Sales is simple…Minimize doubt. Maximize trust. Target motivation.
Consumed => “Better Product Pages: Turn Visitors Into Customers” by Sabina Idler on Smashing Magazine.
=> My value add (i.e., left a comment)…
Perhaps you caught me at the end of a long day but this article just rattles off all the usual cliches and myths.
“Don’t get too serious.” Really? That’s funny because ultimately copy / content should reflect the brand and the expectations of those interested in the brand. If that entails serious, so be it. I’m having a tough time reconciling the suggestions of differentiation (i.e., stand out) and this check list of triteness.
re: “Whatever your product, chances are high that at least one competitor offers something similar. To convince people that yours is the better choice, focus on features — particularly those that are relevant or essential to your target group.”
Pardon me but…not really. Features are for the foolish and the misguided. The optimal perspective is benefits and those should be defined / addressed in the context of buyers’ motivation. For example, “Over fifty third-party skins are available.” is a feature. “Easy to change skins let you personalize your widget and make it your own,” is a benefit *if* personalization is something that motivates the buyer to buy. If it’s not then you just wasted their time and yours. Relevant is kinda close but motivation is the proper target.
Finally, where is “Remove Doubt / Gain Trust”? This is where it should all start, and end. Doubt is the ultimately deal breaker. If I have a question – any question – and I can’t find the answer easily, that clearly creates doubt. Deal over. Done. Doubt can also be created via design. For example, “Why does this site do _____? (Subconsciously) I don’t feel comfortable. I’m not sure why but I don’t trust this site…Click” Pretty and funny might be pretty and funny but that doesn’t necessarily remove doubt and gain trust. If the design (and content) is a mismatch for expectations then that disconnect is going to be a problem. Minimize doubt. Maximize trust.
I like Smashing. Perhaps this article was meant for Mashable? ;)