During a recent study, Callie* told me a riveting story of wanting to buy $150 shoes and how she communicated with her husband, Tom*. Callie is a distance runner who typically runs 5 miles every morning before 6:00 a.m. and gets to work by eight where she parks at the top of the garage, does five flights of stairs, then goes into her building six flights up where she changes into her designer pumps for her legal job.
From asics.com: “After 18 years of innovation, the Nimbus® series continues as one of ASICS’ most recognized high performing footwear. The new GEL® placement offers modernized geometry of cushioning, designed to improve adaptability and mitigate brisk impacts. Improved Guidance Line® technology harmoniously syncs componentry to embrace the motions of the runner’s gait cycle. $150”
Callie’s active lifestyle has contributed to a number of injuries and turning 40 has not helped with her knee and heel sensitivity that she treats with massage therapy and ice. Shoes designed for an active pronator are a must. Callie picks up new Asics about every three months and typically just asks Tom if there’s money in the bank before she hits up Asics’ frequent shopper ecommerce platform.
If you feel like you can’t relate to Callie or Tom, here’s the thing—neither can I. Let me tell you Tom and Callie’s real story: Callie is actually a busy mom and real estate agent. Callie hasn’t jogged in years and is trying to start a conversation with Tom, but it’s a “hard talk to have” when she wants something that is a “low priority” for her husband. Callie loves the way Asics Nimbus look with her jeans and they’re certainly comfortable, but how do you ask your spouse for $150 shoes when you can’t even give a pair of Chuck Taylors a run for their money?
Callie is overwhelmed because an item she actively wants, but certainly does not need is not an item Tom considers a good purchase. If Callie is lucky she can wait for birthday or Christmas and hope to see those aqua-mint, titanium and turquoise runners under the tree.
Let’s look at some other problems from our study associated with non-purchases or delayed buying and find a theme:
- I can’t get in touch with anyone with expertise.
- I struggle to gain approval if it’s expensive.
- I’m not buying it if it means I can’t pay the bills.
- I have to remember to buy it before the sale ends.
- My friends, family and wife’s needs are different than mine.
- I make her wait 30 days and she normally forgets.
- I don’t ask or buy if I know he’s just going to say no.
Callie #1 legitimately needs those $150 Asics, I think we can all agree on that. But who decides if Callie #2’s reasons are important? In some relationships, Callie does. In some relationships, Tom does. In most relationships Tom and Callie strike a delicate balance with how they ask for items like a complicated game of chess.
What is Conversion? Ryan Kettler calls a website conversion “getting your visitors to do what you want them to do: Buy your product. (1) But ecommerce trends don’t just call for our target market, avid runners to buy $150 shoes, but a thoughtful ecommerce manager using an intelligent conversion optimizer is looking at ways to entice Callie #2.
Something I’ve noticed is that when I buy my wife Johanna a new pair of Chucks, she almost always finds time to go pick up a new pair of work shoes. Buying her hip sneakers is fun for me, but buying quality work shoes is important for her confidence. But in this scenario, Johanna picks my time to splurge on a gift as her time to invest in workwear. You can use your imagination when I imply that we have a similar system with “fun” and “functional” underwear. Like I said, complicated. Asics may have the best shopping cart according to the latest ecommerce trends, but if they can’t get Tom, they can’t get Callie, and if they can’t get Johanna, they won’t get Rich.
filthyRich is the founder of PollCart: Empowering consumers through opinions they actually trust! PollCart is a forward-thinking new platform that turns shopping into an authentic social experience. With PollCart, you can share your shopping experience in the same way you share your status updates, moods and feelings through your favorite social media platforms.
*Real names changed to protect those from who we are grateful for their stories.
(1) What is a Website Conversion? by Ryan Kettler, April 24, 2012 http://www.boostsuite.com/2012/04/24/what-is-a-website-conversion/