From this webinar you’ll be better able to:
- Develop messaging that speaks a language Active Agers will appreciate and respond well to
- Optimize navigation and the user experience that intuitively addresses how Active Agers prefer to find product and service information
- Build your online customer service strategy that also addresses key issues like security & privacy paving the way for purchase by the older online shopper
Jeff Weiss: Hello everyone, and good afternoon for those of you who are on Eastern standard time like us. Good morning to those who are on Pacific time, as is my co-presenter, Jon and good day to everyone else in between. My name is Jeff Weiss and welcome to today’s webinar. We’re very excited to get this going. We’ve got a good group of people attending so, thrilled about that.
Just wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves. I’m Jeff Weiss I’m President and CEO of Age of Majority, I’m on the left there. I’m the youngest of the baby boomers, I’m 54. I’ve spent just under half my time on the corporate brand side and the rest of my time on the agency consulting side and we started Age of Majority just over a year ago to really identify and exploit opportunities for what we called the active aging consumer and market. Just for reference ’cause you can’t see slide, I’ve got on black cords and a black sweater today.
Jon, over to you.
Jon MacDonald: Hi, there, I’m Jon MacDonald. I’m the president and founder of The Good. We help e-commerce and Legion brands to increase sales, and our services convert more of a company’s existing website traffic into buyers through what’s called conversion rate optimization, which we’ll talk a lot about today. So we’ve worked with brands like Xerox, Adobe, The Economist, and several more. I am on the younger side for the presentation and definitely in the Gen X cusp of that. I’m excited to be here today.
Jeff Weiss: Great, thanks Jon. Thanks everyone for taking the time to join us for what we think is going to be an insightful look at the older consumer online. I just want to go through a bit of housekeeping stuff before we get into the real meat of this session.
Today we’re going to address four key areas of the online experience, that we think are key to engaging and generating leads and ecommerce sales with older consumers. Most folks market by getting prospective customers to your site through SEO, SEM, less on converting them once they’re there. That’s what today’s session is all about. I know we’ll touch a little bit on SEO and SEM cause that’s still critical but converting them is even more important cause that’s where you’re going to get your leads, primarily your sales.
For each of the four areas, on the slide here, we’ll lead off with consumer insights, provide some CRO best practice for each and walk you through examples to illustrate how their application works and to give you a clear sense on how they can work for you and your own ecommerce strategy.
So we hope that we provide some clear takeaways that you can start applying right away to make this very practical, including how to develop messaging that speaks a language active agers will appreciate and respond well too. Secondly, how to optimize site navigation and the user experience to intuitively address how the older consumer prefers to find product and service information. And finally, build and tailor your online customer service strategy that also addresses key issues like security and privacy, that really kind of paves the way for purchase by the older online shopper.
As we move through the content, please feel free to ask questions by typing in the dialogue box you see on the screen on the bottom left corner. If we have time and if it’s really relevant, we’ll try to answer throughout the discussion, but we do have some time at the end to respond to some of the questions that you have. And if we don’t have time and can’t get to your questions here, we can definitely follow up and respond to you later on.
Just so you know this webinar will be available online, likely later this afternoon, on both the ageofmajority.com site and thegood.com site and also we’ll have a transcript of the audio available over the next couple of days as well.
Okay, so before we get into the CRO portion, I really wanted to address what is or who is the active aging consumer cause we’re often asked that and we refer to the 55+ audience as active agers and not just another term for boomers. Boomers are really defined by one thing and that’s looking at demographics alone. It spans a group of people from 18 years difference of age. So I’m 54, the youngest of boomers, the oldest boomer is 72. That person could actually be my mother of father, but we’re both defined under the same term. So age itself as we know is becoming increasingly less relevant for defining older consumers.
We know that as people get older, they continue to feel younger than their chronological age. And it’s interesting cause as you get older, people tend to see themselves as being younger. One study found that a 60 year olds feel like they’re 46, 70 year olds like they’re 53, 80 year olds like they’re 65, so there’s a big gap in terms of someones age and how they perceive themselves. And understanding the differences in life stage, attitudes, interests, behaviors suggests that it’s fundamental to effectively identifying, reaching, and engaging older consumers. You really have to look at all those things.
