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Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

E-Commerce Conversion Psychology How-to Guide ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

The mind is a terrible thing to waste – as a conversion rate expert. E-Commerce conversion psychology & buyer psychology guides everything that we do. You might even say that CROs and shrinks share the same goal: Both seek to understand the human mind to help them find solutions to their problems.

But, of course, we want more than that. We want them to pay for those solutions. And that presents a few psychological hurdles. The act of selling something requires the customer to give up something they value – whether that’s time, personal information, or actual money (which also means the time it takes to acquire it). That’s asking a lot.

You’ll encounter resistance.

And any little thing that makes it harder to purchase will lose you a sale, because they’re already resisting. This means that your job as CRO is both to remove friction, and appeal to your audience’s strongest motivators:

  • Pain
  • Anchoring (+ Placement Psychology)
  • Emotional & Cognitive Needs
  • Reciprocity
  • Commitment/Consistency
  • Social Proof
  • Authority
  • Liking
  • Scarcity (+ Loss Aversion)

If those last six look familiar, it’s because they’re Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence, and we’ll be discussing them as they relate to CRO in depth, with actionable takeaways.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

5 Easy Upgrades to Increase Landing Page Conversions ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Writing and designing a conversion-powerhouse of a landing page is a science – a shifty, constantly evolving science that is, frankly, hard to pin down. While trends in landing page design may change (and they do), there are a few basic tenets that the most successful ones share that can increase landing page conversions. And they’re not difficult to implement.

You can boost your conversion rates right now, just by putting these 5 basic techniques into place.

Don’t believe me?

We can test it.

Where Landing Pages Go Wrong

Landing pages go wrong primarily because people treat them like:

  • They’re product descriptions (they aren’t)
  • They’re blog posts (they aren’t)
  • They’re white papers (they aren’t)
  • They’re a diner waitress, whose personal motto is “Here’s your lunch. You’ll eat it and you’ll like it.” (they really aren’t)

A landing page is specifically designed for a marketing campaign. Its purpose is to convert leads – that’s it. One purpose, one message. Lets repeat again the purpose – increase landing page conversions.

Think I’m kidding? Landing pages with multiple offers get 266% fewer leads than single offer pages.

When to use a Landing Page

You’ll want to use a landing page (rather than a product page) for each marketing campaign you do – it’s all about getting the customer to engage with your brand.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

How to Build a High Converting E-Commerce Checkout Flow ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Optimizing the e-commerce checkout flow – everything that happens between “add to cart” and the purchase confirmation page – is a science. A science that requires research, study, and of course, testing.

But you’ve got a credit card payment system. Isn’t that enough?

Not if your customers are abandoning their shopping carts. That means you’re hemorrhaging sales from already-motivated customers, often unnecessarily.

Even small gains in optimizing checkout flows can have a big impact:

“An Ecommerce site that I analyzed recently had a payment page where 84.71% of the traffic proceeded to buy. I calculated that if we can increase that to 90%, that would result in 461 more orders and additional $87,175/month. That would be 23.94% growth in revenue. So yes – ‘small’ gains here can be very big.” – Peep Laja, ConversionXL

What is shopping cart / checkout flow?

Shopping cart, e-commerce checkout flow, checkout funnel – whatever term you use, we’re talking about the moment your customer views their cart all the way until they see the “thank you” page at the end of their purchase process. Don’t confuse this with the “sales funnel,” that can begin long before the customer even lands on your website. Checkout flow is the final step.

The customer knows what they want.

They’ve added the product to the cart.

Then, they have two choices: Abandon the cart, or complete the purchase.

You’d be amazed how many motivated customers abandon the cart – or maybe you wouldn’t be. Maybe they’re abandoning your shopping cart and you’re wondering why.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

E-Commerce Value Proposition – How to Stand Out ft. @CopyHackers, @aschottmuller, @TaliaGw, & @shanelle_mullin

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

E-commerce value proposition is more or less the same as any value proposition. I guarantee that you’ve seen and read far more value propositions than you’re aware of – because they’re everywhere. They’re on home pages and landing pages. They’re on Facebook ads and sales pages. They’re on freeway billboards and curbside restaurant menus.

“Eat at Joe’s – Home of the Foot-long Corndog”

And they pop up in the most unexpected places.

When the voluptuous Italian movie star Sophia Loren said the Hotel Ritz Paris was “the most romantic hotel in the world,” that was a value proposition.

But, for how prolific value propositions are, confusion surrounds them. You’ll find a number of variations on this 4-point list of what a value proposition does.

A value proposition:

  1. Defines who your customer is
  2. States what your product does
  3. Establishes why you’re unique
  4. Shows the end benefit

Sophia Loren’s “The most romantic hotel in the world” statement does all of these things. The Hotel Ritz Paris is for lovers; they will find romance there; more romance than anywhere else in the world. Place that sentence next to a photo featuring Sophia’s generous endowments – and you have your benefits. *Photos are used in value propositions a lot, either as supporting players or integral parts.

