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This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >     
Improving Your Ecommerce Site: What Have You Removed Lately?
jsinger




msg:3090573
 6:51 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The front page is only so big, especially "above the fold." How many trust thingies can a shopping cart hold? What clutter have you removed from your site lately?

In my case, the Javascript date thing was removed a few months ago from the top of our front page. And it just occurred to me that no one's emailed asking what date today is.

What's in YOUR wastebasket?

 

hannamyluv




msg:3090613
 7:19 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

no one's emailed asking what date today is

haha. That's always bugged me. When I have asked people in the past why they have the date on the site they say that they thought it makes the site look "fresh", like somebody updates it daily or something.

I personally think that most people should take a good look at how big your logo is when looking at how to make space above the fold.

You shouldn't get rid of it, but I find that most people have their logos being much larger than they should be. (Perhaps they are compensating for something?)

Phil_C




msg:3090625
 7:29 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

What clutter have you removed from your site lately?

- An entire range of products from one of our suppliers - a bunch of no-good crooks!

oneguy




msg:3090663
 7:53 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I personally think that most people should take a good look at how big your logo is when looking at how to make space above the fold.

I totally agree. It's rare when I can't make the statement I'd like to make (or thoughts I'd like to visually convey) in 500 pixels or less at the top.

jsinger




msg:3090671
 8:02 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

hannamyluv, excellent point about logos often being too big given the prime real estate they reside on. I think there is a trend to smaller logos.

Yeah, the date thingie was supposed to: 1) be technically kewl (back in '98); and 2) imply freshness.

I'm not technically savvy and changing the date at midnight became burdensome :)

ispy




msg:3091143
 4:18 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Products with quality and competitive pricing sell themselves, you don't need all that junk to make sales. What I think you are trying to do with all that junk Jsinger is convince people to buy like you would at a brick and mortar.

borisbaloney




msg:3091593
 1:36 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's something I've been working on tonight so I'll jump in.

I'm removing the site template from my ordering system.

Instead of having my order form in the body of the standard page, the theory apparently goes that if you go all ultra basic in the ordering system, with only the order form and a link to the home page, it will convert more.

So removing the standard menu, and providing basically no other options but to fill the form out, you provide the user better direction.

Naturally I'll test this to see if it works on my site, but it fits nicely with the less-is-more brainstorming hopefully.

jangro




msg:3091649
 2:12 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

no one's emailed asking what date today is.

That's because you removed your email address too.

hehe.

PaulHudson




msg:3091655
 2:13 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Every site I have ever made has been based around the principle LESS IS MORE, simplicity. The objective is to guide customers to products then to the till.

Products like Zen and OS have so many features that you can cram on the front page, you just end up confusing visitors.

Some times I visit a website and it looks like it was created by a developer to impress developers, not a marketer to impress customers. The date example above illustrates that, just because the code is out there doesnít mean you have to use it.

Worst thing on a front page IMO, ĎAbout Usí, no one cares, tell them about you products/services not how you were formed.

jsinger




msg:3091676
 2:34 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some commerce sites just add and never remove anything. You still see those stupid ancient "Get Netscape Now" and "Download IE 3.0" stickers.

Who was the retailing genius who decided years ago that shopping sites should have warnings like:
"Best viewed using Internet Explorer version 4.0 or higher and/or Netscape version 4.0 or higher."
Else, stop shopping and download a new browser for the next hour LOL

jsinger




msg:3091682
 2:39 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

PaulHudson, I agree absolutely. I used to say that the great majority of early corp sites, and some commerce sites too, had one overriding goal: To Impress Competitors.

hannamyluv




msg:3091782
 3:52 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Best viewed using Internet Explorer version 4.0 or higher and/or Netscape version 4.0 or higher

As soon as I can find an average customer who could tell me what version browser they are using (heck, that can tell me what a browser is, to be honest) I will eat a hat, or something.

All messages like this serve to do is panic a customer (Do I have a Netscape? Is is 4.0 or higher? Will I break something if I don't?) and a paniced customer is less likly to buy.

chicagohh




msg:3091835
 4:42 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Look at the logos for Amazon, Overstock and eBay. Amazons logo is actually blended in with a navigation tab. Time to do some split testing to see if it makes a difference in non-household brands.