So by active agers, we’re describing a lifestyle that has long-term relevance for marketers as this group grows in numbers and importance. What you also have is: how to understand, reach and speak to them in tune with their preferences and specific aspirations. They also represent almost three trillion dollars in annual spending so they can’t be ignored. Just a few facts about them. They control 70% of the wealth in disposal income, they spend close to 50% of all dollars on all consumer categories—so, huge—and the spending is expected to increase by nearly 60% over the next 20 years, yet, only 10% of all advertising dollars are used to target them and 500% more are targeting Millennials, and we’ll talk a bit more about that.
We just wanted to write a bit more context on the 55+ online shopper as myths still prevail about their online spending or lack of spending with the mishabit. So just a few quick things. This one is really critical to today’s discussion cause a lot of people think of they’re old and they’re not online, they’re not shopping online. You see in the numbers here that over 40% of people 60 and above are buying products online, lower than their younger counterparts but this number is growing over time and still represents a huge percentage of people shopping online. And even though their not shopping online as much in terms of percentages, on average active agers are actually spending more per ecommerce transaction than Gen X-ers or Millennials, are more likely to buy a higher price point items like health care products, wine, household goods, and appliances. So, they’re spending more per transaction than the younger consumers.
Half of active agers use brand websites in their product research. They’re more likely than younger groups to mention brands as a source they trust the most for accurate information about a product when making purchase decisions. So they are still very much looking online at branded websites for information the helps them with their purchase.
Keep in mind that active agers are mobile. About three quarters of people over 50 own a smartphone and that will continue to grow. We’re seeing this in other areas like smart speakers where the active agers might not be in some cases, the initial early adopters but once the technology is out there, they are the ones who are driving the quickest growth. Obvious consideration is ensuring that all your sites are optimized, particularly for active agers who are using mobile.
As suggested by their reliance on brand websites and their product research, active agers are arming themselves with information before making purchases and going online to do so. So consider about 70% of people over 60, which is higher than younger groups, are using a search engine to find information. So as I mentioned before, as it’s not our focus today, we want to stress the importance of a search strategy, driving web traffic to the audience but really today’s focus is about CRO, what it is, and how it’s measured.
Jon MacDonald: Right. So if you’re effectively driving active agers to your site, how do you make sure you’re turning those visitors into customers or generating leads and driving sales? Well, this is where conversion rate optimization can really work for you. But let’s take a look at what conversion rate optimization is anyway. What does it mean? Well, this is how we define conversion rate optimization: a data backed system for increasing the percentage of website visitors that convert into customers, or more generally take any desired action on a webpage.
So let’s break that down really quickly starting with “data backed”. Conversion optimization is not about trying random tactics until one works. It’s really about using data, tracking all the clicks and movements that your site visitors take, to help decide where is best to optimize on your site. What’s engaging to them? what’s not engaging? where are they having problems? where are they dropping off in the funnel?
Moving on to “system”. A seasoned conversion strategist really knows that successful optimization is found not just in one tactic but in the compounding effect on continued optimization. Really applied in a structured and well planned manner. Again, you’ll see a lot of articles online about changing button colors or changing one headline and how it resulted in double conversion rate, that’s really not realistic. We need to be clear that it’s an ongoing, iterative approach that we’re looking for here.
Increasing the percentage of one site visitors that convert into customers. While conversion optimization is technically about increasing conversion rates, right, it’s in the name, we also believe that maintaining margins is just as important. You really do want to convert them into customers but to put this more simply, really just focusing on discounting is not conversion optimization. I like to call that margin drain. Really what you’re looking to do here is to reduce barriers, not provide a ton of incentive.
So “taking any desired action on a web page”. A purchase is not the only conversion point that matters, a related point to what I just said. On the contrary, helping your visitor go further down the purchase funnel can be just as valuable. You can also focus on optimizing around other key metrics such as email sign up, increasing people using the navigation, or going further down that path to purchase. This works also not just for ecommerce but for also the lead generation.
Now that we have kind of a clear understanding of what conversion optimization is what can you really expect from that? Well, at The Good we typically see, our goal is about a nine to one return on investment, from brands who invest in conversion optimization. And that’s really the best way to measure your success with conversion optimization.
How did these brands get started with conversion optimization? All the brands that see a large return on investments, what are they looking at and how are they getting going with conversion optimization? There are four key types of data that we really recommend being tracked, and this is where we start with all of our customers.
