Volume 120: 11/1/05

Another Dumb Pet Trick

Bryan couldn't wait to email me the screen shots. "This is crazy! I can't believe they're doing this." There's a lot we can't believe folks do, so this actually isn't an unusual situation. But Bryan was ... um ... peeved. (That's putting it politely.)

You see, DJ needed a bowl for his water, and providing for DJ proved slightly more complicated than Bryan had anticipated. In his words ...

Bryan Has His Day

Bzzzzzz... The email comes through on my Blackberry. I glance down and it's from my wife - subject line "ooops." I open it up. It's short and to the point: "water bowl" and a link. No problem I think; I will just order the water bowl for DJ (our dog) when I get back home.

So my adventure starts...

Now that I am finally in front of a pc, I click through on the link and review the selection of sizes and colors. I finally decide on one (not that the page was that persuasive, but I didn't want to waste much time on a water bowl). So I go ahead and add the product to my cart.

The very next page requires me to register!

It's bad enough when a site wants me to register to start checking out, but when they require me to register when I put something in my cart, I see red. But for this once, I am willing to get over it because I trust the brand and I just don't want to hassle looking elsewhere. So I fill in my email address and click continue.

After I give them my name and a password on the next page I click continue again. So where do you assume the site should take me next? That's right... A Thank you for registering at Petco.com.

They offer me two actions to take next: "Update your account" or "Start Shopping." Start shopping? I put something in my cart! I want to checkout and give you my cash. Please just let me give you the money! You do want to GTC (get the cash), right?

I click on "Start Shopping," and it takes me to the home page. Sigh. An unfortunate diversion, but I'll just click on "shopping cart" at the top of the page even though on the product page there was an "add to cart" and an "add to fetch my sales" (not really sure what that means but I assume it works like add to cart).

Why am I not surprised when my shopping cart page loads up?

"There's Nothing in Your Cart For Your Pet to Enjoy!" My pet's enjoyment ... what about MY enjoyment. I've acted in good faith and wasted a bunch of time trying to buy with no luck. However, Petco successfully converted me to a registered user.


And in the End

Bryan did complete his purchase (for which I gave him a big, fat raspberry). No doubt, he will be "satisfied" with the water bowl, and since Petco.com has a broad selection of quality merchandise, Bryan might even buy from them again (heavy emphasis on that 'might'). But Petco.com probably has no idea Bryan is ready to defect to a competitor if the opportunity arises.

Petco.com considers Bryan a customer and perhaps somebody - if there is a somebody responsible for conversion - may imagine him a loyal customer if he buys again. But is he loyal? Was he delighted? Do you think he's going to recommend Petco.com to a friend without a strong caveat?

I figure Petco.com doesn't know what's going on. No combination of the A/B or multivariate testing they perform is going to alert them to this major conversion problem that I guarantee is losing them sales.

Perhaps if the good people responsible for Petco.com read this, they will download a copy of Frederick F. Reichheld's essay "The Satisfaction Trap," where they may learn that research shows 60-80% of customers who defect to a competitor say they were satisfied or even very satisfied prior to the defection.

A big part of amassing delighted, loyal customers is providing them with a delightful, hassle-free shopping experience. Are you asking and investigating the right questions about your persuasive process? Are you delighting your customers or merely satisfying them?

Train to Increase Your Conversion Rates

New Services

We've been busy bees over the holidays.  Check out our services page - new services have already been launched and more are coming!

New Publications

You'll also want to keep an eye on our publications page.  We've been working on creating resources that will help you put many of our principles into practice more easily and more efficiently.  We're just about to release several of our newest products, including Which Sells Best?: A Quick Start Guide to Testing for Retailers and The Conversion Experts Handbook.

The Grok's Inner Hispanic

Who knew? The Grok has some "North of the border" blood flowing in him?!?!?! Yes, it's the other way around on Mars, and life is full of surprises. So, embracing my Cinapsih roots (the Martian equivalent of Hispanic), a la Freddie Prinze, Jr., I wanted to share with you some pointers on how to use the web effectively to reach and market to Latinos.

