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  • Sam Decker

Achieve Results with a Well-Balanced Site

One day I heard someone suggest they could change how people buy and what is purchased on the web site with some navigation changes. What bothered me is how they said it: “It’s a lever that we control”.

No doubt you can effect and influence online customer behavior by changing copy, layout, navigation, colors, graphics, etc. I’ve done this for years. However, when I hear a statement like “it’s a lever that we control” it makes me worry that they over-assume. People quickly forget the customer perspective.

However, the more you try to change behavior, the less you profit from the intended behavior. Too much up selling = lower conversion, for example.

So, there’s a balance. A successful web site is entirely dependent upon the competence one has to balance and execute between business needs (what levers we want to move) and customer tasks (what they want to do) with strategies that impact both successfully. Magic happens when you can do things that work for both. That’s when you’re going with the flow…as it were.

I suggest looking for the organic behavior on your site (web logs, financials). Customers have a way of finding what they want. Find these things and elevate them. One time we found an disproportionate amount of traffic to a small link below the fold. We moved it up.

Once you have that ‘river’ of purchase traffic moving at full speed (low leakage, cleaner click path, etc.), you can start to add streams and tide pools off that river. You can test upsell, crossell, or other message. You’ll have much better success if you go with the flow of the customer…and remember they’re paddling the boat.


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