The first in analytics. We’re looking at Google analytics, of course, or whatever analytic package you might be using. But we’re looking for things like paths through a site. What are your top sellers? Is there seasonality and natural trends in your conversion rate?
Second is heat maps. This includes of course heat maps like scroll maps, how far down the page are your visitors scrolling. Click maps, where are they clicking, are they potentially clicking in an area that is not a button or not something that you had anticipated. Every click and movement that visitors take on your site should be tracked in some way. Again, in an aggregate fashion so you’re not reaching any privacy concerns but you really want to understand what people are doing on your site.
Third is user testing. This allows us to observe real individuals using a site, while they talk aloud about the experience that they’re having as they’re completing those tasks. We record their screen and their audio and collect hours upon hours of video. Now this is really great because I often like to say that it’s really hard to read the label from inside the bottle. What I mean by that is, as the brand, you are so close to your website, that having that outside perspective from a consumer who maybe has never even been to your site before but still fits your ideal customer profile, is extremely important for finding things that aren’t intuitive to those who don’t know your product line or your website as well as you might.
Last is A/B testing. We use A/B Testing to statistically test which changes provide the best results. So in this sense, we may take out of 100 visitors coming to your site and have 50 of them see your current version and 50 of them see a small change that we’ve made to your site. We track if that was having an influence on the metric that we were looking to influence with that test and it will help us use data to understand which changes are being most effective.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about how we apply those to the core areas for active agers. Jeff, do you want to take us away on the first one?
Jeff Weiss: Thanks, Jon. I was blown away when you first told me the ROI of nine to one. I think it’s crazy. So there’s a bunch of thing that drive that, when you optimize. So as mentioned before we have four key areas we’ve focused on, so we’ll start with probably the least sexy of them but one that is critically important for the active agers around security and privacy. And there are some considerable differences both in terms of attitudes and behaviors among older versus younger consumers and it really factors heavily into the ecommerce space.
By looking at it a bunch of different ways, active agers are very concerned with and are more diligent about online privacy and security. There’s a few reasons for that, one of them being that active agers as the older population, just didn’t grow up with dealing with all the online technology, so just more naturally conservative and privacy becomes more of an issue for them.
When it comes specifically to online shopping, they’re more likely to be worried than younger groups about privacy so it’s critical, especially when you’re trying to convert someone to buy something on your site. And then compared to younger members of the population especially, older consumers demonstrate more concern with diligence and awareness around cyber security. You hear about all the different data breaches and that just makes their radar go up even further so much more focus on that.
In terms of a comparison of the older active ager, the 55+ group versus millennials, just want to highlight a few of the differences. Firstly, the active agers are less likely to reuse passwords on websites and apps. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to reuse to same passwords on websites and apps. My son is millennial. I’m not suggesting he’s lazy but I think that’s just one of the key differences there. Secondly, whereas millennials are more likely to only change passwords when forced to, the active agers tend to be much more proactive in changing their passwords. Not just when prompted by someone, but just from a security point of view they want to change it up. And finally, mentioned before, the over 55 crowd really is more concerned about cyber attacks through social channels and less of a concern amongst millennials.
Jon MacDonald: Great. So let’s talk for a minute about why this all matters. What we know about security and these older consumers effects a number of key areas about site experience and how you should utilize this. Security badges are important to active agers. In fact, at the good, we’ve seen the increases in sales between 11 and 42% due to including the right security badges at the right time. However, these badges need to be badges that are meaningful to the audience and are trusted brands that they’re familiar with. Symantec, we show here as an example is a good one. Most active agers have heard of that brand before. Forms for gathering info and purchase information and other personally identifiable information must have a security badge at that point. What they’re trying to do here is provide assurance of safety and security and how information will be utilized and this can’t be overstated. Having this information upfront is of upmost importance.
A couple of items to keep in mind from a conversion optimization perspective and how you can apply this to your own sites. Really, what you should be doing is, again, including a badge where people are preparing to provide personal information. This is great on checkout pages, address and payment pages, things of that sort, once they are further down the funnel. What we’re really recommending here is you don’t include a badge on your homepage, or category pages, or other irrelevant pages, and certainly not in the footer of every single page of your site. What that tends to do at that point is inject fear or uncertainty into the process when they’re not at the point where they’re worried about that yet. So we want to make sure that we’re putting that at the right place, in the purchase or conversion path.
