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Make your shoppers feel at home

Suppose you wanted to buy a new toaster. It would be simple if someone shoved you into a taxi, drove you to a nearby store, walked you to the counter where a toaster was on display, and said: “There, now pay for it”. Simple, but not the way you’d want to do things. “Hang on,” you’d say, “What is this shop? Are there any other toasters I should be looking at?” You’d be very unlikely to reach for your credit card.

Many suppliers take this approach with advertising their online stores. Click on an advert for “Buy toasters here” and you’re taken straight to a page showing half a dozen toasters in little panels. (It’s even worse if you’re taken straight to a product page about a single toaster). Either way, you’ll probably think: “What is this shop? Are there any other toasters I should be looking at?”

Where’s the welcome?

A full introduction about the company and the range of products it has to sell is, in my opinion, essential on any advertising landing page. Some suppliers would say it’d be daft to keep repeating this information on every category page on the site, to which I’d say: then don’t send the advertisers to those pages. Set up pages which are copies of the category page for the product being advertised, but with the introduction at the top. Send people to those instead. Once they’ve arrived and moved on from those pages, they’re in the normal site. But the key is that they’re going to feel a lot more comfortable once you’ve welcomed them properly.