"Putting a sign that requires twelve seconds to read in a place where customers spend four seconds," Paco Underhill tells us, "is just slightly more effective than putting it in your garage."
Why People Buy
Underhill is the author of the book "Why We Buy - The Science of Shopping." His book discusses how consumers buy products in retail stores. Many of his insights can help us sell products and services on the Internet, too.
Underhill was hired by a number of huge US retailers to study the way people read the signs in their stores. The smallest changes to a store's layout can make significant differences in sales. Tiny changes to a store's signs can increase or decrease sales, too. And the same principles apply to the websites of online retailers.
Get Your Prospects' Attention
"First you have to get your audience's attention," Underhill explains. "Once you've done that, you have to present your message in a clear, logical fashion."
If you don't get prospects to pay attention, your message won't be understood and acted upon. If you give your website visitors too much information, you'll overload them, and send them back to the search engines, where they'll look for your competitors' sites.
Getting Shoppers to Decide
Brand loyalty is much lower than it used to be. Years ago, many buying decisions were made at home, due to consumers' loyalty to particular brands. Today, however, consumers are making their buying decisions after they arrive at the store - or after they arrive on your website.
In today's struggling economy, shoppers are busier than ever. Retailers can't waste shoppers' time when they're looking for products in a retail store, or when they're visiting a web site.
On the web, you can influence how productively people spend time on your site. Write your sales presentation well, and prospects will absorb your message more easily, and feel more comfortable about buying from you. Craft a poor sales message, and your prospects will struggle to understand what you're offering. They won't enjoy spending time on your website.
Designing and Placing Signs
Smart sign placement in a store is critical to grabbing prospects' attention. It's no different on your website.
Websites don't have signs. But there are banner ads, "buy now" buttons, navigation bars, text and display ads, special offers, sale items, closeoouts, discounts, popups, and pop-unders. These are the "signs" that are important. The more you study your web logs and learn how people scan your web pages, the more your online sales will grow.
"Smart sign design (sometimes means) breaking the message into two or three parts, and communicating it a little at a time as the customer gets farther into the store," Underhill tells us. "Thinking that every sign must stand on its own and contain an entire message is not only unimaginative, it's ignorant of how human brains operate."
That concept gives us lots of room for experimentation on our websites, too.
The Bottom Line
Underhill describes a sign that he particularly likes - a sign that he saw in a hotel elevator: "You Look Famished." Below the sign were the menus of a couple of the hotel's cafes, snack bars, and restaurants.
Signs are an essential part of our online marketing efforts. As with every facet of marketing, we need to measure our current sales, experiment with different ways to describe what we offer, and measure again.
- How to save Windows Spotlight photos to your computer
- How to move the OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive
- Windows 10 fails to upgrade? Here is how to fix it.
- How to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking PDF files
- Preventing installations of specific programs with Folder Guard
- Folder Guard licensing explained
- Speed up the updates of the network folders
- Make your Windows laptop work as a Wi-Fi access point
- How to stop automatic updates on Windows 10
- Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.
- Migrating encrypted data from TrueCrypt to USBCrypt
- Enhancing a photo CD collection with PhotoLauncher
- “The Microsoft account service is unavailable right now. Try again later.”
- Using DiffMerge as the external tool of AB Commander
- How to erase the icon and/or thumbnail cache in Windows 8 and 10
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 2
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 1
- Case study: Using SoftDetective to suppress Corel Guide sign-in prompt
- Using junction points to change the iTunes backup folder location
- How to tell if my Windows is 32- or 64-bit?
- How do I stop Windows from rearranging my desktop icons?
- Organize your photo library with the Rename tool of AB Commander
- Windows does not offer the NTFS format option? Here is how to bring it back.
- Encrypt Firefox profile with USBCrypt
- Restarting Windows 8 and Windows 10 in the safe mode
- Integrating AB Commander with Universal Viewer
- Website Signs Boost Sales
- How we host our web sites
- How to delete a protected EFI disk partition with Windows 7, 8, or Windows 10
- Using Folder Guard to protect from the “social engineering” attacks
- How to erase Windows login password if you forget it
- How to unhide a folder hidden with Folder Guard
- How to repair Windows desktop icons with AB Commander
- Slow network in Windows 7 Virtual PC? Speed it up!
- How to show drive letters first in AB Commander and Windows Explorer
- What is my IP address?
- Amazon Cloud Drive offers free 5 GB online storage
- Why can’t I copy large files over 4GB to my USB flash drive or SD card?
- Test the strength of your password with USBCrypt
- Setting up the external text editor for AB Commander
- How to restrict Internet Explorer from downloading programs from the Internet
- Personal vs business license for USBCrypt
- Use Folder Guard to restrict access to Control Panel
- Compare MySecretFolder and Folder Guard
- Hide folders with Folder Guard
- Compare ActiveExit to WINEXIT
- Lock folders and drives with passwords
- Locking access to the external drives with Folder Guard
- Protecting Dropbox folder with USBCrypt
- How to set up Folder Guard to stop downloading from the Internet
- Is “Wipe the content” the same as “Secure Delete”?
- Can USBCrypt encrypt the C: drive?
- Make it easier to return your lost encrypted drive
- USBCrypt for users of Microsoft® Office
- Start programs elevated from a batch file
- How to make elevated programs recognize network drives
- How to disable hibernation with AB Commander
- Using names and labels to organize USBCrypt drives
- How to password-protect a USB flash drive (video)
- Always have a backup of your important files