Tips for Increasing Conversion
- Encourage account creation - but don’t demand it - and make it easy - since people fundamentally don’t like to register, do not require it as a part of a new visitor checkout process. Just collect all their required information to pay, name, address, credit card, email, etc. and let them complete the checkout. Then at the end explain to them why it is to their advantage to create an account and have them make up a password and confirm it. Bingo! They have created an account with their email address as the ID.
- Make your product images as impressive and functional as possible - our data is consistent across all etail sites. People who purchase on site are twice as likely to use rich media - zoom, larger images, rotate, etc. - as those who do not. The message for you is make your rich media a focus of design. Offer all the functionality you can and make it very usable. And this is true of any site - not just etail sites. Enhanced imaging, rich media, enhances the user experience.
- Provide a simple product comparisons function - when people are shopping online they like to be able to compare similar products easily in a grid. The rules to follow are: a. Make the compare checkbox very visible in a search result or landing page b. Allow a minimum of 4 products in the compare grid c. Provide “add to cart” and “remove” functionality in the grid d. Put prices at the top of the grid e. Highlight differences between products in some way
- Place the “Add to Cart” above the fold - Do not put the “Add To Cart” below the fold. Make it obvious and accessible. Encourage the impulse buy!!
- Checkout should be obvious and available - Shoppers should be able to start a checkout process from almost anywhere in the site. Make the “Checkout” button obvious and available. And don’t force people to go through the cart to checkout.
- Set the default quantity to “1? - why on earth sites have the default quantity set to zero or blank is beyond us. All this does is create an error for the shopper who doesn’t notice it and hits the “add to cart” button. Then they have to handle the error and you risk them getting frustrated and leaving. Default the quantity to “1?.
- Make errors easy to understand and correct - Some sites do a really good job of error handling and some don’t. The basic rules of error recovery for the shopper - or any web site for that matter - are: a. Make it obvious that there is an error b. Tell the shopper what’s wrong c. Tell them how to correct it d. Show them where to correct it e. If they make an error, don’t clear the fields and make them re-enter data
Hope these ideas help. If you have questions please feel free to Contact Us
Understanding the Affinity of the Visitor
Affinity is defined as a natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship-the basis of which is charged by emotion. For website owners, the ability to assess the visitor’s affinity with their site is critical to understanding the value of the brand as a whole. Brand affinity also puts into context the influence of other methods of communication (in-store, word of mouth, advertising, etc.) on visitors coming to your site for the first time. The methodology used to measure brand affinity during a site visit is to ask the participant’s to rank their level of agreement with a statement like, “Company X is the premier provider of XYZ products and services” on both entry and exit of the site visit. The initial rating for first timers and the lift between the paired entry/exit responses is where the value lies.
To understand this better we will look at brand affinity results from recent studies we’ve conducted with WebIQ.
- Hotel site:
- Results: From entry to exit 55% of participants increased their agreement with the brand affinity statement (13% lowered their agreement).
- Learning: What this tells you is that the site experience had a more positive effect on the participants’ brand affinity. The desired goal is always to have those who increased their affinity outweigh those who decreased.
- E-tail site:
- Results: 80% of 1st time site visitors on entry to the web site indicated they agreed with the brand affinity. Note: “agreement” is based on 5, 6, or 7 rating (7-pt scale)
- Learning: What this tells you is that the other channels of brand communication are having a positive impact on the newly acquired site visitors.
What these results allow you to do is not only assess the effectiveness of the site against the brand but also to establish a benchmark to measure all future site enhancements. At the end of the day, your customer’s affinity towards your brand is an emotional relationship that takes time and the right information to understand.
Scott Gunter - WebIQ Project Manager
Back Me Up
According to Jakob Nielsen, “The Back button is the lifeline of the Web user and the second-most used navigation feature (after following hypertext links). Users happily know that they can try anything on the Web and always be saved by a click or two on Back to return them to familiar territory.” Although Nielsen gave us that insight several years ago, our studies show time and time again that this statement still rings just as true now as it did then. Users consistently use their browser’s Back button to navigate a website, and they have clearly defined expectations of where the Back button should take them. When the Back button doesn’t work as they expect, they become visibly frustrated and often experience difficulties with how to return to their desired page.
There are several instances we’ve seen of how the browser’s Back button deviates from users’ expectations. Frustrating situations regarding the Back button
- The Back button returns users to the same page they’re currently viewing Upon clicking the Back button, certain sites keep users on the page they were already viewing, thus preventing them from actually going back a page.
- The Back button goes back more that one “page” When a site uses a technology like Flash, clicking the browser’s Back button often does not take users back “one full page” in terms of what users consider to be one full page. Instead, the Back button often takes users to the beginning of a process or to a main page. We recently tested a real estate site that was developed using Flash technology. When looking for homes for sale, users went through several steps: 1) they entered their desired location, 2) selected their preferred home criteria, 3) reviewed the resulting home listings, and 4) selected a particular home to view more details. What did they do when they were done looking at that home and wanted to return to their result set? Of course, they clicked the Back button. Instead of taking them to their result set as they expected, the Back button returned users to the Homepage and lost all of their search criteria, forcing them to start over from the beginning.
- There is no Back button When a site opens a new window that allows for hyperlink navigation, it often does not provide any forward or backward navigation options. If users can navigate forward by clicking hyperlinks, they will always need a way to navigate backwards through their steps via either the browser’s navigation or the site’s custom navigation.
The recommendation is to ensure that your site allows users to navigate backwards one full page at a time. If possible, allow the browser’s Back button to do this work. However, if your site uses a technology where it is not possible to control the browser’s Back button in a way that is intuitive to users, or if the browser’s navigation is non-existent, the site must provide its own navigation - prominent and well labeled- that will allow users to step backward through the process.
Katie Eubanks - Sr. Usability Analyst
Double-byte Language Support In All Our WebIQ-basedServices
As an item of interest we want to make sure that our subscribers realize that Usability Sciences supports all languages, including those of the Far East that require Unicode, in all our survey services. A number of our customers want to run consistent worldwide online research in the US, Europe, and Asia. We support these efforts by providing survey development, localization, deployment, analysis, and reporting. If you have a need for these kinds of services please give us a call to discuss. Contact Us to learn more.