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Treat Your Website like a Supermarket

07 August, 2015 10:00 AM

Often we hear ourselves saying, "I need to stop at the supermarket for just one minute, need to grab a few things", and we come out after 45 minutes carrying bags full of things we didn’t plan to buy. This is not because we are fond of unnecessarily spending our money but because we tend to indulge in impulsive buying. This is a concept derived after years of research and experiments on consumer behavior, which the entire world of marketing and advertisement relies on. Everything about the supermarket – from the products kept in an organized manner to the corridors that guide your movement – has been designed to trigger the unconscious desires in a consumer’s mind.

This is exactly what you need to do for your website. Treat it like a supermarket and do everything that a supermarket owner does to convert visitors into customers. Here are some key details about supermarkets that can be applied to your website for enhancing its conversions.

Creating a Path
A noted consumer analyst, Simeon Scamell-Katz, wrote in his book, “Shopping is so ritualized that we walk around like zombies. We’re incredibly patterned in what we do.” While we are in a supermarket, we grab a cart and walk around all the corridors because that is how they’ve been set up – the path itself guides our movement. Similarly, your website should also be laid out in a manner that guides the visitors to pages you want them to see. But make sure this path is not jumbled up or too elongated.

Strategically Placed Sections for All Types of Items
Shopping for grocery items is mostly the responsibility of the woman in the house and when she enters a supermarket, the first section to greet her is of cosmetics – tempting lipstick shades, nail colors and all other beauty products laid out elegantly. Also, sections for kids’ clothing and women’s clothing are always placed adjacent to each other. I’m sure you understand why. For your website, understand what the user would first be seeking and simultaneously suggest searches for related products that might interest them.

Follow the Line of Sight
How often do we look at the signboards naming the sections in a supermarket? We rarely do. Instead, we see the items placed on the shelves and know which section we are walking through. Here, the most recognizable names like Maggi and Parle are placed in the middle rows to instantly catch our sight. Similarly, in a website, we tend to look at things in the middle of the screen and hence, the most important message or relevant items should be placed accordingly. This is an example, how the art and science of Website Designing merge.

Don’t Make Them Wander About
Often you would see that the essential items in a supermarket are kept at the end to prompt customers to go through the entire range and impulsively buy more stuff along the way. While this mostly works for the supermarkets, the idea should not be applied to your website. Consumer behavior on the internet is snappier and if you do not lead them straight to the point, they would certainly walk out.

Point of Purchase: Just One Last Thing
At every grocery store, supermarket and multi-brand retail store, some items are placed at the billing counters – the checkout points. Chocolates, toffees, chewing gums, handkerchiefs, pairs of socks and other such small buys; why? Because the retailers want to sell you 'just one last thing' before you leave the store – and mostly, this idea works. On your website also you can offer a few things at the checkout pages and take advantage from the point of purchase.

Some of you may argue that all these methods are manipulative. Indeed, they are, but there is nothing illegal about them. These are some smart ways which you will have to play by if you want customers to get what they want while also getting what you want. Else, you can leave it to chance and wait to see the results.

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