Have you ever walking into your local grocery story thinking “I’m just going to grab a couple items” only to leave an hour later with a dozen things you didn’t need? You’ve been had. And that’s the point. You are being silently sold based on consumer behavior that is heavily mapped out before a single customer steps food in one of the stores. Before we get into how this is happening all around you without even realizing it, let’s take a moment to read the Mailbag Monday submission winner. Thanks a ton Dominic for submitting your question!
Now back to the grocery story.Take a second and think about where each of these items are placed in your local grocery store. I’ll put my hypothesis underneath and you can measure how close I am: Behavior Prediction & How To Cater To It Flowers Hypothesis: These are just off to the side of the entrance but conspicuously in the front. Additionally, these are near any sort of fresh food your local grocery food store has. If you have deli and a fresh salad bar, flowers will be before you reach these items, but in a direct path filtering foot traffic that way. Rationale: Grocery stores play into the consumers emotions of feeling a good experience while shopping. It’s a major contributor to your time in store. If they can increase your time in store, then all they have to do is deliver on your experience while in the store. If you smell fresh, beautiful flowers and see a bouquet of warm and bright colors, you are being primed to have a good experience. How’d I do? Did I nail it? I bet I did. Beginners luck! I can hear you muttering it now. Alright I accept. Let’s do one more. Dairy Products & Fresh Meat Hypothesis: I would wager at any grocery store these are on the back wall or back corners of the store, assuming this grocery store isn’t a specialized shop like a butcher or Whole Foods. Rationale: These are items that are on your list that require deliberate shopping and have a specific need in the consumer’s life. Maybe you are making lamb chops for dinner. Or maybe you need fresh ground beef for your kid’s lunch this week for Taco Tuesday. Whatever the reason, stores know you have to go get them. As such, they are going to force you to be exposed to as many products as possible. *Bonus Point #1: Ever notice how baking and cooking items are ALWAYS on the route to get you to the fresh meat side in the back? Deliberate. On your way back you might as well grab some cooking supplies and spices while you’re at it. *Bonus Point #2: Sometime milk is on an endcap in the very front – but it won’t be a lot of inventory. This is a way over the past few years large grocery stores have been combating convenient stores. Imagine the store coaxing you, “If you REALLY only need milk and have to get out, there’s still an option for you. Here you go! But come, look at pretty flowers! Smell those cupcakes? Look at this deli meat and giant cheese wheel” etc etc as you get tangled deeper into the web. You can watch this week’s edition of Mailbag Monday here or in the player below.
Why does all this matter? For the sake of continuing the rudimentary analogy, think of navigating your website like you would a grocery story. I’m a big fan of CrazyEgg and their scientific approach to conversion. They simplified this concept to the “15 second” rule. You’ve got about 15 seconds tops to delight the customer with value and curiosity or lose them to confusion and lack of attention. It’s easy for marketers to not take this seriously sometimes as people assume consumers care about what they offering. They DO NOT. The fact that this is the reality makes it all the more crucial you are thinking of your copy as if your business depends on it – because it does. Some actionable thoughts and questions are when someone lands on your site, do you have the flowers by the door? Or do you go right down the middle and immediately ask for their information? Are there delicious, chocolatey treats waiting as they check out? Do you have a “bump” offer, an offer that is just an add on but adds value to their life, that you can expose them to as they are making a purchase decision? 1. Study Your Sales Cycle Sales cycles matter because they dictate the amount of convincing you need to do and what kind of messaging you need to put out in order to give the potential customer the information they need to make a decision. Here are the some core questions to be asking yourself to better understand your sales cycle: How long does it take for a consumer to decide if your category is right for them? Are you any faster than your respective category? Are you selling a product or service that falls more into the “need” camp or “desire”? Are you selling a product or a service? How sophisticated is your product or service? These questions matter as they touch on how receptive your consumer is and how primed they are for a purchase. For instance, length of the decision cycle is usually correlated to a more sophisticated service or product. In this situation, more education is needed. If you were to simply ask for the sales above the fold without doing anything to prove to the consumer that you have information that can make their life easier, then you are destined to fail on conversion. Your above the fold Call To Action, CTA, should be that hammers home a clear value proposition centered around delivering value in the form of helpful information which you’ll trade for an email. They should clearly understand that you’ll use this email to provide them more information like the kind you are about to give them. Your goal as marketers should be to entice a potential customer by reducing perceived risk while simultaneously delivering on value. All of this hinges on your ability to breakdown the path to purchase. You can check out more about your customer’s journey here in a recent Mailbag Monday featured episode. 2. Set Your “Booby” Traps depending on your sales cycle and where your consumers are by regarding their readiness to buy, then you create different tactics that encourage deeper engagements. what’s Focus On Value – Don’t make a “moral” bribe to your potential consumer if it truly doesn’t give them value. It’s no longer moral if it’s something that won’t add to their life. They need to get a quick win here. Filter Deeper Towards Purchase – In exchange for personal information such as email and name, you need to be sure what you’re offering is not only good, but has a purpose. If they reveal their identity, they obviously think it’s worth it in some way. Be sure what you give them takes them closer to purchasing. For instance, if you offer them just a guide of your services in PDF format, that’s not encouraging them to do anything more than read. But, if you offer them something that would require even more assistance from you, then you are making sure there’s still more to be done with you. This “lock & key” model is especially valuable as it creates a situation in which the consumer NEEDS your services to even decrypt and use the value you just delivered to them. Content upgrades are my absolute favorite tactic here. Check out Pat Flynn’s take on content upgrades for additional resources and learning. 3. Test, Learn, & Optimize You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. And you can’t learn from results you don’t collect. All this said about maximizing opt-in of your incoming traffic, testing placements and ad copy is the rosetta stone of digital conversion. We’re a big proponent of A/B split testing. Software services like Leadpages and Clickfunnels do a brilliant job of including A/B testing within their offer. A way to DIY this type of experiment is to run different value propositions head to head and throw equal amounts of traffic at both pages. Test the opt-in rate as well as click through rate. Gather sufficient impressions on your test and you’ll walk away with viable results; atleast enough to form the basic foundations to guide your learning of a new launch, message strategy, or promotional campaign. So next time you are at your local grocery store, remember this post. Take note of how brick and mortar stores put this into action. You’ll start to notice the daily inspiration all around you that you can apply to your business. If you found this helpful, please like, comment, or share the information. It’s an indication of what’s working and the kinds of content we can keep producing to offer you more value. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mailbag Monday and get the latest content updates as well as be able to ask your marketing questions and get them answered live on the show in podcast, written, and video format. If you have any specific questions on how to convert your customers at a higher rate, feel free to email email@example.com and we’ll get you squared away. See you next Monday!