Lyn99




msg:3091901
 5:15 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've removed most of my landing page, and I'm just about to cry. Seriously.

The "fold"? WTH? I had a virtual novel below the fold.

What's in YOUR wastebasket? My website!

I envy you smart people soooo much.

donpps




msg:3091990
 6:30 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

less is more:
on landing page, pick the most critical actions you are looking for: lead, signup, order?

Give them ONLY those options. Once they are in your pipeline, keep it simple.

No flashy videos or extra popups... too confusing and they just "x-out" of your site.

D

gevorg2006




msg:3092152
 9:06 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I always have a date/time on my page. At the bottom though.
I want to know when that snapshot was done by Google, Yahoo, MSN cache tool

spikey




msg:3092218
 9:58 pm on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I removed "you may also be interested in these products" from the bottom of my shopping cart. I a/b tested it and conversion was higher without them.

I removed all navigation links from the first page of my shopping cart except "continue shopping" and "checkout" (and the item names in the cart contents list link back to the product details - but this is only apparent if you mouse over them).

I moved the date to the bottom of the page. I still keep it so I can search google for a date and see what pages they've got in their index from that date. Helps me see what's been updated recently.

"Join our mailing list". If they want it they can get on it in the shopping cart. I'm going to assume that if they don't want to buy from my site they don't want my spam either :)

"Gift Ideas" (our products are more the kind of thing you buy for yourself). I always laugh when I see gift ideas on a site of products that are the last thing you'd ever buy for someone (e.g. "deodorant gift ideas").

"Gift Cards" same as above. Seems like everyone just had to have gift cards last year - I even saw banks offering gift cards. Some things just aren't ever going to be gifts no matter how hard we push.

The other thing I'm trying to do is take the non-essentail items (anything that isn't directly related to the sale) and put them one click away. Seems to me that's the whole point of hyper-text. If the anchor text is right and the person wants it then they'll click. Then I try to give them a digestable amount of information and then another "click for more information" where they can get even more. But on the original pages I try to keep it really tight. The product picture, name and "buy now" (not the real text) are what's big and catching.

jsinger




msg:3092513
 4:02 am on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I removed "you may also be interested in these products" from the bottom of my shopping cart. I a/b tested it and conversion was higher without them.

Interesting. Not surprising.

Those suggestions bug me especially when 95% of them are utterly inappropriate. Put something in a cart and be greeted with 5 things you have absolutely no interest in. Then, among all the clutter, you can't find the thing you actually want.

hannamyluv




msg:3092844
 12:35 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I a/b tested it and conversion was higher without them.

When you say conversion was higher, do you mean on that individual product or sales overall?

It may be dangerous to look at it on an individual product level. Some people may use those upsells to find a product they like better. On Amazon, they have the little stat that shows that what people who looked at the item ultimatly bought, which about 50% of the time (or more) wasn't the item they looked at in the first place. Half the time, they end up buying the product that was Amazon's upsell to the original item.

But, to have an effective upsell or cross sell, it does need to be related. If you can't offer related items, then you should just not offer anything

idolw




msg:3092910
 1:35 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

basically, the more seconds of waiting time we remove, the better the sites do.

i tend to remove as much of legal stuff as possible and keep it on one page only. not that the products are tricky, but not to distract them from buying.
who wants to read the law-bla-bla will read it as a link is easily visible.

PCInk




msg:3093136
 4:06 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I want to know when that snapshot was done by Google, Yahoo, MSN cache tool

You can put the date and time in a <!-- comment --> and view the source code of the cache to find out when the snapshot was taken. If you don't want your visitors to see the date.

HawaiianArt




msg:3093726
 2:23 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Our entire beautiful flash header. Goodbye you slow dog.

buckworks




msg:3093732
 2:36 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

A friend who is good with Photoshop streamlined some graphics for me, to save about 6K on a busy page.

oldpro




msg:3093855
 6:33 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow! First it was all my competitors copying me...now after reading this thread now it is the whole world wide web copying me.

jecasc




msg:3093940
 8:28 am on Sep 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I removed nearly all navigation from my landing pages. So people when coming in through the landing pages only will find the one product they have been searching for and the buy button.

