How to Build Your Website like a Supermarket

| January 11, 2016

You might be thinking, “Why the heck would I want my website to be like a grocery store? I don’t sell meats and produce, I sell information.”

Good question. But if you’re a fan of all things marketing, this is one article you do not want to miss. Case in point: Did you know that nothing is left to chance in a supermarket? Everything in a grocery store is orchestrated to increase sales. In the same way, we want to be 100% intentional about how we guide people to the right place on our websites so they do what we want them to do (subscribe, buy, etc.)

Yes, it’s manipulative. But it comes down to a choice – are you going to be smart about your website, or are you going to leave it to chance and hope for the best? Being smart builds a real business, while hoping you accidentally get it right is a hobby. BIG difference.

Here’s a prime supermarket lesson we can use on our websites: When Dranone cut their product line by 40% their sales went up 20%. Why is this? Because before people had too many choices, resulting in confusion and loss of sales. Reduce the choices and you reduce the confusion. This is why UK supermarket giant Tesco announced they’re cutting their range of products by 30% to simplify the experience for shoppers. After all, who needs 98 different extra virgin olive oils?

If you have too many products, pull the ones that aren’t selling well and focus just on your best sellers. This will benefit you in that you’re more focused on promoting your best sellers only. And it will benefit your customers because it’ll be easier for them to make a buying decision.

Here’s another juicy marketing morsel: When a four-foot cardboard cutout of a glass of beer was placed at either end of the beer shelves, sales increased 23% overnight. Crazy, right? The big beer glasses acted as sign posts, directing customers towards purchasing beer.

So how can you guide people on your website into making purchases? Good question. Give them a clear path from start to finish – a path they cannot easily deviate from. Guide them. Make it clear what their choice should be (to buy, versus to leave without buying.) Make it as simple as seeing a signpost and making the appropriate turn to get to the destination.

And speaking of making things easy – for years supermarkets hid things like bread and milk at the back of the store, with the theory this would increase sales. After all, if you make people walk past all the other items, they’re bound to buy some, right?

It turns out that was a bad theory. Instead of increasing sales, it had the long term effect of making people mad enough to not return to the store. Ouch. Now they know that by placing essentials at the front of the store, they are more likely to get repeat business from the goodwill they have built.

Again, it’s all about making the shopping experience easy for the customer. To read more about how to make your website more like a supermarket, go here:

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Category: The Insider

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