What if the moment adults go online they no longer act like adults? What if grown men and women surfing the Internet act more like children? How does that phenomenon affect they way you market and sell products from your website?
My wife and I don’t have children, but we have two beautiful little nieces that we love to spoil. As I interact with my “little friends,” I can’t help but notice the unique ways that kids act differently than adults. If you have children, you know exactly what I mean. Consider these examples:
1. Children tend to lack patience. When kids see something they want, they want it immediately. Asking a child to wait or go through a series of steps to attain something can create theatrical sobbing or an Oscar award-winning temper tantrum. (My little nieces are angels, mind you, and never misbehave.)
2. If you give children too many choices at one time, they will tend to get analysis-paralysis and freeze. Children respond better to simple yes or no choices, rather than deciding between 20 various options. I discovered this conundrum when taking my nieces on trips to the toy store that took way longer than expected.
3. Children need to be told the obvious thing to do. I chuckle when reminding my nieces to close the door behind them on the way outside to play. Without that reminder, they will leave the door open and let bugs take up residence in the house. Little kids must be told exactly what you want them to do.
The funny thing is that these types of childlike behaviors seem to transfer to adults when they go online. Shopping on the Internet can make grownups regress into children. If you want to increase sales of your products and services, your website needs to be optimized to account for the following childish behavior:
1. Adults online lack patience.
Adults shopping your website have the patience of a child. They want you to make the buying process easy. Use these tips to aid the process:
- Don’t overload your product pages with too much text. Keep descriptions to a few concise paragraphs.
- Lead your marketing text by answering the customer’s central question, “What’s in it for me?” Don’t make impatient people search for reasons to buy.
- Offer more products as immediate downloads, such as PDF files, video, audio, etc.
- If you ship products, realize that 2-day and overnight shipping is becoming standard.
2. Adults online struggle with complexity.
Too many choices will make kids get analysis-paralysis. The same dynamic applies to adults shopping your website. If you have too many categories or product iterations, you will prevent customers from purchasing. Consider these tips:
- Use your website to literally lead people through the buying process. Beware of displaying product or service pages with descriptive text that stops at the end without any next step links – that’s a dead-end. Like a child, many visitors will struggle to know what to do next and leave. Most who leave rarely return.
- Use landing pages and website product pages to reduce decisions into simple choices. Do you want A or B? For example, say, “Click on the link to go here (A) or there (B).”
- Create visual buttons on product pages that display simple choices consumers can take. If people scroll down your pages to a dead-end, the sale will probably die with it.
3. Adults online must be told the obvious.
Even though adults are highly intelligent, we can miss specific details that entice us to purchase. More importantly, people have no desire to do your job for you. If your shopping system is complex and hard to understand, people will buy elsewhere. When adults shop online, you must state the obvious. Use these tips to be clear with your customers:
- Display colorful, easy-to-see, buttons or text links, such as “Buy Now,” “Use Coupon Code Here,” or “Special Price for 48 Hours Only.”
- If your e-commerce shopping cart requires people to take multiple steps or pages to purchase, make sure you display clear instructions at the beginning.
- Conclude every website page by telling people exactly what you want them to do next, such as saying, “Register Here,” “Read This Article,” “Go to the Next Step,” “Call for Free Consultation,” “Buy Today’s Deal,” “Join Our Newsletter,” etc.
When selling to adults, remember the ways that you guide the children you love. Account for their impatience, limit choices to a few clear options, and always state the obvious. The more you think like a child, the more you will sell to adults.