Okay, so you’ve built a great E-Commerce website. The design is impeccable, colors and images carefully chosen. A photo shoot was commissioned so that the images are original and fresh. The content (copy) carefully crafted.
On page SEO blended into webpage content and Off page SEO processes are applied consistently. Google analytics indicates that sufficient traffic is visiting the website.
None of the site visitors are transacting any business on the website. In fact it seems that they do not stay long enough on the website to reach transaction mode.
Something must be going wrong.
Step back a bit then take a long careful look at the E-Commerce website’s Home page and all its other pages.
Does the E-Commerce website Home page (and all the other pages) on the website deliver a clean, clear value proposition to the site visitor?
Very likely not, which is probably a prime reason why site visitors are not staying on your E-Commerce website long enough to transact any business.
What Is Value
Value is what the customer perceives (and receives) from the marketing content on the webpage. It´s the real reason why a customer cares to stop and buy a product, or service.
Value must be perceived as real by the:
- The customer segment being catered to
- In the product(s) on offer
- In the content (words and images) used to sell to the customer segment being catered to
Hence a Value Proposition is a tight definition, which cuts through the clutter of similar competitive offerings on other websites and arrests the site visitor´s attention.
Definitions For The Term – Value Proposition
Joe Palamino, in his book, Value Prop, describes a value proposition as:
- A set of promises
- Based on the capabilities and credibility of the marketer
- That helps prospective customers understand how an offering (products and/or services) uniquely addresses their specific problems, challenges and opportunities
Meclabs, which runs a unique course on Value Proposition, describes a Value Proposition as:
If I were your ideal customer, why would I buy your product, over those of the competition?
I just love the lucidity of the Meclabs definition, don´t you? It´s a real wakeup call for most ECommerce Owners.
The reason for the Value Proposition and its message specificity is because there are a ton of messages hitting website visitors today.
The human brain responds better to those messages that are:
Of obvious perceived value to the site visitor
Value proposition is not a new concept, it´s probably as old as the hills. That said Value Proposition plays a pretty dominant role in the conception / creation and successful running of an E-Commerce website.
It´s common knowledge for any business model to be successful (here success being defined as Profits for the business owner) the business model must offer a measurable value proposition to its customers.
Here is Wikipedia´s definition for the term Value Proposition.
A Value Proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced.
Successful marketers have clearly understood the difference between:
The products(s) and Service(s) they sell
How they fit in with what the site visitor perceives as value.
Successful marketers – sell value.
The value (being marketed) has to be clear quantifiable, verifiable usually through testimonials and case studies, hence specific.
Why Does An E-Commerce Website Require A Value Proposition?
Remarkably, when a site visitor lands on any E-Commerce website it is solely its (site visitor perceived) Value Proposition that determines whether the site visitor will stay the webpage and bother reading about the products / services available or bounce off the website in the shortest time possible.
Hence, all website owners, and especially E-Commerce website owners need to pay pretty close attention to the site visitor´s perceived Value Proposition on all the pages delivered by their website.
The less known the E-Commerce website is, the better the value proposition needed to make a site visitor stay on the website long enough to finally make a transaction.
Today there are a ton of websites, with little or no value propositions perceivable by a website site visitor, hence without exception they are struggling to generate inbound revenue and in all likely hood will perish over time.
A value proposition is a message that human beings can understand without any thinking involved.
Translated: The text message and/or visual content of any value proposition is something that a human being
Reads / Understands / Responds to – swiftly.
Here´s an example of what a value proposition is NOT supposed to be like:
Our revenue-focused marketing automation & sales effectiveness solution
unleashes collaboration throughout the revenue generation cycle
Would an average John Doe, site visitor, ever be able to understand what´s on offer and how they benefit by paying for such a product or service?
I think not.
The Structure Of A Value Proposition
The value proposition is usually a block of text, which consists of:
One paragraph of text
A visual ( photo, hero shot, graphics )
Okay so there is no one right way / guaranteed way / only way to craft a value proposition, but one can start with the following formula:
Headline: What is the end-benefit being offered, in 1 short sentence. Can mention the product and/or the customer. Is an attention grabber.
Sub-headline: or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what’s on offer, for whom, and why is it just perfect for those it’s on offer to.
3 bullet points: List key benefits or features available.
Visual: Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot or any image which reinforces the main message.
How Is A Winning Value Proposition Crafted?
The best value proposition is crystal clear about:
What it is
For whom it is
How useful it is for those its targeted to
If the content (text / visuals) of the value proposition delivers all of the above, great it´s perfectly crafted.
NOTE: The key challenge for all E-Commerce websites is identifying its most effective value proposition, and communicating it clearly.
The perfect value proposition has:
Clarity! It´s easy to understand
It communicates concrete results that a site visitor will get by purchasing and using the product and/or service.
It says how it´s different or better than the competitor´s offer
It avoids hype (like never seen before amazing miracle product), superlatives (very best) and business jargon (value-add benefits)
It can be read and understood in about 15 seconds by the site visitor.
Some Excellent Examples Of Value Propositions
Stripe is clear about what it is
For whom it is
Specific benefit oriented sub-headline
Smooth transition into features and benefits
A different kind of layout, but well done
It tells a story of what and how
Easy to follow
Key features / benefits listed along with relevant imagery
Remember everything is a good slogan
What is your experience of – website value proposition – versus site conversions?
I´d really like to know?
Take a moment and share your opinion please. Comments can be posted just below.