skip to Main Content

What are you really asking your customers to do? (Guide to Small Business E-commerce Strategy)

Alan Rimm-Kaufmann clearly spends lots of time looking at how sites get customers to buy. Yesterday, he offered a telling view of the verbiage used for coupon codes on one site. Or should I say voucher codes? As Alan notes, “As a consumer, when I see ‘coupon code’ smack dab in the middle of checkout, I feel obligated to break flow and open a new Firefox tab to google ‘ coupon’ to see if I can save some money.” How true. So the company didn’t do that. They provided the option, but in a way that doesn’t distract from the goal.

Getting your customers to do what you want takes real focus on your customer. And on what they want. Which is not the same as focusing on what you want.

As Alan discusses, sometimes changes this small are tough to test. My group once A/B-tested different verbiage on a call-to-action button and saw absolutely no difference in conversion. But, I’ve seen exactly the opposite on plenty of occasions, too. In fact, if you think changes this small never matter, check out this old Bryan Eisenberg column on Bryan showed two tests and challenged readers to determine which variable from the following list cut conversion by 90%:

  1. Closed space between top “Proceed to Checkout” button line and next line.
  2. Removed top “Continue Shopping” button.
  3. Removed “Update” button underneath the quantity box.
  4. Moved “Total” box down a line. Text and amount appear in different boxes.
  5. Above the “Total” box is a “Discount” box, with amount in a box next to it.
  6. Above “Shipping Method” line is “Enter Coupon Code” with a box to enter it.
  7. New “Recalculate” button left of “Continue Shopping.”
  8. Bottom tool bar now on two lines.
  9. Shopping cart icon one space closer to the words “Shopping Cart.”

(Unfortunately, it looks like the screenshots in the original article have been taken offline, but I’m looking into getting copies of them).

Bryan provided the answer to the quiz here. Surprised?

Your customers’ motivations are not the same as yours, sadly. You want to sell a product, generate a call, capture an email, launch a program. Your customers, however, want to solve their problem. And anything you do that gets between them and the solution costs you a sale. Don’t be afraid to test. Let the market tell you when you get it right. The point isn’t to do what everyone else does. Or to have all the answers. It’s to find what works for your customers. And that’s what works for your business.

What do you want your customers to do? Is it working? Tell us about it in the comments below. And make sure you add thinks to your favorite reader to never miss an update.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top