Value propositions look deceptively simple, don’t they? But they are one of the most important statements you’ll ever make for your e-commerce products. They require thought, consideration, substantial research, and ongoing testing. Furthermore, they’re worth the effort.

When they work, value propositions make the difference between getting the sale – and boosting your bounce rate.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

30 Psychological CRO Tests to Run on Your E-Commerce Site ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Conversion rate optimization is all about psychology. But where psychologists are trying to figure out why people do what they do, the Conversion Rate Optimizer’s challenge is to know what stimuli will get people to take the action you want them to take. In this post we list 30 psychological CRO tests to run on your e-commerce site.

It’s not about being manipulative. That’s the dark side.

Noooo! I won’t! Even though that cookie is a really good incentive that preys upon my desire for immediate gratification (we’ll get to that later).

On the side of good: This is about showing people what they want and giving them every reason and every chance to get it. You might say it’s about helping people to achieve their goals – as much as it is about achieving yours.

The CRO also has tools and tests to know, beyond a Rorschach ink blot of a doubt, whether the psychological trigger s/he’s employed works… or doesn’t.

This is where we bring psychology and testing together, so you can try these already-proven, scientifically based psychological action triggers and see how they work on your very own e-commerce website.

For each trigger, we’ll include ideas for how to use it on your website – in your product pages, landing pages, or CTA buttons. From there, it’s up to you to A/B test these suggestions against what you currently have.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce, Emotion

Colors & Conversions in E-Commerce Design ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

The psychology of color is a subject of strong disagreement in marketing. We know we need it, and we’d like there to be a list of rules to follow that remain the same in all instances – but there isn’t. Color preference, associations, and color cause and effect, vary widely between individuals and cultures.

So, what we’re left with is what we’ve always been left with

We have to design based on close research of our target audience – and that goes for colors too.

That’s not to say that there aren’t valuable guidelines for color selection that are grounded in science – there are (and they’re outlined below).

Here is what we know, what we think, and what has been proven to work when it comes to color and conversion in e-commerce design.

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Conversion Rate Optimization

Pricing CRO Style: Matching Price to Audience ft. @ObjeqtEcomm, @taliagw, @CopyHackers

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Pricing has so many roles to play in e-commerce. It has to cover product costs, personnel costs, and marketing costs to keep the business running (and profitable!), and it can act as a marketing tool, differentiating you from higher priced competitors. It’s a fine line to walk if you try to do it all – and most companies think they have to do it all.

But when it comes to conversion rate optimization (CRO), the lowest possible price isn’t always the right price – in fact price doesn’t necessarily depend on what the other guys are doing. The price you can charge for optimal conversions is based on a whole other criterion: Your audience.

Playing The Price is Right

Let’s play a game: True or False

If you lower your prices, your conversions will improve.

Well?

False – it depends on your audience and your unique value proposition (why they’re buying from you, rather than anyone else).

It’s counter-intuitive, but people don’t buy based on lowest price. They buy based on:

  • Trust
  • Brand (which is tied to trust)
  • Ease of purchasing
  • How well you communicate your value proposition
  • Proof your product will deliver the buyer’s desired outcome (also tied to trust)
  • Reduction or removal of risk (read: Trust)
  • Immediate action incentives

Basically, your sale depends on building trust, delivering desired outcomes, and tipping the scales of decision by gently prodding your buyer to act. When you have that combo in place, you’re no longer a price-based decision, you’re a value-based decision.

But – if your value proposition is, in fact, that you guarantee the cheapest price around, and that’s working well for you, then you’re already appealing to your target audience of bargain hunters. You don’t necessarily need to attract those who seek value to run a profitable business. Just look at Wal-Mart. You do still have to understand your audience and gain their trust though, because cheap prices won’t overcome those deficiencies. So read on.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, Emotion

3 Tried and Tested Emotional Triggers that Increase Conversion Rates ft. @TaliaGw

I don’t know about you, but every “fun” purchase I make is an emotional roller coaster. There’s the thrill of hunting for just the right thing. The greater thrill of finding it. And then – if it’s on sale – Game on. I have to have it. NOW! Before someone else gets it! Last one? Oh no! Typing in my credit card number as fast as my fingers can fly. Phew! Okay, it’s being shipped. **Breathe**

And all of that happens before the object of desire even arrives. I don’t even know if it will fit, but my desires are fueled with dreams of mass admiration and glory.

Hey, your buyer’s journey may be different (you might not be as vain), but it’s probably not that different. Why? Because we’re all human here, we’re all impacted by emotion. Would impulse purchases happen on planet Vulcan?

Nope. Here on Earth? Oh yes.

