Monday, July 30, 2012
80/20 RULE FOR ECOMMERCE
I have heard digital marketers talk about turning browsers into buyers but i am not so sure this is the right objective. 80% of visitors to an ecommerce site are there for information. 20% will tell you they came with the intent to buy and the industry average conversion rate is 1.8%. We should do our best to help each type of visitor accomplish what they came to do.
Browsers tend to be patient while shoppers are often in a hurry. Product pages should be designed with this in mind. This is an important page for both browsers and buyers. Focus on the impatient buyer’s needs above the fold (visible area without scrolling). Keep this area clean and simple with only essential information and a single call to action. We need to help the 20% be more efficient shoppers and improve their success rate by minimizing distractions and friction.
Keep product descriptions to a minimum or consider not having one above the fold. Product recommendations are normally best placed lower down the page but this is something that should be tested. There is a tradeoff between conversion rate and average order value (topic for another post).
Below the fold you are free to provide robust product information, alternate selections, as well as reviews, social links and more. Trying to squeeze these elements in above the fold works against the needs of both buyer the browser. Browsers have varied objectives and interests. Do your best to meet their expectations with strong content and choices where you have the space to provide it. They will find it and reward you by coming back when they are ready to buy.