So let’s look at a couple of examples here, Jeff. On the left is Eargo, a hearing aid company and on the right is Sunglass Hut, it’s in the name there but they typically sell sunglasses. So we’re going to call out a couple of examples here based on each of these and then Jeff, feel free to chime in with any additional information you’d like to share on these.
I’ll start with this badge down the left hand corner of Eargo. The Norton shopping guarantee. As you can see, they have a promotion badge here, it’s appearing on every single page, which is something that we do not recommend. This likely ends up having that opposite effect on the consumer by making visitors really think about security when they’re not at that step yet. They’re not necessarily at the step where they’re giving personally identifiable information so they’re not that concerned and instead your injecting that concern at a step that it really isn’t necessary.
Jeff Weiss: Sorry, Jon. Just going to interject here. The hearing aid category is probably the one category that has the most stigma associated with it. A very small percentage of the population who needs hearing aids, which becomes more prominent as you get older, only a small portion of those people that need hearing aids use them, largely cause of the stigma associated with it, which is a lot of self perception. So know we give some different examples, good and bad in the hearing aid category, but it’s really critical to get over the stigma first and foremost. So something like having the badge up too early, it’s like you’re already trying to get people too far down the funnel too quickly before getting them into the whole idea of yeah, it’s not bad to wear a hearing aid, particularly one like Eargo, which is totally invisible.
Jon MacDonald: That’s a great point, Jeff. Thanks for sharing that. Moving on to Sunglass Hut. Here with Sunglass Hut. We’re on their check out page, and they’re asking for a ton of personally identifiable information, but we’re missing that reassurance of that security badge. It’s nowhere to be found on this page. Obviously, that’s a big challenge. When people are giving that information, we want to make them feel secure and understand how they’re going to use their information. One thing that they do well here is under phone, it’s hard to read but if you can see it, where they ask for the phone number, it says only used if there are issues with your order. That’s a great reassurance tool. It doesn’t really help so much around the security aspect but it does help the consumer know that they won’t be getting a whole bunch of spam phone calls from them.
So Jeff, why don’t we jump into the next area?
Jeff Weiss: Sure, thanks Jon. And good examples where if you’re looking at it they can be fairly small things, but again, based on some of the things that are specific to active agers, really relevant and that’s were you can really increase the return by doing small things like that.
So next area is really about messaging and language as well as imagery. It’s an area where things can go terribly wrong, very quickly. So just to offer some insight, and we’ve done a bunch of research on this, most recent was a study that we just did with 2,500 folks including 1,500 people over the age of 55, but it was spread across all age groups. It really talked about, one of the findings was based on the qualities of ads they find most appealing, but the insights also applied to how we speak to them across any number of channels including the web, so just some kind of key points here that might be surprising to some folks.
First, active agers are far more interested in direct to clear product information. They don’t want to have a lot of mumbo jumbo and other kind of miscellaneous information. They want to get to the point, as quickly as possible.
Secondly, they are twice as likely to say they don’t want a hard sell. And I think that’s just years and years of being sold to. They don’t want a hard sell. They’re mature enough now, and they just want to get the facts without being sold in a hard way.
And third, and I find a little sad, but active agers are far less likely to feel humor is important element of an ad. So specifically when you’re speaking to older audiences, portraying them in imagery, be conscious not to promote the stereotypes that they’re weak or frail, to imply that they are old. We did a bunch of work, we actually did a webinar a little while ago called the dirty dozen myths of aging. We spent a bunch of time on this area, but the kiss of death is to put products or services out there that are basically saying these are for you because you’re old. That could be in messaging, or could be in imagery. And also in how you label people, a lot of folks don’t know what to call this old age group, but we know that labeling them with names carry the negative association of aging proves that you don’t get them, aren’t applying myths to your marketing. Really got to stay away from that and watch what terms you use.
So an example in terms of imagery on a site, we think a good one is Levi’s. In which it’s still a very popular brand with 50+ consumers. One of the top brands when you ask, which brands that they love. But this is their website. I don’t know how old these people are, but they’re, let alone they’re not under 40, I don’t think they’re even under 30. It’s really, considering how many older people are going to shop and still buy Levi’s, the imagery doesn’t really fit. One of the things that we hear from people is like, “Oh yeah, but older people aspire to look younger and be younger.” We’re actually starting to see evidence that it’s kind of a reverse aspiration now. Younger people now are looking at older people who in this case are dressing well, and they say, “Wow, when I get to be their age or when I get older, I want to look as hip and cool as they do.” Not because they’re trying to look hip and cool and young, but just because they’re doing stuff that makes sense for them and works for them.
