I review a lot of websites in my line of work, so it is a real pleasure when I stumble across a business that has nailed its website’s behavioural effectiveness.
Here’s one that impressed me when I had my ‘consumer hat’ on and was looking to buy.
Recap: Five things a behaviourally effective website needs to have
Before we dive into the site, recall that in order for a website to be behaviourally effective i.e. persuading your visitor to do what you want, you need to cover five essentials:
Hello Fresh has all the ingredients
As a thank you for ordering some pet food online, I received a voucher to try www.hellofresh.com.au, a business that delivers you a recipe along with the ingredients you’ll need. Noting I knew nothing about them aside from a voucher with a website address – I was hitting it cold – here’s why I thought their homepage was doing such a great job.
Figure 1 Hello Fresh homepage
- Confidence was established within the first few seconds because Hello Fresh’s site looks professional, includes prominent logo and imagery, and carries icons with anxiety-busting messages in the header (“Quality fresh ingredients”, “Over 10 million…”). While to take it further they could include testimonials on the home page to tap into social proof, the subtle inclusion of a landline phone number in the top right signals that this is a real business that you can easily contact if you need. Below the fold they also include additional credibility markers (“as seen on” with mastheads from media). Importantly, the brand experience is consistent offline and online so there was no ‘jarring’ or disorientation when I clicked through.
- Clearly identified and succinct value proposition, “Everything but the chef” is located above the fold with plenty of white space. They have committed prime territory to this section, which is exactly the right thing to do because this is where you make or break the sale. Personally, I’d like the statement to hit on the problem customers might be looking to solve, but I love that they are telling their visitor what they are here for. Note this image is static – another great decision because sliding images distract, confuse and decrease conversion.
- Pathways for next steps are obvious with a single Call to Action (CTA), “View Boxes” above the fold and in contrasting orange. There’s no confusion about where to go first or sense of being pulled in multiple directions. For those who want to discover more before committing to the CTA, there is more information below the fold. Notice too that rather than being placed above the fold, the newsletter sign up and social media buttons are reserved for the footer where they cannot distract the customer from the main game – clicking to view boxes.
- Asking for action at the right time in the right way. Rather than the CTA being “Buy Now!” as many sites rush to do, Hello Fresh understand that people will first need to understand more about the service, offering that visitors “View Boxes” instead. Central to a good CTA is how it reduces visitor anxiety – people want to know what happens when they click before they do. A small thing, but exclamations! are rarely! a good move! They elevate anxiety rather than the excitement you are trying to manufacture.
- Reward > Effort has been achieved through a combination of the elements above as well as colour scheme, typeface colour and size, images and copy. Decisions such as keeping any moving images below the fold, letting the visitor control the viewing cycle, and only including newsletter and social media sign-ups in the footer all reduce effort for the customer. Importantly, where a cluttered, busy site would have undermined the proposition the site is instead psychologically consistent with the promise of hassle-free cooking.
It’s what you don’t do that counts
As Hello Fresh have demonstrated, designing a site that effectively moves visitors from one decision point to another requires, above all else, restraint. Some tough decisions have obviously been made by the Hello Fresh team to keep their site free of distraction and noise, so I commend them and their web developers. Too many marketers think more is better – more movement, more buttons, more offers – when all it does is overwhelm and paralyse the customer. As Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”, and so it is with how you communicate with your market.
Bri Williams runs People Patterns, a consultancy specialising in the application of behavioural economics to everyday business issues.