Conversion for this products went up a significant amount because people used to search around in the rest of the shop to look if they could find a similar product and then ended up not buying at all. I have found that the less choices you offer to people the more likely they are to buy.

spikey




msg:3095389
 12:54 am on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

When you say conversion was higher, do you mean on that individual product or sales overall?

Sales overall. The page being tested was the first page of the cart. I showed related products to 50% of my users and not to the other 50%. The 50% I didn't show the related products to where more likley to complete their order (at a statistically significant level).

I can see in theory how it could increase conversion, but our system did it in an automated way. It was basically "customers who bought this product also bought" (i.e. we would show products that had historically shown up the most frequently in carts that had the same products as the current cart).

I think to get it to work correctly (at least in my domain) you'd need a more complex selection algorithm and I also think you need to explain to users why you're recommending the product. I think one of the biggest failings I see in ecomm is the idea that you can put up products under a heading like "you may also be interested in" and people will buy them.

It's easy enough (through online marketing) to sell a product to someone who is looking to buy it. Because of that, I think we seriously under-estimate how hard it is to sell a product that the person is not looking for. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's a whole other level of difficulty in marketing. If anyone's had a different experience I'd love to hear about it.

We resell products for a variety of vendors with known brand names. We often have people (either other companies or internal people) saying "here's a great new brand, let's sell a bunch of it too". I then go into my speach about the difference between riding on the coattails of existing brand recognition and building a brand name. How it's not just an order of magnitude (e.g. sell 10% of the big boys), how marketing sucess won't be about ROI but about the cost of customer acquisition (over years) and how much it costs to get enough critical mass to have a brand identity. Again, I'm not saying it can't be done, I just think the marketing costs and success metrics are in two different worlds. Maybe it's just because I do really well with the former and not so well with the later.

Again, I'd love to hear other's experience with this, especially if you've found differenlty. i.e. when you're about to get a customer to buy something how do you sell them a little more?

ccDan




msg:3096385
 7:02 pm on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I guess I'm in the contrary on this one. I am updating my eCommerce site, and here are the changes I'm making:

1) Enlarged the logo. But, it actually takes up less room than the older, smaller logo because of better use of spacing with the new design.

The old site was designed with 640x480 monitors in mind, so the older logo looks relatively tiny on newer (more populous) screen sizes.

Also, there was a slight name change. So, instead of the old header which had the "My Company" logo plus "Your Widget Store" as the header, the new logo is just "My Company Widgets".

So, even though the logo is larger, it takes up less space and is more efficient than the previous version.

2) Added today's date. Ask people what day it is. Sometimes they have to think about it or look at a calendar. I work at a B&M--do you know how many times people ask you today's date when writing a check? Adding today's date on a web site does give a degree of freshness, as they can quickly see today's date as well as the date of the article or announcement they are looking that, which gives them an immediate sense of how fresh the site is.

3) Adding a shopping cart. Yes, I'm a bit behind the times...

I never saw the value of adding "Best Viewed with..." buttons to an eCommerce web site. Are you in the business of promoting a browser or selling widgets? My choice was always selling widgets. You're asking someone to pay you money--it's your job to make your site function in their browser, not make them download a specific browser to view your site. If your site doesn't work with my browser, I'm spending my money with someone else's site that does.

Oliver Henniges




msg:3096404
 7:19 pm on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

> I removed nearly all navigation from my landing pages.

This is the most interesting idea i have read for months.

hannamyluv




msg:3096448
 8:01 pm on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is the most interesting idea i have read for months.

This idea has been around for awhile, especially in regards to PPC advertising.

Some people are also doing this on the checkout, though there are conflicting reports on how well it does. I suppose it depends on whether you want higher conversions and possible higher abandoned(remove checkout nav) or a warm, fuzzy site (give people the option to wander away and possibly not come back to the end). Test, test, test, I guess.

lorax




msg:3097365
 12:20 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> This idea has been around for awhile

Yea, but it's still "new" to you when you first learn of it! ;)

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >
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