So what does this effect and why does this matter? So using language or imagery that identifies older consumers as olds, as mentioned elderly is elder, seniors as seniors, totally turns people off, can instantly alienate active agers who don’t relate this vision of aging. So you’ve got to be careful about words and terms like silver, senior, gray, anti-aging is an interesting one. We’re actually seeing a backlash to that, it’s an anti anti-aging movement. And also, a lot of people, over 70% of people over 65 really believe that they’re often stereotyped in ads and being physically decrepit. All you have to do is watch CNN and watch a bunch of the ads there, and you’ll see what I mean.
And then leaving as, kind of showed in the Levi’s add, leaving active agers out of the imagery all together can be missed opportunity to acknowledge their importance to the brand, to demonstrate how you can enhance their lifestyle as well.
How’d we do Jon?
Jon MacDonald: Great. Yeah, so let’s talk a little about what this application can mean in conversion. Well, first of all, considering the aspirational state of your 55+ audience and using messaging or imagery that reflects their true lifestyle, and ways they’re using or want to engage with your product with your sales [inaudible 00:26:24], it’s going to be really important here. For instance, if you’re selling health and wellness, don’t sell a remedy for old age. Sell an appealing and relevant lifestyle that’s possible through better health and if you’re selling automobiles, don’t just be selling on comfort and safety, but also how the car might appeal to a sense of fun or adventure. Being careful not to use imagery or include models who are not relevant to the audience, including models who are far too young or old or depict a lifestyle out of touch with active agers, I don’t want to be the Levi’s in that example, right. Luckily, it’s also not using imagery that presents an inaccurate or stereotypical view of an audience. This often results in relying too heavily on stock imagery or just poor quality imagery alone.
Let’s look at a couple of examples here, Jeff. Here’s two more that we want to walk you through. On the left is Peepers. Peepers is a brand that specializes is stylish glasses that need readers so this is one that you might find at your local Walgreens, for instance, CVS Pharmacy if you’re here in the states. Peepers does a great job of using more useful models but as you can see but it’s probably not aligning very well with their core active ager audience. Throughout their site, they’re using younger models with stylish glasses. It really isn’t appealing to the main audience who’s going in to their local drugstore and buying readers off the rack. And the same thing here goes with headlines. Life of the Party is clearly targeting perhaps the younger market and it’s not going to work well with that active aging community, and it’s especially true when it’s combined with the younger photo, so I think that’s something to keep in mind here. What does you see about this Jeff? Do you agree with that assessment?
Jeff Weiss: Well, I disagree that active agers don’t like to be the life of the party because we know that they still like to socialize and have fun. But yeah, when you put the life of the party together with the younger image here, a disconnect because as you said I don’t think the monologue here is the typical reader glasses type of consumer. I don’t have the numbers here in front of me but it’s going to skew a lot order and definitely the active agers looking for kind of hip or more creative reading glasses, but I don’t get how the life of the party actually connects to reading glasses. But that’s more of a branding issue but yeah, I think it’s a good point. I’m not sure that an active ager will look at this site and say, “Wow, these are for me” when actually they should be targeted to them.
Jon MacDonald: Right. Let’s look at the second example here which is Phonak, which manufactures hearing devices for a wide range of hearing loss needs. You can see clearly here that they are targeting their market in this photo. They’ve done a great job of using relevant photography and in addition, they’re devices connect to cell phones very well and they’re even showing that in use and I think that’s an important thing here. Great example of well done imagery and next to an example of poorly done imagery. Jeff, can you tell us a little more about this next area?
Jeff Weiss: Yeah, thank you and good examples, Jon. I appreciate that. So we’ve already spoken about how active agers really put a premium on clear and useful information. They don’t get hung up on humor, emotion, or appreciate the hard sell. This really translates to the user experience and navigation on someone’s site. And we now, as we noted earlier, that active agers put an emphasis on clear and concise product info, more so over promotional stuff. Not that they don’t like a bargain, but they just want the product info, first and foremost. So for navigation it means that they’re not on your sites exploring waste time. They want to get right to the point, prefer clear navigation to products and services so it’s our job as markets to help make it easier for them to find out where they want to go as quickly as possible.
