November 17, 2013

Caring About Merchandise

There are three places where you can truly tell what a business/marketer cares about.
  1. Catalog Covers.
  2. Email Content.
  3. Home Page ... classic or mobile.
This catalog cover tells us that Chefs loves catalogs. They love catalogs so much they hold the customer hostage. You may remember this tactics from the early 90s, when, if you were cut off, you didn't learn about the business anymore - that was truly it!

How much merchandise do you see on the cover of this catalog?

Let's visit the home page, and see what is offered to us:
We see three items featured, so that's good.

Now, how many discount/promotional messages do we see?
  • Free Standard Shipping.
  • Save $20 on a Roasting Pan.
  • Save $155 on a Carving Set.
  • Save up to $130 on Flatware.
  • Final Days for Free Thanksgiving Delivery.
  • Fall Giveaway, Chance To Win Daily Prizes.
  • Shop Thanksgiving Sale.
  • Free Return Shipping.
  • Thanksgiving Sale - save up to 50%.
I count at least nine sale/promotional message. Nine.

Heck, valuable home page real estate is given to a blog ... a BLOG! 

If we go below the fold, then we see merchandise - six of the top eight items are on sale, furthering the sale messaging to the customer. 

Yes, they're favorites, and we know what happens in the Merchandise Forensics framework when you over-emphasize best sellers and do not develop new items. But items are featured. Interestingly, the items are "customer favorites" - not the items that the merchants/marketers are passionate about.

I am not saying that this style of presentation leads to above/below average conversion rates.

I am not saying this strategy is right/wrong.

I am only saying that we know where merchandise stands on the pecking order.

Amazon mulched all of us. Amazon relentlessly pushes merchandise at us.

Pay close attention to what companies feature in email, on the home page, on the mobile home page, and on catalog covers. You'll learn what the company truly values. And as we all know, we attract customers who share our values.