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Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 at 7:38 am

The Smooth Leg Approach to Conversion

By Melissa Burdon
November 4th, 2008

smooth legsAlthough I try to stay away from using personal and embarrassing topics when writing blog posts, I’m going to share this experience, because it’ll help you think about a few things you should be considering when optimizing your site.

Last night, I went for a last minute shopping expedition, looking for wax strips that are ready to use. I visited three drugstores and a Walmart just to come out empty handed. Wax strips are not something I would think of purchasing online because at the point that I realize I have the need, I don’t really have time to wait for shipping if you know what I mean!

This time, I had no choice. I went to Google and searched for “ready to use wax strips“. The first result was for a product sold by Veet (a brand I know) so I clicked. I was brought to the Veet web site where they don’t actually sell their products through their web. After a thorough search on their site, I finally found a “Where to buy this product” link. The Veet site referred me to an online store: homesolutionsstore.com if I was interested in buying this product online.

Unfortunately this was not a direct link to a product page on this referred site, so I had to use the site search tool. I typed in “veet ready to use wax strips“.

This is their results page:

homesolutionsstorecom veet category oct 29th

They clearly tell me on this page that the item is in stock. The price is very obvious and the call to action “buy now” uses appropriate language, placement and stands out well.

What is missing? A clear link to “Learn More“.

I clicked “Buy Now“.

This is their product page:

veet product page

They make me go through an extra step by bringing me to a product page instead of the shopping cart.

I see the price clearly listed here on the product page but what about shipping? I don’t want to have to add this item to my cart in order to find out how much this is going to cost me for shipping.

They are doing something very right here worth pointing out–> Without knowing that I could save by buying a case, I would have initially only bought a couple of the smaller boxes. Because they offer me the ability to buy the case, they increased the overall purchase value of my order. I added a full case to my cart in order to save the 10%.

This is their shopping cart page:

add to cart oct 29th

The shipping calculator directly on the shopping cart page is valuable to the visitor who wants to find out how much this is going to cost to ship. A downfall is that shipping costs quite a bit and if my average order value had been lower, I would be less likely to spend the amount that they are charging for shipping.

Free shipping would make me a loyal customer because I’m going to have a continuous need for these wax strips and if I can get them at a discounted price online if I buy them in bulk, and I get free shipping on top of this, why would I buy them anywhere else?

What we’ve learned today from my shopping experience:

1. State whether a product is in-stock

2. Clearly establish the price and a clear call to action that stands out very close to the price

3. On a search result page or category page, give the visitor the ability to add an item to their cart or to learn more

4. Give visitors the ability to find out shipping costs on a product page

5. Think of ways you can increase the average order value. If you can offer the visitor a discount to buy more of a product, consider the value of this

6. Consider offering free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount. This may not only increase your average order value, but increase your overall conversion rate because you’re removing another barrier to placing the order.

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Comments (13)

  1. Great report

    As prospects and / or customers, we experience exactly these kind of ‘barriers to buy’ every day, and historically web experiences like this lead to ‘bailing’ on the shopping process and zero conversion (= zero revenue).

    As usability ‘experts’ we can highlight the obvious “Where’s the buy button” and make a change that will increase conversions, it’s much harder, however, to convince clients that internet-based business requires more hand holding and service than traditional business process, simply because you’re not physically there to ensure the process is seamless and as effortless as possible.

    Many clients believe the ‘build it and they will come’ mantra without considering customers’ needs and the support / customer-centric process necessary to empower them, inform them and nurture them throughout the shopping experience.

    Simplicity rules.

    Present. Inform. Educate. Facilitate the sale.

    Make it easy enough, people buy.

  2. Hmm, I think Amazon does all on of those on your list.

  3. Been studying usability for a while and this is just a sad excuse.

    Send them a friendly email saying that you’ll help for a nominal fee.

    Maybe I’ll do it…

  4. Bottom line..be like Amazon?

  5. I am not sure the shoppers are in “Learning mode” when shopping. Other terms should be used like “how to use it” “useful adviced”… depending on the situation.

    Also, been a merchant too, please note that all the free shipping and volume discounts are ultimately just dust in the air because this are just costs that are covered by profit margins.

    Most often price+”free shipping” is way higher than price on another website+standard shipping.

    Unfortunately buyers don’t have time to research anymore.

    Amazon is not so cheap, actually I am selling same products (from a certain category) for a lower price because I accept to have lower margins of profit.

    Bottom line, nowadays the branding is a great way to develop your business.

    Things like product quality, customer support, on time delivery are great ways to keep your business up.

  6. [...] Burdon (who I’m sure has very smooth legs) talks about what improving the likelihood of conversion based on her experience buying leg waxing strips.  Thanks, Melissa! addthis_url = [...]

  7. Free shipping is a killer at the moment. You probably won’t be able to add the shipping onto the price of the product so you’re going to have to swallow the cost of the shipping yourself. Not great when shipping charges are as high as they are now.

  8. Excellent points! I have a hard time expressing my frustration with sites that make me register before I can find out the true costs.

  9. Conclusions – every seller must clearly establish the price. As well he should give visitors the ability to find out shipping costs on a product pag

  10. Good shopping cart is one of the most difficult system to build. Web developers usually don’t check if the shopping cart is user friendly or not.

  11. I think Amazon does all on of those on your list.

  12. Yeah, the old problem of getting your designer to be in the same page with your programmer. Its hard but when it works, you’ve got a winner

  13. Hi Melissa thanks for sharing your experienced this is really informative and helpful to us. God bless.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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