So this isn’t to say they just want static product information, which we know that a video for this group—its underused for a lot of different groups—but for active agers an often underused tool to engage this audience. And noteworthy that active agers actually have nearly 10% higher video view rates than Millennials and GenXers. So they’re definitely into videos and we’re not seeing enough use. It’s really a matter though if you’re going to use videos of making them more relevant to their lifestyle. We’re not showing a live example here but this is the WD-40 site, which I think does a really good job showing how a product can enhance their lifestyle versus just solving a functional problem. So they provide lots of videos, demonstrating product applications and they also feature older consumers who I would have to believe are larger, are greater proportion of their consumers.
Then in terms of product reviews, this chart really highlights that the over 55 crowd really use online product reviews when researching what products and services to buy. It’s really important for us as marketers to help them to get their customers to share their own online opinions. Don’t assume you know a product is appropriate for a set age group. So structuring your site accordingly could, you could easily alienate this audience or discourage them from buying products or services that they might have otherwise. Again, tied to if you’re not appropriately targeting the information to them.
And why this matters? Well it’s really that Active agers really doing their due diligence researching and comparing products, relying on brand sites as we said before more so to do so. So being successful with them means stating or providing relevant product information, including video and product reviews that really will empower their purchase decisions without requiring them to spend a lot of time doing so. So Jon, with this in mind, do you have some thoughts in terms of how we could apply this to optimizing websites?
Jon MacDonald: Yeah, definitely. So there are a couple of things to think about in terms of taking this and applying to your conversion optimization. The first is using imagery and video to show how to assemble and/or use product applications should be done in a lifestyle context, right? Including more videos, and avoiding that jargon. We’ll look at some examples here of that next. Secondly, don’t tell the visitors or automatically navigate them towards what products you think are right for them. It’s based on assumptions that you’ve made about that audience, you’re really going to have some challenges there. Instead, give them what they need to be able to make that decision for themselves. Don’t really bias your navigation in your site, try to make it useful. And secondly, making sure that you’re not including really large and unwieldy forms and we’ll look at an example of that next as well.
Jeff Weiss: Okay, Jon, just to build off the age specific navigation, we’ve actually seen some sites for some fairly large well known clothing retailers that actually have navigation based on clothing for 20 year olds, 30 year old, 40 year olds and so on. And it’s just ridiculous to assume that you know what kind of clothing someone who is 60+ is going to wear. We see that time and time again, with some pretty major brands.
Jon MacDonald: Yeah, that’s a great point. We see that quite often as well and we often will help brands work on their product filtering and age is very often that we often see. And it really does not covert very highly so moving away from that is going to be great from both a conversion and active aging standpoint. That’s great to hear.
So lets look at these two examples really quickly. First a look at Phonak and then a look at Margaritaville, which is a retirement community. So looking again at Phonak, you can see here that they’re avoiding jargon and they’re really focusing on the benefits quite well. If you can’t read that, it says experience clear, crisp sound, effortlessly connects to smartphones, TV, and more. And enjoy the power of rechargeable technology. Those are three really great benefits of their products that don’t talk at all down to the folks who would need the hearing aid device. Also you can see right about that, it’s not called out but they have video. First, upfront and center, it’s really well done and it helps communicate that message in the features and benefits really well. Jeff, did you have anything to add to that?
Jeff Weiss: I just think again in this category, stigma is so important and if you just move right to the functional benefits, you’re going to turn on. So I think they do a great job here really focusing on some of the things that the potential users and buyers, what’s going to be important to them. Beyond they know that they’re going to hear better, but also in terms of other things, especially getting to connectivity and things like that. Recharge-ability is key in this category so focusing on that versus the functional benefits, I think they’ve done a really good job there.
Jon MacDonald: Great. Well, next looking at Margaritaville, you can see here that they have a really unwieldy and long form. It even asks a question right up front, the first thing is about being in the EU, which is a bit odd to encounter that at first, right? Additionally, you might notice that this is on their home page. It’s not going to create much trust right away when you’re asking right up front for a lot of personal information. And again, there is no indication of security here. So while they’ve done a good job at getting rid of a lot of the navigation to make this easy to use, they’ve also put up a huge barrier, right away. So big challenge there, for these guys.
