Sustainable, ethical optimization

greenfeet.JPGWe know from a November 2007 BBMG survey that if products are of equal price and quality, consumers are more likely to buy from companies that:

• Manufacture energy-efficient products

• Promote health and safety benefits

• Support fair labor and trade practices

• Commit to environmentally friendly practices

Those are great differentiators in the present market conditions, but it’s not enough to find success online: You must still attract visitors with a unique Value Proposition and make finding the green and ethical products they came for (or what you want them to buy) fast, easy, and stress-free.

During last week’s free web clinic our optimization experts looked at the homepage of Greenfeet.com. In 1997 they were on the bleeding edge of earth-friendly eCommerce. Now that everyone is on the green bandwagon, Jill Richard wanted advice on how to maintain her advantage.

Director of Optimization Research Jimmy Ellis got right to the point: Jill’s Value Proposition needs to express clearly and succinctly why a visitor should buy from Greenfeet.com instead of somewhere else.

“The page says ‘Things you can do to go green today’,” said Jimmy. “But visitors aren’t coming here to learn how to go green. If I’m shopping for environmentally-friendly products, I’m already green. The site has to help me understand which products to buy. Help me find the best products to suit my needs.”

(To read the entire analysis, see our latest Journal brief here.)

Once a green/ethical product and service provider has attracted a Hunter or Browser with a killer Value Proposition and optimized page elements, they are also well-positioned to charge more, even in the current economy.

Related:  Optimizing Homepages: How a clear objective can increase conversion

The Wall Street Journal recently tested how much difference ethical production makes to consumers when it comes to price point. They showed shoppers coffee and t-shirts, telling one group they were manufactured using “high ethical standards” and another group that “low standards had been used.” A control group was not given any information.

In all tests the shoppers were willing to pay a premium for the ethical choice, and were only willing to buy products manufactured by “unethical methods” if they got a steep discount.

Not sure what to charge, or if you’re charging too much or not enough? Read this eye-opening MarketingExperiments Journal brief on finding the ideal price point.

Conscious consumers willing to pay a premium for products and services that meet their criteria are online right now, hunting and browsing. Test, optimize, and test again to ensure the ones they find and buy are yours.

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