Conversion Wednesday – The 80/20 Rule



What is the 80/20 rule as it pertains to website usability and optimization?

The 80/20 rule means that 80% of the focus, attention, and time your customers spend on the site is above the fold. 20% is spent on items below the fold.

“Above the Fold” is simply what a website customer sees on their computer screen without scrolling down or to the right.

So, if 80% of the attention your customers are giving you is used on the top part of your pages, lets make sure the most important information can be found at the top of the page!

The most important information to a customer is the information a customer needs to make a buying decision.
Let’s identify the items that are the most important for your customers to make a decision to buy from you:

The first is to display what they are buying clearly. This sounds like common sense, but hiding the title of the product below other elements can confuse a customer. “What they are buying” also means you should include an image of the product they are looking at. If you are selling a service instead of a tangible product, a video is a great way to accomplish the same thing. Make sure these two elements are front and center so the customer never thinks, “what am I looking at?”

The second item is the call to action. On product pages, this is most often the Add-to-Cart button. This absolutely, 100% needs to be clearly visible above the fold.

Price rounds out the top three most important elements. Display the price in an easy to understand way. Make it easy to be found. These top three items should be the primary focus of your customer while on your product pages. If the product is on sale, make is clear that the sale price is the price they will pay. You can increase it’s size, change it’s color, make it bold, or strikeout the original price, just make sure it is clearly visible to your customers and erase any possible question they might have about what the actual price is.

The fourth item is options. What quantity, size, color, type of engraving, or customized text is required for them to make this purchase? Make sure these items are clearly labeled and found above the Add-to-Cart button. You don’t want to ask for them to make a purchase before they have given you all of the information required to make the purchase. The other big item here that needs to be singled out is shipping. Do you have free shipping options? If so, are they clearly labeled. Do you link to your shipping policies and prices? Identify the options your customers will have while purchasing this product and clearly present them above the fold.

The next item is easy to read bullet points. Show the customer that these are the things they are getting with this product. It’s a great way for you to give information about the product to the customer AND show the value of the product at the same time. These should be informational and make the customer feel good about what they are getting when they buy. For example, if you were selling clothing, letting them know that it is “100% cotton” or “waterproof” gives the product more value and helps the customer paint a picture of the product in their head. They start to visualize the product and the value they are receiving.

Now that they are thinking about buying, trust or security with you and your site has become important. Show them you have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Show them that you have secure checkout. Show them your Verisign or Better Business Bureau icons. This will help put the customer at ease about security questions with your business. These are good items to promote sitewide in the headers or side columns.

After you have won them over, sell them anything else that they will need to go with this item. If you are buying a battery operated product, upsell your customers by providing an option for them to purchase batteries too. If they are buying a helmet, maybe they’ll need a mouth guard? This is where you get to make your customer’s experience even better and establish yourself as a business who understands their industry.

Obviously, every online store is not the same and the products that are being sold have different pieces of information required for customers to buy from you. But this is where you get to show off your industry knowledge. Know what your customers need to make a decision on the products in your industry and you know what is important for your customers to spend 80% of their attention on.

Remember, 1% conversion rate means that 99 out of 100 customers are leaving that page without purchasing. If simply adding these items above the fold (in an easy to read format) gets one more person to buy, you’ve doubled your conversion rate!

Remember that 80% of your customer’s attention is spent above the fold. Help them make the right decisions by giving them what they need to focus on.

Take the list of items from the previous slide and use it as a checklist for your site. Do your product pages contain these items? If not, can you find a way to make them found? If my list doesn’t work for your industry, what items might be important to the majority of your customers that are hidden below the fold?

Simply giving the customer what they need to make a decision is a great first step to your conversion optimization. Once this is finished, you can move on to merchandising your products better and motivating customers to buy from you.

Are you having trouble identifying which items to include above the fold? Or, do you have all of the items in my list on your product pages already and still have low conversion rates? We can help by presenting different experiences to your customers and letting them pick the winner. Conversion Booster is an Exclusive Concepts full-service testing option . We do the work for you by gathering your analytics and identifying optimal changes for your site to maximize conversion rate. Then, we test those changes live in an A/B or Multivariate test and present you with the winning combinations! Its that simple. Give us a call at 1-800-504-4324 if you’re interested in learning more.

We would be honored to perform a free conversion audit on your qualified website today.