Who better to all upon than my dear cousin, El Groko, better known in these parts as Juan Tornoe, the man who spearheads El Mago de la Publicidad, the Hispanic branch of Wizard of Ads, Inc.

6 Tips for Reaching Out and Marketing Online to Latinos

Let's review the current state of the "Hispanic Nation"; here are the facts:

  • High immigration and a higher birth rate than the rest of the population assure the permanence of Latinos in the U.S., which as of July, 2004 had a headcount of 41.3 million persons (14% of the entire U.S. earthlings).

  • Proximity, both geographical as well as through technology facilitate the permanence of the culture, as well as to certain extent, the Spanish language.

  • Hispanics' buying power in 2005 is over $750 billion; it will reach one trillion Dollars by 2008, increasing faster than the Latino population growth.

  • 60% of Hispanics have internet access; 52% of them are using high-speed connections at home. 14% of all online Latinos connected their household within the last 6 months and spend at least 6% more time online than non-Hispanics.

  • Approximately half of all Hispanic Internet users are Spanish-language dominant

  • Hispanic e-spending hit $8.1 billion in 2004

Without further ado, here are 6 suggestions for reaching and marketing to Hispanics online.

Aim for bilingualism

Even if it begins with just a couple of Spanish pages, your goal should be to provide your entire site's experience for someone who only speaks Spanish. Hey, they've been doing it with telephone answering systems for who knows how long: "Para Español presione "1"; for English stay on the line."

Give your customers the OPTION of getting the information they need from you in the language they prefer; be it because they don't know any other language, they feel like it at that particular point in time, or they are more acquainted with your "industry's" lingo in Spanish OR English. It just shows both your current and future customers that you care and want their business enough to go the extra mile.

Have bilingual staff readily available - via email, over the phone or at your brick'n'mortar location (if you have one).

Translate concepts not just words

Be sure you have an accurate translation; it is certainly worth making the extra investment. It is not a simple translation job; you have to make sure you are addressing Spanish-speaking Hispanics with the correct words, phrases, sentences, and most importantly, the correct concepts you are trying to convey.

It's the culture: be culturally sensitive to your new target audience

In most situations I recommend utilizing neutral and formal (Usted) Spanish. This type of Spanish speaks clearly and directly to all who speak the language. Even if 65% of the Hispanic Population has Mexican Heritage, you do not want to alienate the other 35%.

There is as much, if not more, diversity among Hispanics as there is among Non-Hispanic Whites. In fact, Latinos are present in every segment of society, from Government to grounds keeping and can trace their heritage back to 20 different Spanish-speaking countries other than the United States.

Persona development - consider bilinguals and Spanish speakers for personas

There are more than 30 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. representing just above 10% of people living in America. They want and need what you've got to offer.

Understand the cultural aspects that link Latinos together and incorporate those to at least one of the personas you are developing.

In your wireframing consider going back and forth between languages as well as ways to be sensitive to the peculiarities of the Hispanic Culture

As mentioned before, a person could be very comfortable, and maybe even prefer, reading in English about the generalities about your organization. Still, when it comes to getting more details they might prefer doing so in their mother tongue.

There will be certain paths that someone from Hispanic origin might choose to follow, that you need to consider. As an example, they might wish to learn more about the persons behind the company as an important part of the buying process, while this could not be as important for someone with a different cultural background.

Provide a glossary of terms with translations - become a resource

It is not only offering a glossary of industry terms, but offering it in Spanish and including links to translation of each term (both English-Spanish &Spanish-English).

Last, but not least, you have to take into consideration that "www" stands for WORLD wide web. If you are conducting business in the Global village, there are 20 other countries in which Spanish is the language of choice. It makes good business sense catering to them in their idiom.

So vamos, begin to grab a piece of the torta.

Adios amigos,

El Groko

Volume 120: 11/1/05

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