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#3.02: The “They Came, They Saw, They Left” Issue

1> How HP Shopping Increased Sales By 3%
2> Staples Saved Their Searches
3> Right Place, Right Time
4> Check It Out: The WayBack Machine

1> How HP Shopping Increased Sales By 3% reported that the team at noticed that they were losing a large number of customers during the checkout process. It seemed odd — these customers had taken the time to select very specific computer items that they clearly wanted. It turns out that when shoppers wanted to change the quantity in their shopping cart, they couldn’t figure out how to make it work. The “update” button was too far to the right of the screen and many people missed it. The solution — they moved the button to the left where it couldn’t be missed. And sales went up 3.42%

THE LESSON: Little things make a big difference. Frustration at the checkout is going to cost you a sale, so make sure that everything works and that everything is obvious.

More info:

2> Staples Saved Their Searches

Researchers at wondered why shoppers were searching for items, but they weren’t buying the items that they found. It turns out that their search results page was too complicated. The search results returned the desired product — buried under links to categories, similar products, and section headers. Even when the product was listed, shoppers often mistakenly thought that Staples didn’t carry it. The solution was straightforward: They flipped the page upside down. They redesigned the results page to feature prominent photos of the most likely matches at the top and pushed general information to the bottom. The impact of this change: Drop-offs after a search were reduced by 10%.

THE LESSON: Don’t get in the way of the customer. Give them what they want front and center.

Read the full report:

3> Right Place, Right Time

It’s all about the “Point of Action” according to the conversion-rate experts at Future Now. “When your prospect is ready to take an action — any action — you make sure to address the basic, essential concerns relevant to that action right then and there,” they advise. For example, Land’s End features their no-questions-asked guarantee prominently on each page where a shopper might be completing a purchase. Eddie Bauer offers the same guarantee, but it’s buried two clicks deep. Reassure your customers at the point where they are going to give you money — you’ll get more money.

(Bonus tip: Put the word “privacy” on your e-newsletter subscription forms and completion rates will jump.)

THE LESSON: It’s not just what you do, but where you do it. There’s lots of room on a Web page. Use it to make your customers feel comfortable making a purchase.

Learn more:

4> Check It Out: The WayBack Machine

Remember that embarrassing Web page that you were relieved to see go away? Well, it still might be out there. Check out the WayBack Machine, the Web site for the Internet Archives. They have stored billions of long-gone Web pages that you can search by date. This is a great resource if you want to track how sites have grown and improved (or died) over time.

Check it out:

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