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Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009 at 9:00 am

Help the Visitor Choose: Let Her Click to Compare

By Melissa Burdon
October 21st, 2009

A lot of companies agree that they have problems with their category pages. Coming into the Holiday Season, it’s incredibly important to think of those things that will help the visitor move through her buying process easily, and improving the customer experience on category pages can have a real impact.  Optimizing category pages can prevent “pogo sticking” behavior, reduce bounce rates, and improve overall conversion.  Our clients are bold enough to work with us to verify the best of these tactics.

I’ll touch on one that seems to work across the board to help boost conversion: the “click to compare.”

Have you ever come to a category page with an incredibly long list of products, and had a hard time narrowing down your options and choosing one product?  Give the visitor the option to check a box next to each product on a category page, and then have her click on a button to compare these chosen products. This not only lets the visitor take note of which products interest her from the long scrolling list, but it also gives her the ability to compare more detailed features that don’t fit in the limited space of a category page.

One of our clients, a seller of home medical supplies, gives their visitors the option to check boxes next to each product they want to compare, and then click a large call to action to “compare checked items.”

themedicalsupplydepot- category pg

This action results in a pop up where visitors are able to compare these chosen product options on a single page in more detail.

3-Wheel Travel Scooters-compare

If you don’t already offer the visitor the option to compare, help her narrow down her choices and test a version of your site where you allow her to compare her product options.

Happy Testing ;)

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Comments (28)

  1. Very interesting post!
    Congratulations are in relation to the post and the site itself.
    I’ll be back soon! hugs!

  2. I love the article, some good meat on how to do something and the URL of the site so we can see your example in action, (very important). I went to the website and at a first glance, ya;ll really did a good job on laying out the elements, segmenting the different components, used color and like covered the 4 buying types in the formay of the page. I guess ya’ll did a home page redesign, well good job on this one.

  3. This is great for more expensive items, and can really help convince the customer to put down the money. We’ve had issues when trying this for less expensive products (under $25). It just seemed to confuse them more than help.

  4. In the UK, I found that the pcworld.co.uk website was quite good for comparing IT products.

  5. Great post!

    I’m primarily electronics consumer and I definitely get bogged down by poor organization of the sites I frequent. Compare features and “filtering” features are invaluable to online store fronts. I can tell you that I personally will select one online store over another based on ease of use and pace of search as inventory fairly identical in most online industries. I’d imagine that most people do the same.

  6. Great article, I find when I am shopping online, that comparing a few products to each other out of a huge list to be invaluable.

  7. Yeps it is right! Because, sometimes as a buyer I need to compare to another websites. Nice post, so actual

  8. Thanks for the post very useful!

  9. We’ve used the compare function to great success. Thanks for the article.

  10. Yes I believe this can make a lot of difference especially when you have a website that sells electronic or high tech products.

  11. rehbebhe

  12. Thanks for keep updating

  13. I think you must have some tracking system for visitors. So you can plan your future decisions.

  14. Makes sense. When you have similar products that are hard to choose between, this type of tool makes a site very user friendly.

  15. The order in which products are presented for comparison can become very important. By showcasing products with additional features first, comparison shopping will indicate the deficiencies of lower-priced products, and encourage the customer to purchase more expensive items, since they won’t want to give up the features they have already been introduced to. By maximizing revenue from the customer, this will help to drive sales to their highest potential, making the most out of every sale.

  16. Comparing features is sometimes difficult too. With some products, there’s really very little difference between products.

    Comparisons are great for those who know what features they need/want. But for the vast majority of us that are just clueless for all but major decisions, it can sometimes be more noise. Websites make us believe that we should care whether a basketball is made with synthetic or real leather, whether a 16GB memory stick should be Ultra or 40X, and whether a case of french wine was judged to be a winner at a french festival or an American show. For most consumers, this just leads to questions like “what does this mean?” and then further time wasted on researching the comparison points.

    For me, I look at reviews and at recommendations. If a site has a quick 5 question questionnaire, I’m more apt to make a good decision (who are you buying this for, how often will they use it, what is their experience with this type of product, etc).

  17. Thanks for the post very useful!

  18. Thanks Melissa for such a good Article.Really it is so informative.I like it.Carry on.

  19. The compare function is becoming almost a necessity for all websites. Consumers will be demanding sooner rather than later.

  20. This is a good idea! It’s like an instant review within the website, without the fuss of having to scour and research the world wide web for the missed information.
    Your client’s website is unique, they must sell a lot because of that creative feature.

  21. Category pages are definitely a very tricky thing to get correct – something we have also found a challenge on our new website. Thanks for the insight!

  22. Everytime that I want to buy a new laptop or other electronic products. I user comparison of CNET.com, It’s up to date and accurate information.

  23. Brilliant insight, I think this is an article everyone in the field should be required to read. I’ll pass it on to some coworkers.

  24. Thanks for the post very useful

  25. Its hard time narrowing down your options….its a brilliant insight….Chances are least but consumption is must

  26. The possibility of easy comparison of your own products is always a good idea!

    Tonda
    free antivirus comparion

  27. Very interesting post!
    Congratulations are in relation to the post and the site

  28. As an online shopper I would like to compare some products according to its use and brand. It’s a very helpful tool. I’ve visited several sights which already implemented this kind of ideas and it’s very convenient.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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