And then you can see here, right under email address, please confirm you approve the use of your personal information according to the terms and policies of this website.
Jeff Weiss: I don’t know if we lost Jon or not. So hopefully everyone can still hear. Jon, hopefully you’re back at some point.
The last area as we start to wrap this up is a really important area when it comes to active agers around customer service. So some of the considerations around this is that it needs to really be an important part of ecommerce strategy so some general rules to observe. Live chat, which is becoming more popular and more prevalent on sites. It’s less important to this audience than email or telephone. It’s just not as well adopted by this group.
Consumers, the active agers are much more likely to convert when they’ve been assured when support is available and easy to reach. They want to know that if I’ve got an issue, that there’s someone able to help me quickly. So it’s key upfront to provide and display the customer service and Jon’s going to give some examples of that, hopefully. In terms of contact info and assure them with clear return policies as well cause they want to make sure that if they do order something and they don’t like it, it’s easy to return. Particularly as you get into higher priced items, the higher the price, the higher the importance of customer service and the more consumers will want to talk with someone first, really through picking up the phone.
So these insights effect a few areas. Live or telephone support for inquiries is key for more information and/or purchase support. Especially as we talked about before, for higher valued purchases. Displaying contact information is key and displaying clear return policies is also important.
Jon, are you still there and if so, can you talk about the applications for CRO? Okay, I don’t know what happened to Jon, but I’ll keep going.
As we talked about, do include the number above the fold and again, we’ll get some examples of that. And then do not limit yourself to live chat tools or retail location search. Again, you want to have that stuff on there but if that’s the only thing that you’re using, you’re missing an opportunity with active agers. Let’s see if we can get Jon back because he’ll be able to take us through this a little better than me.
Here is Erickson Senior Living, on of the prominent players in this space. They do a great job, very prominently including the contact number on all their pages so no one has to go searching for how to call them. It’s very easy to see. They’ve promoted it really well throughout the site. And then if we move on to Phonak, which we used before to show some really good things, here from a contact point of view, you’re not given clear concise information in terms on how to contact someone by phone. You really have to dig deep to find an expert and give your location and everything, that’s going to be a turn off to the active ager who wants clear information on who they can contact and how to do so easily.
Okay, I’m sorry we lost Jon. We’re trying to get him back here.
So in terms of the key takeaways as we wrap this up and we do have some questions, so we’ll get to those.
So firstly, provide re-assurance that you offer secure ecommerce and data experience. This is really about the privacy piece so including a badge only when preparing to provide personal data, like product pages, checkout pages, address, payments pages is going to be critical but you don’t want to inundate your site with that as we talked about the one example with Eargo.
Number two, depicting active agers lifestyles accurately in imagery and avoiding language that reflects stereotyping around aging. This is a huge, huge area and there are a lot of companies that don’t, a lot of brands that don’t do this well. Imagery in particular is really tough. The image that we’ve used here is trying to take the best imagery we can find, but when you search online for things, it’s really tough to find really good imagery that’s authentic and real and you don’t find a whole lot in diversity, so working on a separate project around that. But depicting lifestyles accurately is a key thing but it’s really important and noticed by active agers.
Number three, providing clear navigation to product or service information and reviews. Don’t clutter your site experience with unwieldy forms. People want the information, they want the reviews, they want to hear from other people. So kind of having people fill out a lot of forms is not going to work for them.
And then finally, number four key takeaways is providing a customer service number above the fold. Don’t rely on live chat tools or retail location search. Yes, a lot of active agers we know will kind of do a search and then will go to retail, but you need to give them a customer service number in order to connect with them.
I think that’s it just to be respectful of everyone’s time. Thank you so much for attending and as mentioned before, if you’ve got specific questions you can contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Just a reminder that this webinar is going to be available on both of our sites later today and a transcription over the next day or two as well. So thanks for joining us. Jon, thank you. It was great presenting with you and appreciate your insights on something I don’t think gets enough attention as it should. Any last words?
Jon MacDonald: I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for having me today as well. And thanks for covering me on a few of those last slides there as well. I appreciate your help.
Jeff Weiss: Thanks everyone. Have a great day.