Convert your Customers by Listening to Bryan Eisenberg

Jan 11, 2008   //   by Stephan Spencer   //   Content, Conversion, Ecommerce, Online Retail  //  2 Comments

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bryan Eisenberg, who is the co-founder and CPO of Future Now, Inc. Bryan is also a high profile speaker, author, consultant, blogger, and the publisher of GrokDotCom. In additional to his role at Future Now, Bryan is also one of the founders and Chairman of the Web Analytics Association.

My interview with Bryan was about personas and “Persuasion Architecture,” a process that helps persuade customers to make a decision on your website when traditional marketing methods fail. As an inventor of Persuasion Architecture, Bryan shares a wealth of expertise into the world of crafting personas to get into your customers’ minds in order to give them the content they need in order for them to make their next click decision.

There are several nuggets that we can take from Bryan’s interview, that revolve around the idea of personalized search. I asked Bryan what the typical rate was for a typical online retailer. His answer? “The average online conversion rate for a typical retailer today is 2.4%.” That’s pretty depressing when you think about it. So how to you help your conversion rate through managing your content?

Persuasion Architecture is based on Bryan’s idea that, “everybody does things for their own reasons.” These reasons translate into four, distinct preferences, the how and why people do the things that they do. Once you understand the four basic personality types — emotional, logical, fast-paced, and disciplined — you can build perspectives or snapshots that give you insight into how your customers might want to purchase your products. Once you understand the “how,” then you can build the “who.” Who is buying your products from your site? That’s where profiles come into play, small pictures to what Bryan says will “give us a little better understanding of who that grouping or that mode of behavior is going to be — and then ultimately two personas.”

Listen to my interview with Bryan Eisenberg for more about how to boost your site’s conversion rate. This podcast is 40 minutes long, and is a 10 MB download. Enjoy!

2 Comments

  • “The average online conversion rate for a typical retailer today is 2.4%. That’s pretty depressing when you think about it.”

    Maybe.

    One of the big take-aways I’ve enjoyed from Avinash K’s book (http://www.amazon.com/Web-Analytics-Hour-Avinash-Kaushik/dp/0470130652 is that conversion rate can be misleading, as putting total visits in the denominator assumes all visitors are coming by with the intent or possibility of ordering.

    Not so.

    People visit web sites from multiple reasons. Determining the various use cases — via surveying, analytics, etc — can give you a better sense of how many folks you even have a chance of converting, leading to a more informative denominator.

    If 50% of your traffic was coming in for tech support, an apparent 2.4% conversion is really 4.8% — a different story!

    Cheers

    Alan

  • Alan,

    I enjoyed Avinash’s book as well. However, let me pose a couple of different questions. 1. Can you tell me, do you think any retailer is doing a “fantastic” job at every aspect of e-commerce and providing their customers the most incredible buying experience? 2. Could virtually all retailers do better? 3. I am not saying you should be converting 100% of visitors of course there is a segment of the audience coming for different intentions, but there is no reason to be converting less than 10% (expect a handful of categories like electronics). I am happy to discuss this with you further.

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