I go into the garage for a hammer. On my way back into the house, I stop for a cold drink and remember that the kitchen trash needs to be taken out for tomorrow’s collection.
Dropping the can at the curb, I turn and notice that the landscaper forgot to turn on the drip irrigation system, so I trot over and flip the switch. I walk back into the house and realize that I forgot to put the cold bottle of water back into the fridge. I open the door and find my hammer, sitting on the top shelf, chilling next to a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
I’m glad I found the hammer. The only question is, “What did I need it for in the first place?”
Welcome to my world. Now in my late forties, I find myself staring down the barrel of menopause and I’m not thrilled about it. It’s not the age that bothers me (it’s only a number) but the havoc it wreaks on my thought process. With four times as many connections between the two sides of the brain, women already have a difficult time concentrating on one thing at a time. Throw in raging hormones and it’s virtually impossible to stay focused. Distraction rules the day.
All to say this: When shopping online, nothing drives a woman battier than putting items into a shopping cart and pushing the “continue shopping” button, only to be sent back to the homepage or a section she’s never visited. What if she wanted to buy the same item in another color? What if the original item page had listed complementary pieces that would go with the one she just ordered?
Imagine shopping in a home supply store. You pick up a light bulb, put it in your basket, and POOF! You suddenly find yourself back at the front entrance with the lighting department positioned all the way at the rear of the store. Do you feel like walking all the way back there just for your next item? Nah, I wouldn’t either. In fact, I can’t seem to remember why we came here in the first place, do you?
If you really want your customer to “continue shopping” on your site, make sure you guide her back to where she really wants to be. Otherwise, she might just might forget what she needed you for and abandon you altogether.
About the author: Michele Miller is co-author of The Soccer Mom Myth — Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys.
[Editor's Note: The image is of Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey, wielding a pink axe in a fake commercial for a fake drug called "Annuale". Pharmaceutical marketers, and anyone with a sense of humor, should watch it.]