December 7th, 2008 | 3 MIN READ

Classic Closeouts: A Classic Case of a Clear Value Proposition

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Classic Closeouts is the best example of supporting a value proposition that I have come across in my travels around the Internet.

Clear Value Proposition

I love how Classic Closeouts presents a holiday focused value proposition (inferred):

Headline: We've got your holiday shopping all wrapped up
Sub-headline: With over 3000 items priced under $10 you'll be able to overstuff those stockings

The headline alone does not a value proposition make, but combined with the sub-headline it proposes Classic Closeouts as the one-stop solution to the customer's problem of finding gifts and stocking stuffers without breaking the bank. It's both quantified and persuasive. It inherently encourages more items per sale. Bravo.

Congruence of the Value Proposition

According to marketing think-tank Marketing Experiments, it's not enough to have a value proposition. It must be stated clearly and supported by every element on the landing page (congruence). Classic Closeouts does this very well:

Site Name: Classic Closeouts clearly communicates that it's a discount store.
Tagline: Prices so low we're practically giving it away!
Small Banner: Thousands of gifts under $15 (quantifies the value proposition)
Quantified Supporting Evidence: We've proudly saved smart shoppers $162,751,857.04 since May 2000!

Weighted Calls to Action

And the calls to action on this site are weighted. First, you'll encounter the $10 off $40 or more offer, and free shipping over $40.

Then there's the newsletter sign-up which is incentivized with an additional 20% off your first order. I hope they are testing this form approach. Currently there's no description of what to expect from the newsletter - are they informative, for deals, for what? Also, allowing subscribers to self-segment by how frequently they want to receive the newsletters and what categories of deals is a "better-practice" for newsletter sign-ups. And, there's no link to a privacy policy or assurance of privacy. Participation may be higher with a different form TBT (to be tested).

But I do like the fact that this call to action is weighted secondary to the coupon code offer (by virtue of its placement on the page) and it's incentivized.

Update: If you navigate away from the home page without signing up for the newsletter, and navigate back to the home page, you'll see this instead of the sign up form:

Other calls to action like the deals of the day with strikeout regular prices and red sale prices also support the value proposition of hot deals.

These links showing the number of New Arrivals, Clearance Items, Under $10, Bargain Bin and top seller of the day (with quantity sold) also add to the excitement of the site:

And another call-to-action, much more subtle as to not compete with more important calls is the bookmark this site badge.

Odds and Ends

One I think Dr. Flint McGlaughlin from the Marketing Experiments team would point out on this page is the "Lowest Prices on the Web" in the above badge. The post-modern consumer isn't going to believe you without backing up your statements.

And, the value proposition is not necessarily unique - there may be other liquidation sites out there that have thousands of stocking stuffers under $10. But I'll give Classic Closeouts the benefit that it's not easy to think of one off the top of your head.

Dr. Flint would also mention this page doesn't need to show credit card icons at the bottom. He would assert that people assume you can take different types of credit cards and you don't need to advertise for Visa and Mastercard!

Personally, I appreciate the PayPal icon. I recently was shopping online and wanted to use up my US PayPal balance that has just been sitting there, so I purchased from a site that let me use it. It's probably a very small percentage of shoppers who will care, but I'm not against PayPal icons as long as they're in an appropriate place. But I agree about Visa/Mastercard.

All-in-all, I think this is as close as a textbook value proposition page as you can get. Still, there's always room for improvement. So always be testing!

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