Emotion is inextricably tied to decision-making, and therefore conversion. It’s been scientifically proven a number of times.

Time number one:

When neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people who had sustained brain damage to areas of the brain that generate emotions, they were unable to make even the smallest of decisions. They still had logic and reasoning, but if they were asked to choose between pasta and risotto for dinner, they couldn’t do it.

Time number two:

Researchers at UCLA and George Washington University created two types of ads, one with facts and figures, which they called “logical persuasion” or “LP״, and one with fun, vague, or sexy scenes which they termed “non-rational influence” or “NI.”

They found that the brain regions involved in decision-making and emotional processing had significantly higher activity when participants looked at the logical persuasion ads. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately for CROs, these are the same brain regions responsible for inhibiting responses, like impulse purchases.

The non-rational influence ads, on the other hand, didn’t cause any major activity in those brain regions, suggesting that they lead to less behavioral inhibition – and less restraint when there’s a “Buy” button involved.

Time number three:

A study out of Missouri University of Science and Technology said that “atmospheric cues” – the web interface and the “look and feel” of design features of e-commerce stores – affect buyer behavior. In fact, the researchers posited that “consumers’ emotional responses” were predictive of whether they would buy. This study might seem a little obvious – a richer, more interactive environment produces more positive emotions which produces higher intentions to purchase. In plain English, we buy from stores we enjoy. Since emotion is clearly super-glued to the decision-making process, there are two questions that I’m burning to ask:

  1. Why has it taken us this long to try and measure it?
  2. Why are we only now finding ways to use it?!

The only answer I have is that it’s only been recently that technology and psychological awareness have come together to make measuring and manipulating emotion more possible now than it has ever been.

We’re swimming in the swell of a wave that hasn’t even crested yet because our understanding of human emotion is in its infancy. Paddle fast my friends – you don’t want this wave to pass you by.

Read More on @TaliaGw’s GetUplift.co


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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

E-commerce Differentiation: Stand out, sell more ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Differentiation is, literally, what separates you from your competition. It’s why your customers will only buy from you, no matter what the other guys are offering. When you hit just the right differentiator for your target audience, you’ll convince them that they can only get their desired outcome from you.

What is differentiation?

Differentiation is what makes your product unique and valuable for your target audience. It’s what sets you apart. Grabs attention. Says to the world “I’m the only place you’ll find THIS!”

It can take many forms. Price can be a differentiator (“best value!”, “Cheapest rates!”). Quality can be a differentiator. Brand names and social cachet (aka. “perceived value”) can be differentiators. The fact that your product is on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list is a differentiator. Features can be differentiators, but features can also be easily copied by competitors (which means if people love a feature, it won’t be a differentiator for long). Longevity, even, can be a differentiator (“Dine at London’s oldest restaurant”). It can be your company ethics, your founder, your driving philosophy, even your personality.

Most importantly, the differentiator you choose to highlight in your value proposition and marketing should be something no one can take away from you.

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Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

6 Ways to Alter Perceived Value to Improve Your CRO ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

What is it about that blue box – the iconic Tiffany’s box.

What’s inside isn’t, typically, very exciting in purely objective terms. A relatively plain diamond engagement ring (okay, the engagement itself is exciting), a charm bracelet, heart necklace or pair of generic earrings the like of which you could easily find at Zales? Half the magic of Tiffany’s is knowing it came from Tiffany’s – the iconic mecca for diamond and Audrey Hepburn fans. There’s romance in that box that is only tangentially related to the jewelry.

There’s also social cachet.

I don’t mean to sound jaded. I wouldn’t turn a down a blue box or its contents. But I do want to point out that its value isn’t intrinsic: it’s perceptual.

Perception is a very individual thing, influenced by life experience, personality, past interactions with your brand and your competitors (and with certain classic movies). Perception is the voice that whispers “Yes, you should buy the Poinsettia Flower Pot Cake for $165 because Oprah said so,” or “Hey, maybe I’ll give AirBnB a chance – Kim looks really comfy.”

Just checked into our NYC penthouse. Thanks @airbnb for the gift of our home away from home.

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Perception is so subtle, many of us don’t pay it much attention. But marketers do. CROs do. And you should, too.

Even the words you use in your value proposition, marketing, and product pages will mean slightly different things to different people. The words quality, premium, economy, value, guarantee might mean “an intelligent purchase decision” to some buyers, or just mean “cheap” to others.

It’s because perception is so varied, and I would argue malleable, that it can be influenced to generate higher conversions – without increasing your own costs.

And you don’t need Oprah or Kim to do it.

Hey now – this isn’t entirely self-serving. Customers want to feel good about their purchases, that they’ve made the best possible decision on a product that meets their practical and emotional needs. And, when they do feel that way, they tend to be more loyal. Everybody wins.

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