How To Yield a 7 Percent Sales Increase With An Incredibly Easy Redesign

I have some very interesting split test results that I think will really surprise you. Here's the story of a major retailer who increased sales over 7% by going against conventional wisdom.

Conventional web design tells us to minimize the number of clicks it takes for your visitor to make a purchase. So Michael was pretty satisfied with his clear, graphical web design. Upon entering the home page, the visitor was met by three big, fat, colorful "buy now" buttons - one for each product - neatly lined up next to each other. Clicking either button took the visitor directly to the check out page.

There wasn't a lot of clutter on the page, and the text was very minimal. Michael didn't want to confuse or distract his visitors so he made it as easy as possible: one click was all it took to make a purchase.

But he noticed that lots of visitors abandoned their shopping carts after clicking the buy now button. Obviously something was wrong. Time for a split test...

The original page was kept as-is, a second page was designed as Page B and a third page as Page C.

On Page B, the buy now buttons were lined up vertically instead of horizontally and simple "more information" text links were added underneath each buy now button. Even though the products for sale were "no brainer" commodities, the suspicion was that some visitors still wanted a little more info before making a purchase.

On Page C, the buttons were replaced with text-only links, also aligned vertically, and more complex, text-heavy links were added under the buttons.

Now I will admit, most people who saw design C thought it would never work. It was too cluttered, there wasn't enough white space and there were too many distractions.

Turns out they were wrong. In fact, 40% of visitors clicked the "learn more" links, and Page C resulted in a sales increase of over 7%. I can't exactly explain why the third design was more effective, but it's possible that web users have simply been "trained" to scan down the page looking for text links, rather than scan across looking at graphics (think Google SERPs). And, in these days of banner blindness, maybe the colorful, glaring buy buttons were almost invisible. I can't give you a definite answer, but what ever the reason for its success, this simple redesign is worth a try.

Time to implement: This redesign is incredibly easy since all it involves is text - no need to create any graphics at all. Redesigning the page should take less than half an hour. The time consuming part comes in creating the new product information pages to link to; but hopefully, those will already exist. And, as always, I recommend that you perform a split test before making any changes permanent. Everyone's target market is different.


Karen works with entrepreneurs who own high traffic websites and helps them implement split testing and optimization to recover the revenues they don't even realize they are leaving on the table.

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