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Optimize Conversion Rates By Understanding How Shoppers Behave Online

Every online business is looking for ways to optimize conversion rates.

Unfortunately, marketing teams make these projects unnecessarily complicated. Before you know it, your simple “let’s improve our conversion rates” project has turned into a six-month saga.

Here’s what you should be doing– focusing on the few things that deliver the most impact. And that’s what this article will deliver.

Why it pays to listen to me– I’ve been studying this topic for 13 years. It’s all I do.

Let’s start by understanding the problem.

The Problem

Your Conversion Rates AreWayLower Than You’d Like

We are living in a world with too many choices.

You are leaking sales; not because your product is bad, but because shoppers are drowning in options.

To appreciate what shoppers deal with it helps to walk in their shoes.

Shopper Journey

Consumers discover new brands via a variety of paths. Let’s focus on the two that the marketer controls.

Path 1

The consumer has a problem and goes to Google to research it.

We Googled “How to improve home air quality” and saw a bunch of promising product ads:

The shopper doesn’t know which air purifier is best for them so they open four or five tabs:

Optimize conversion rates. This is how shoppers search online.

At this point, our shopper is in an uncommitted state of mind.

Path 2

The other way shoppers discover new brands is while scrolling their social media feeds:



Optimize conversion rates. For paid traffic landing on your site, your PDP is the entire site.

The product page matters because the shopper knows beyond it they’ll need to pull out their credit card.

If I had the guts I’d get this tattoo:

If I had the guts I'd get this tattoo. It illustrates how important PDPs are when it comes for optimizing conversion rates.

Was this section about placing the sales pitch on the product page clear? /

Glad that makes sense.

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    The Opportunity

    Quick pause:

    The Challenge

    Let’s continue from where we left off. The marketer knows two things for sure:

    A: We Got One Shot

    If you go to your Google Analytics and peek into the Audience –> Overview report you’ll find a pie chart that shows your site’s returning visitor rate.

    Here’s mine:

    Optimize conversion rates

    Even if your return rate is 20% it means 80% of visitors see your site just once.

    Those are garbage odds. We need to close the sale on the first (and only) visit.

    B: Advertising Is Expensive (And Getting Expensive-er)

    My clients spend a lot on advertising. As their competitors spend more they are forced to respond.

    Advertising platforms like Facebook and Google make money when brands get into bidding wars.

    Don’t spend more, get better results by improving your advertising conversion rates with a killer sales pitch.


    Some marketers use graphic design to optimize conversion rates. Some rely on creative product videos. Others focus on copywriting. Even within copywriting, there are many paths.

    Copy is ideal for A/B testing because it’s malleable. It can be easily tweaked and adjusted.

    Testing design and video take more time and money.

    Start with copy testing. Once you’ve found the perfect copy formula you can start testing the design.

    Did we properly explain why copywriting is the thing to focus on? /

    Glad that makes sense.

    Uh oh! Let's get in touch so I can explain this better...


      We'll talk soon!

      The Sales Pitch

      To fully extract conversion juice the marketer needs to present a sales pitch that:

      A: Demonstrates expertise
      B: Amplifies desire
      C: Minimizes anxiety

      Why These Three Fundamental Building Blocks Matter

      We’re living in a hyper-specialized world and consumers don’t want to buy from people who generally understand the problem they are trying to solve. They want to buy from people who deeply understand the problem they are trying to solve (this is why demonstration of expertise is such a strong conversion catalyst).

      When a user first lands on your website they have a motivation level of four (because they know there are many other options they could consider). In order to get this user to pull out their 💳 the marketer needs to up the motivation level from four to 8+ (8+ is the threshold for buying.) To do that you need to amplify desire.

      As the shopper is gradually falling in love with your sales pitch their brain is working in the opposite direction. Our brain is in the business of protecting us. Preventing from making bad purchase decisions is at the top of that list. So while the shopper is reading, her brain is throwing up questions like, “wait, what does this mean?” or “how is this a good idea?” or “do we really want to buy today? Why not wait a few days?”. If you can’t address these curve balls you can’t close the sale.

      We dig into these 3 core concepts in our Building Your Sales Pitch article. It’s the next chapter of the story.

      About Frictionless Commerce

      We deliver an unfair advantage to technical product DTC brands (for example, Dyson) by improving advertising effectiveness by 20% in 90 days. This is achieved using a buyer psychology conversion copywriting framework. All paid traffic eventually reaches the product page and this is where we strike. Our process.

      If you like doing the hard work yourself, our founder Rishi shares conversion ideas on LinkedIn every day. Connect with him here.

      If you want to make your life easier and still increase conversions, jump on a call.

      Comments 12


      Wait for these little nuggets every week. 🙂 Really helps see copy and conversions in a different (unique) light.

      avatar post author

      Hi, Trina. Thank you for sharing your comment. Means a lot. Truly. –Rishi



      Very timely article Rishi. I am working on a major revamp of our Amazon A+ content and much of the advice in this article makes a lot of sense for my project. I’ve been on your mailing list for years and I’m surprised how often I find new reasons to be glad I joined!

      avatar post author

      Hi, Ted. You’re one of my earliest subscribers. I often wonder, “I’m talking about such a narrow topic, wonder if people will get bored?”

      What’s surprising is that every time I dig deeper I find a new beautiful little room.

      Do share your A+ content when it’s ready 🙂



      Thank you for this lesson.

      Question1 – If I lead a customer to my page via a video that explains the part 1 “why we exist?”, do I still either post that video on the page again or create a written summary of the video on the page? Or can I go right into part 2 of the reasons my product is better?

      Question2 – Say my product is better because of 10 aspects. On the product page, do I list the subset of aspects that most to all people could benefit or list all and push the less likely valuable aspects lower in the list?

      avatar post author

      Great questions, Jim.

      — You can post the video again on the page. But below that video go into part 2 of the reasons to buy.
      — Place the less valuable benefits lower on the list.

      Great questions.



      I absolutely LOVE these blog posts – I read them in my inbox every week. However, it is possible to be even *more* granular when it comes to referring to why an ad works or doesn’t work?

      To demonstrate what I mean, I’ve annotated the Dyson ad in the attachment below with the sort of pointers I think you’d include!

      avatar post author

      Hi, Paul. Great to hear from you. Glad you are liking the content. All 3 annotations in your Dyson ad are spot on. Love seeing your perspective.



      Hi Rishi,

      I was reading your article word by word and not even a single line distracted me. Optimizing returning visitors rate is one part and adding value to your product/service day by day is another important factor that helps in conversion.



      Hi Rishi. Awesome content. I was wondering, however, HOW does one add those Clear/Unclear questions in the page? Is there an app for that? Or do I need to know how to code?

      avatar post author

      Hi, Xavier. I appreciate your comment. I’ve been getting this question a lot.

      Currently, we hardcode it.

      But guess what? I’m working on a Shopify product page app that will make this as simple as drag and drop.

      That app should be out in the next 6 months.

      I will be announcing it via my newsletter: https://www.frictionless-commerce.com/JOIN



      Very funny, but I’ll bite.



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