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Mar 29, 2010 | 1 minute read

Your Customers as Conversion Consultants

written by Linda Bustos

Listening to your conversion consultants, reading all the books and blogs, watching webinars and running A/B split tests will only get you so far unless you're listening to your customers, as a recent post from Justin Palmer illustrates:

For years, customers have been telling us to show the pictures of clothing on real people, rather than mannequins. For years we ignored the advice due to the impractical task of always having models on standby when new products arrived. So instead we optimized the heck out of everything we knew how. We overhauled the design of the site. We built a new and improved shopping cart. We ran incessant split tests on our marketing emails. But we started hitting a point of diminishing returns. All those a/b tests weren’t as effective as they used to be.

Then we decided to do the obvious. We actually listened to our customers and starting photographing all products on models. And the results? Let’s just say it was the single most effective optimization project we have ever done to the website. It wasn’t technical. It didn’t take an online marketing specialist, just a bit of old-fashioned listening to the customer.

The site Justin is referring to is

This is a good reminder that the voice of the customer should be shaping your ecommerce initiatives, first and foremost.

If you need tips on tapping into the voice of the customer, we recently posted tips for developing customer surveys and creative places to ask for customer feedback.

It's also a good reminder that people like to see products "in context" (in use), and it can have a staggering impact on conversion. I've written before how showing multiple images can reduce customer anxiety, and how retailers can show products in context.