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Web Site Conversions and Baseball  

:: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 ::

Web site conversions are like baseball. If you don't keep your eye on the ball, you'll strike out.

Sometimes the visitor experience is like holding a bat in you hands and wondering what the next pitch will be like. Take navigation links for example. You're either pitched (pointed to) a page that lands where the link label said it would go, or you're suddenly out in left field, with no idea how you got there.

A lot of web site visitors are patient and keep trying to do something productive such as finding a contact phone number, company address or price for products. A web site can throw them lousy pitches. They'll keep striking out. Their inner Umpire keeps calling the shots.

"Page is too cluttered!"

"It looks like a shopping cart. It acts like a shopping cart. Where's the button to return shopping?"

"Is, or isn't, that logo the way back to the home page from here?"

Enough strikes and your visitor is "out". You kept pitching them bad balls.

Granted, in real baseball, we love Pitchers who strike out everybody who comes to the plate, but trust me. If you do this with your web site, you're going to lose your fans (customers).

To increase your chances of blowing away the other teams (competitors), all you need to do is understand your end user and give them what they want. And, you have to give this stuff to them in exactly the way they want it. It's so easy!


But, there is plenty of coaching available. Today's E-Marketing News features an article by Jeffrey Eisenberg called Beyond Conversion

He writes:

"Conversion is what the visitor does; it's the "take action" part of the buying decision process. At the macro-level, the visitor converts from prospect to buyer. Helping prospects convert basically entails making it easier for them to buy by getting out of their way. Getting out of their way usually entails a copy, usability or information architecture adjustment."

One of the worst places to lose your online customer is in your shopping cart. It's not just a matter of it functioning. The shopping cart has to do whatever a person believes it should do for them. There's every chance you weren't worried about this when you chose the one you use for your web site.

In What makes a good checkout process?, you can see that people have high expectations for buying online.


"Whenever possible and logical, communicate with instructions. These appear as steps involved in the shopping process (pages), any confirmations that will be emailed after the purchase and my favorite, giving *advance* notice before your customer lands on the last possible page they can print a page for their records. Sometimes pages look similiar or contain similar functions and info, and its hard to tell which one the visitor is expected to print before the shopping cart tosses them out."

Finally, if this is old hat blah blah to you, please see Customer Satisfaction Doesn't Count

"Clearly there is little consciousness about what makes products desirable enough to engage emotional connections. But you can start with a real mission, real ideas about doing something for customers and users, and a real dedication to design."

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 5/11/2005 03:10:00 PM

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