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Your webshop isn’t some little candystore, why do you treat it like one?

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny. Regardless of industry or product offering. In the mindset of many an organisation, a strange kind of reduction happens. Their online presence should resemble as close as possible to the way they used to do offline business. ‘We need to get people into our shop, we need to generate traffic!’ Even those who travelled the path less taken often confuse the mythical terms of traffic and conversion, fearing the murkiness of digital ways of doing business.

There is a benefit to limiting your digital thinking to conversion only. At least you have a target, a purpose. Your social media activities, your apps and your websites, they all should serve the greater good; conversion. It seems like you know what you’re doing, and probably all your peers will commend you on your professionalism.

Again, there’s actually nothing wrong with the approach. If it weren’t for the fact that it starts from the wrong premise: ‘We need to lead them to our shop!’. This approach is best made by reconstructing the classic funnel approach; there’s a market, we want to have a fair share of that market, so we define a customer target group; Our so-called suspects. In the next phase, we try to identify them as prospects. We add n email address and/or do everything within our power to obtain such an address. ‘For future use’. Out of those prospects we gradually distil our clients, by leading them through our website towards our e-commerce environment; seems a bit tedious, doesn’t it? Why take the long road when a much easier way opens up to you? 

Why should you lead the horse to the water, when it can actually drink everywhere, provided you foresee the faucets and possibilities? Focussing on content architecture rather than emulating a physical world via your online presence is a direct, appealing and sure way to maximise on the consumer journey. If he arrived at a section of your site and is interested in the things you have to say there, it’s much easier to make your conversion on that exact location.

One guiding principle applies: treat each page as a homepage, this is where your customer or content consumer entered your universe. Don’t frustrate him/her by leading them somewhere else. You’ve got their attention, do something with it.