No Such Thing as an Informational Page

A client of mine has several ancillary business lines in addition to their main product. For the sake of argument consider these additional products that compliment the main business line like Dell will try and sell you antivirus programs when you’re shopping for a new laptop. I was tasked with boosting the sales of these products. In doing my research on their site on how they currently market these products I discovered a number of pages that were well designed and had highly relevant content but they lacked one thing: a clear path to purchase. When I brought this to the client’s attention I was told that these pages didn’t need a call to action button or any other improvement of the user experience to buy. I was told these pages were purely “informational”.

There is no such thing as a purely “informational” web page in eCommerce.

If a user got to that page, whether by browsing, Googling, using internal search, word of mouth, carrier pigeon message…whatever… they took the time and effort to get there for one reason: they are considering buying. They have now self identified themselves as a highly qualified prospect. Why would you not make it easy for them to buy?

Imagine if a car dealership worked like this. You take an hour or two on your Saturday to drive in your beater car you are hoping to replace to the dealership and when you walk into the showroom you find that there before you is the gleaming new car that you want. You can pick up the brochure for the model, you can open the car door, plant yourself in the driver’s seat, whiff the new plastic smell and count the cup holders. And once you decide that you want it….nothing. There’s no sales people. There’s no bell to ring for service. There’s no information on how to buy it. You would likely stand around bewildered and then walk out and give your business to someone else.

That fictional dealership would be out of business in under a month.

First rule of good UX in eCommerce: make it easy to buy.