I Want $150 Asics and I Want Them Now: The Ecommerce Strategy

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.

Queen: I Want it ALL!

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”

$150 Asics

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.


11378659_994706603907715_1554912690_nfilthyRich 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/




Friday I’m in Love with my eCommerce Platforms

“…as we’re walking by, I see that there’s a chalkboard…and it literally says, ‘Don’t worry ladies, your husbands called, they said it’s OK to come in and buy something.’…It really made me want to go in and buy the most expensive thing that they have, and then just come back the next day with a giant black eye. And just be like, ‘You lied, Zales. He didn’t call. He wasn’t OK with that.’


— Jesse Klein, Comedy Central


I like to send variations of the word “communicate” to my wife Johanna occasionally. Etacinummoc, municate.com, comunicar, etc. “What are you doing?” she writes.

“Communicating.” But why? Usually because I want to drive my best shopping cart into the latest eCommerce trends. We’ve worked out a complicated system of how and when things get bought and with my thirtysomething pairs of shoes in my closet and her four, I end up wanting to buy things more. A lot more.

An eCommerce manager should be constantly working this type of communication into her eCommerce strategy, but even with the best conversion optimizer, she can’t know how couples communicate when they want to buy something.


  • “What do you think of this? All inclusive, decent price, passports are ready.”
  • “Can i get this i will work for it?”
  • “Can i order this purse it’s on sale?”
  • “Can you do me a favor?”
  • “Hey there’s this expensive item i want do you think we can work something out?”
  • “I found something i can’t live without…”
  • “It costs too much but we really need it…”
  • “It’s a little high but what do you think?”
  • “New mattress 500 yes or no?”


We beg like grumpyCat on our best days. On my worst days, Johanna and I have gotten into heated text battles over $25 Amazon.com purchases. Amazon’s inability to predict this kind of struggle proves that even the best online store builder in the world is no help to me when I’ve already ordered two pair of shoes this month.

Couples have a comfort zone for personal shopping, anywhere between $10—$1000 or more that an individual member of a partnership can spend without consulting. But when items are above this comfort zone, what are the rules? What is conversion like for couples who are not immediately onboard with their partner’s purchase?

eCommerce platforms depend on this communication for their website conversion from browser to buyer, but know relatively little about it. These ten snippets might be the closest an eCommerce marketing professional gets to the actual fire, but the fire is hot. Stay tuned as we dig into what your customers are saying to their partners in this black hole. Because if you see it Monday and by Friday you’re not in love, you may just never buy it at all. Conversion thwarted.


“It seems to me that maybe pretty much always means no.”

— Jack Johnson, Flake


PollCart is a new platform on a quest to turn shopping into a social experience and let users share their opinions.