Intro message only appears for the first category visited by a first-time visitor.  Once I clicked out of Kitchen Sinks and visited other categories I didn’t see the message.  When I returned to Kitchen Sinks the welcome message wasn’t there either.

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Building Confidence Every Step Of The Way

While registering a LLC on LegalZoom.com I was given customer testimonial encouragement every step of the way (observe red boxes):

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Strength In Numbers

Shoppers like to know other shoppers have purchased from an e-tailer before.  This is why customer reviews are so effective.  But, as Jared Spool eloquently demonstrated in his Revealing Design Treasures presentation roughly 1,300 purchases generate 1 review, so for many smaller e-tailers product reviews are often empty.  But that does not mean we can’t build trust in a visitor.  Lewisbamboo.com does something quite impressive.  First, if you scroll down on their orders page you’ll find this wonderful snippet:

And then, clicking the 722 cities link takes you to this page:

This is just a snippet, you can see the whole list here.

Do I have proof this strategy improves conversions? No.  Is it reassuring to someone about to pull the credit card trigger?  I’m pretty sure it is.

PS: I hope they update the date from 2006.

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