“Love Your Landing Pages” – Notes on Elastic Path Webinar

February 15, 2008 at 11:19 pm 1 comment

Yesterday I attended the Elastic path webinar “Love Your Landing Pages” where Ayat Shukairy, Managing Partner of Invesp Consulting discussed how to make your E-commerce site more profitable (and better for your visitor).

Ayat pointed out that Invesp has increased the conversion rate from an average of 2% (for most sites) to 14.56% for their clients.

Here are some key points from the webinar. A more detailed report can be found on the Elastic Path Recap and the webinar itself should be up on the Elastic Path site soon (perhaps next week).

Your E-commerce site should be:

  • Checked for browser compatibility and page load time. Jason Billingsly suggested reducing wait time, by doing things like moving items so that documents render quicker visually (e.g. placing javascript on the bottom/footer of the page will allow the page to load most of the way and give the customers something to look at, rather than placing it at top where it impedes the progress).

Each page (and especially the home page):

  • Needs to have the value proposition stated clearly. Everything on the page should support that objective/intention.
  • Should reassure the visitor that he/she is on the right page and site. That seems obvious, until you realize that people don’t always enter your site through the front door/home page and that if someone finds you by “Googling” a specific product (e.g. “cheap mobile phones”, the related page should put the “cheap mobile phones” in the fore-font, so the visitor doesn’t get confused, not find what they want immediately, and decide leave the site empty-handed.
  • Have sticky copy (potentially exciting, inviting copy and product information) so people will stay at the site around longer, which increases their likelihood of purchasing.
  • Deal with FUDs (client’s “Fear Uncertainty and Doubts”) – e.g. free shipping or easy return policy alleviates fears for some.
  • Speak to individuals rather than masses – address each and every temperament (an impulsive personality might be excited by sales and discounts, an apprehensive personality needs reassurances, a logical person might want something like preview of upcoming trends (e.g. spring fashion preview).
  • Make experience as easy as possible for purchase (“add to cart” button near product, on each page/view). (Put yourself in the visitors shoes, go through site from their point of view)

And now, a tangent: Ayat mentioned that there has been an evolution in websites since their inception. She was talking about E-commerce sites specifically, but it got me thinking… When people ask me about the difference between Web 2.0 and its predecessor(s), I try to explain that many things on the net, especially websites, used to be one-sided and stagnant and now there is now a conversation happening. With regards to websites, they have become more interactive and/or are blogs, and they invite discussion and participation. Online dialogue, while not invented in the past year or two, has certainly become the Modus Operandi. This is how I remember it: when websites were in their early stages, being a business with a site was just icing on the cake. People weren’t really “doing” anything with your site, but having one made you seem “cutting-edge” and often gave people a bit more information about you/your company. The internet was new and cool, and as slow as it was exhilarating.

Then it became more commonplace to have a website, but it was still a stagnant device, though there were added features. You had a website to prove you really existed, and more often than not, used it to help reinforce your brand. (Years ago, in 2004, I wrote a piece about the purpose of a website. It now reads like an archive from the past found in a message bottle… it’s here: necessity-of-a-website (2004).jpg for amusement purposes.)
But today a website doesn’t merely reinforce your presence – it is absolutely essential (sure, there are exceptions to this, but it seems rare). Having a site is almost as critical and commonplace as having a phone number. And it’s more than just “being there” – it’s about talking with people and using a personal, human voice. And adding value.

There is much more to be said on the subject of website progression (much, much more), but suffice it to say:

We’ve come a long way, baby…

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