Increase Conversion Rates With Scent

November 14, 2005

I have a colleague who talks about “scent” (think bloodhounds.) When people stop smelling the trail of what they are looking for, they stop looking. They leave the site.

I saw it in a big way last night. I looked at a dozen category pages for an e-tailer and they all had lousy conversion rates. Except one. So being the curious LunaMetrician that I am, I checked it out. I was impressed to see that on this one page, the customer had changed the names of all the same old products to make them category-specific — and suddenly, they had scent.

Think of it this way. A red, 5-speed Honda Accord can be classified as a red car, a manual transmission car, or a foreign car. (OK, maybe it was assembled here, but that’s for someone else’s blog.) If I click on the “Manual Transmission” link and just see the Honda listed as “Honda EX,” I lose the scent. “This isn’t for me,” I think, “I was looking for a car with a stick shift. I’m in the wrong place.” I really want to see the Honda described as “5-speed Honda” or “Honda EX with stick shift.” When I see it that way, I know that I’m in the right place and I’m ready to click further.

Think it’s trivial? It is. But it increases conversion rates – not a trivial goal at all.