I'm not going to grump at you about how you need policies or
any other form of reassurance for your customers. I'm
thinking about a different aspect of this equation. When I
was checking out at the grocery store the other day, in
addition to my receipt the cashier handed me a ribbon of
coupons. It was the classic Point of Purchase (POP)
marketing ploy, and it got me thinking.
to our Avantgo Channel
GROK at the e-commerce summit in
Rome, Italy 10/03/2001 - 10/05/2001
of 2000: WINNER -
Grok Dot Com
donít need me to tell you that when people visit your
site, you need them to realize right away both
the value of your product or service and the value of
buying from you over one of your competitors. So when
you provide your reassuring policies on privacy,
returns, guarantees, shipping and so forth (and you do
offer these, right?), put them at the Point of Action (POA).
want to subscribe to GrokDotCom you've got to share a
little information - not tons of it, just your name and
e-mail. But some people are understandably squeamish about
scroll all the way down to the bottom of our page and
read: "We will never give, lease or sell your
personal information. Period! If you have any questions at
us." Thing is, while that policy is
clear, concise and compelling, itís at the bottom of the
page while the opt-in subscription box is at the top. You
might never get to the bottom to read how sincerely
concerned we are about your privacy. So what did we do? We
put a concise little statement right under the Subscribe
Now button, right at the POA: "We Value Your
know something? As soon as we did that seemingly minor
thing, subscriptions went way up! By putting the
information at the POA, the impact was immediate and
about how often information thatís critical to your
customer gets buried in tiny type at the bottom of the
page or in some other place where it is not immediately
visible when the need to know it is foremost in your
customer's mind. If I walk into a store, it's fairly easy
for me to find out product warranty information. I can
read the box I'm holding or chat with a salesperson.
Online, give your customer this same option, at the Point
of Action, when he'd figuratively be examining that box.
Link right there to product warranties, your company's
specific policies, even optional extended service plans.
Right there! Maybe you take them to the info, maybe you
give it to them in a pop-up (about the only time I
like these things).
the picture? At the exact point your customer has to start
filling in a form with personal information, let her know
her privacy is sacred to you. At the point she might be
curious about your company's shipping costs, make them
concretely available. Just when she's wondering whether or
not she can return the item if it doesn't suit her, make
sure she knows you have a no-questions-asked return
limit yourself to policies. Some shoppers value what other
people had to say about a product or about doing business
with you. Offer testimonials, but also be sure to put them
where they need to be seen, when the question is in your
prospect's mind. Think about other aspects of your sales
process. What else does your customer want to know and
when will it have the most impact on his or her decision?
Itís not only about making sure itís on your site, itís
also about making sure itís in the location that
will have the most positive impact on your sales.
Point of Action. Give them what they need to know when
they need to know it. Your customers will be delighted
that you've managed to anticipate their needs, and that
goes a very long way to persuading them you're the folks
to buy from!
soon to a website near you Ė
in fact, maybe YOURS!
guys and gals have been asking and asking, so OK: on
March 1 Iím gonna start making house calls. Thatís
right, Iíll be visiting your own websites and then
writing in future issues about how you can apply the
stuff we talk about here.
want a free Grokanalysis of your site? Itís
simple. Just click
here, fill out the form, send it to us, and if
I think your site illustrates something that will
be of interest to a lot of our readers, youíre in!
Calling all Lemmings:
Amazon, the Leader in Pop-Ups??
you can't see what Iím doing, but I'm just about to
reach for a couple of those Grokcedrin tablets that are so
good when I get an out-of-this-world headache. Pop-ups.
Ouch. You just love them, right? But can you believe it?
Amazon, no less, decided we just had to have them during
the past holiday shopping season, and now they are popping
up all over the web. Obviously, if Amazon does it, it must
be a great idea, right? WRONG!
thought you guys Ďn gals figured this out a while back.
Folks out there don't like pop-ups. At all. Period.
Pop-ups irritate the bejeesus out of them. I absolutely
HATE it when my browser throws me a pop-up and I have to
click out of the pop-up before I can move on. Donít you?
Then why would you think your customers would feel
arenít just annoying, theyíre invasive. Also, except
for the microscopic attention it takes to click them away,
pop-ups are eminently ignorable. Jakob Nielsenís studies
have demonstrated, "Users rarely look at logos,
mission statements, slogans, or any other elements they
consider fluff (in particular, they ignore advertising
and anything that looks like an ad)."1
(emphasis all my own!)
I have to confess they do have a few (a VERY few) useful
applications. Cafepress.com <http://www.cafepress.com>
uses them effectively to help explain procedures for
setting up a store on their site. And there's a nifty
classical music dictionary on Naxos.com <http://www.naxos.com>
where term definitions appear in pop-ups. Pop-ups in
response to Help questions can work. These applications
help speed apprehension and download times, and minimize
the chance the customer will get lost betwixt and between
pages. But thatís about it. If you can do it any other
way except pop ups, do. And if you think pop-ups will
increase sales or customer loyalty, youíve been watching
too much Amazon.
dudes and dudettes; don't be lemmings. If you're going to
use pop-ups, have a reeeaaally good reason for it.
"Just because Amazon does it" doesn't mean a
thing (in fact, letís see how long Amazon gets away with
it!). Most of the time the only effect of pop-ups is to
tick off your customers. And ticked-off customers click on
over to your competitor.
1. "Is Navigation Useful?" Jakob Nielsen.
Alertbox, January 9, 2000. <http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000109.html>