Web: The Grocery Store Approach
Everyone knows the grocery store analogy in understanding merchandising: milk and core staples in the back, impulsive "extras" loaded at the front and just in reach. Grocers know they can up their line-item value by moving product around to influence the consumer. However, what may be somewhat imperceptible to the consumer is the cost and value to each and every square inch of retail space. Sometimes the most valuable real estate with greatest margin and utility is what sits right in front of them, and somewhat less valuable items are surrounding that area as a means to buffet the draw.
Your Web forms should be constructed in a similar manner.
Marketers are familiar with the cringe-worthy studies that show anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent of Web forms being abandoned by users. But what is lacking from those percentages is context: What was being asked in those forms and how?
Think of your Web form as a grocery store: What is the single most important line of data you want the consumer to hold onto and "purchase" by means of clicking "Submit"? You want them to convert and "buy" as much possible, right?
Sharing Personal Data
Let's back up a little. You have a few approaches to managing Web forms, ranging from the very explicit and detailed to the very simple:
• The Doctor's Office: Think about the data you are willing to give up when you visit the doctor: name, age, social security number, illnesses, surgeries, habits, private details, any questions you may have and who is paying for the visit.
The data we give the doctor's office are some of the most personal, detailed and invasive there is. Writing that up from an uncomfortable chair surrounded by bad tabloids seems OK to most consumers. Typing it in from the comfort of your own home and passing it into an unknown "black hole" of the Internet seems daunting. Are we really more willing to share detailed personal information face-to-face than click-to-click?