How Walmart Takes Online Sales From Amazon
My healthy kick is in full swing even 10 days after the New Year resolutions made on the 1st of January, one of which is to be good to myself. As I continue discovering the benefits of cooking well, healthy, with less oxidation or nutrition value loss, from the ingredients I can control (organic and not GMO), I find good ideas in online merchandising that help conversion and sales as well. Because, now I shop for tools to keep a new lifestyle going.
So, on a Friday night, winding down the busy week, I checked my Facebook to see what the people I connected to being up to. One of my friends, shared an article on Huffington post about a list of delicious, gourmet like recipes, which took my attention off shopping on Amazon for the best slow cooker. I found one with over 2000 reviews, checked the basics on the details (what it was made of, what pictures the reviewers shared) and was almost ready to pay $59 for the newly find appliance. Until, I saw a shipping charge of $14!
Whoa, I thought, maybe I need to look elsewhere or not buy it now. What’s the rush? Yes, I want it and using my steamer is great, yet I wish for a variety in taste and texture. But, $14 dollars, I could save it, no need to pay for shipping.
So, I knew I could very likely find it on Walmart.com and see if I get the Free Shipping there. I like to save a dollar where I can. And of course, there it was, the same product, event at a lower price by $5. Yet, not close to the Free Shipping threshold of $50 it seems. Until, I noticed a small, but super clever message, right where it should be – “just add $0.15 and you can choose FREE shipping”.
Wow, impressive, I thought and quickly took a screenshot. I can only imagine how many people who hate to pay for shipping in online retail choose to add extra dollar or a few cents to avoid $14 charge. Basically, this microcopy gave me an option to spend 15 cents to avoid $14 on Amazon marketplace. I almost have bitten on this offer. Very smart of Walmart.com to preserve its shipping threshold to keep the costs down and get the sale away from the competition. This is good salesmanship. I bet it is a product of A/B testing too.
So, I almost paid 15 cents to get my new cooking tool. Yet, I knew I could do better, because I was still looking for FREE SHIPPING. So, I chose a pickup option in the store. Of course, I knew about it from my own experience of working at Walmart.com back then and thinking through about similar optimizations to test. Yet, this microcopy discovery was an extra bonus that many ecommerce startups could employ if they have figured out their shipping thresholds.
Think of it for a moment: one little micro copy, multiplied by the volume of more than a few thousands of shoppers like me – FREE SHIPPING HUNTERS (savvy online shoppers that expect free shipping) and you steal thousands of online sales from Amazon marketplace that is stingy to its shoppers at times like above and expensive to ecommerce entrepreneurs, using its marketplace. That is the power of microcopy for conversion optimization.
It made me buy within the same 2 hours on a Friday night with many distractions and a thought to think it over, until my urge to buy was given an option to be satisfied with a small payment to meet the threshold. It almost felt like a win-win negotiation with a sale person that gets you. So, pay attention to your shopping experiences like this to make a list of things to test and optimize for to steal online sales from your competition. It is very likely, you can take away a chunk of online revenue from Amazon marketplace this way too.