Client Case Study:
UltraDent sells dental solutions. They needed to know how to make sales online in a very competitive market (10+ direct advertisers on Adwords). What tricks could they use to boost their checkout rate?
We suggested that UltraDent AVOID the traditional style of ecommerce storefront and instead experiment with the concept of segmenting and educating the customer before asking for the sale.
Here’s How We’d Revamp their Site:
The company we spoke to earlier this week would like to remain anonymous, for the purpose of this case study I’ll refer to them as UltraDent. UltraDent is a retailer of plaque control products. It’s a traditional ecommerce store in the Amazon mould with a shopping cart but its website isn’t converting as well as it could be.
My theory is this:
People in the market for dental care are not educated customers. They have heard of plaque control and teeth polishing – but they’re puzzled and confused by the myriad of different products and choices. When they get on Google and search for “Plaque Control” they are NOT LOOKING FOR A PRODUCT. Instead, they’re LOOKING FOR INFORMATION.
This is an important insight:
People Google Search for INFO – NOT for PRODUCTS. Yet most PPC advertisers insist on displaying a list of products rather than information relevant to the search – not a smart idea.
The UltraDent Site Problem
When the user first lands on the site after a PPC ad click the user was presented with a myriad of choices.
Here is an Outline of their Site
Note: For privacy reasons we do not show their actual site but a “block” version that just shows the position of types of elements they currently used.
They make several big mistakes
1. Promo product of the day, sale of the day, special offers — etc etc…
2. Admin log in buttons (absolutely not needed!)
3. Product search? Why? The client typed in “Plaque Control” on Google. They already did their product search. You should be capturing this info via your Adwords link.
4. Cheesy stock photography
5. Multiple Product Sidebar? A common sin of ecommerce sites – don’t confuse customers with multiple product suggestion.
What benefits do all these features actually give to a customer? This website has no targeting whatsoever and it also fails to form any trust between the website and the browser.
The Site Makeover – Going for Simplicity, Customer Segmenting and Customer Education
Here’s how we’d redo their site.
Frankly, we’d toss out the ENTIRE front page and start fresh.
The image below gives an idea of what the new front page should look like.
Here’s the key things we’d do.
1. Build Trust
One way to quickly establish trust and integrity to your website is to simply put a picture of the owner or manager of the company up. This helps establish trust. It also helps with branding and having the customer perceive you as an AUTHORITY on the subject of Dental Care. Being perceived as an authority is critical to the strategy we’re about to discuss.
2. Focus on Information First – then the Sale.
Most traffic for products such as teeth whitening is of course going to come from Google. It’s so important that you understand how people use Google and their quest for information.
“No-one googles to buy, they google to get information”
SO. . . what’s the implication of this?
Don’t try to sell the customer upfront. The headline and opening body copy should instead focus on making the customer feel that they are on the right place to answer their question.
“Having been in the Dental Industry for 8 Years, Here’s the Dirty Truth behind Plaque Control Products that Your Dentist May NOT want you to Know”
The next part is an opening paragraph mentioning what the site is about — something along the lines of
“My name is _________. On this site I’m going to reveal to you everything I’ve learned about Plaque Control – the procedures, the best products, the industry lies and the best choices for consumers…………..”
That’s the kind of opening that can hook a customer and make them stay on your site.
Now here’s the next — and the MOST IMPORTANT PART.
3. Customer Segmenting
Ask the customer what they’re looking for. Yes – seriously…give them a list.
What’s Your Biggest Question on Plaque Control?
- Cost of Teeth Whitening
- Home versus Dentist
- What’s the difference between kits, gels and strips.
- etc, etc
Here’s the KEY POINT
Each question is a link to a separate page on the site that answers the question and then RECOMMENDS ONE PRODUCT THAT THE CUSTOMER SHOULD BUY.
In many cases having many different products with different prices and reviews can have a severely negative impact on your conversion rate. There should never be any reason for your browser to have to stray from your website to get more information. This strategy eliminates that possibility.
So what does the customer see when they click on their question of choice?
4. Educating the Customer
Now let’s say the customer clicks on “What is the Cost of Tooth Whitening?”. The next page they see looks something like this:
The page DIRECTLY answers the question in brief and then recommends ONE single product for the customer.
At this point, the customer is having their main question answered. A sense of trust has been established. They are likely to perceive you as an expert and not a salesperson looking for a quick product.
Whatever product you recommend has now gained great credibility. The buy rate will likely be MUCH higher.
But why do we recommend just showing one product?
Let’s say you show 4 different products, the problem is that unless you explain the pros and cons of each really well, the visitor could jump off your site, go back to Google and do research on the products. Along the way, they might stumble onto a competitors site and you lose the sale.
So if you must show multiple products, explain them really well based on the question the customer previously clicked on.
In the case above, you know the customer is likely concerned with price. If you have 4 products in your catalogue, you can list all 4 on this page. But address the pricing levels of each. For example:
Product 1: This one is the most economical. But results take 3 months. I would recommend this if you’re looking to spend less than $200….
Product 2: High end product with great testimonials. Fast (most customers see results in ___ hours). The pricing is $3400.
Again, you want to give the customer the EXACT info they need so they can make a purchase on your site — with little confusion and little need to go back to Google and do more research.
Summary: Keys To Make Sales Online
How to make sales online is a subject that’s troubling so many internet marketers. Don’t stick to conventions – think out of the box. Learn to target your customers, discover what they’re looking for, give them EXACTLY what they’re looking for and make a sale through education and customer segmenting.
Roberta Rosenberg, The Copywriting Maven, and a reader of this blog summarized it best in a comment she left us 4 months back:
Whether it’s online, in a catalog, or through traditional direct mail marketing, too many choices will ‘paralyze’ most prospects and impede their ability to click the ‘buy now’ button. What prospects do want, however, is assistance toward making the right choice from among many options.