We don’t always start a website with the intention of selling stuff. Sometimes we simply want a forum in which to share. But sometimes too we are bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, or perhaps we dream of an early retirement from a government job, and so embark on a journey to monetize our cyber properties. Such was the case with the Audio Sparks for Art (now Midisparks Art Sales) website. In the past year Midisparks has established affiliate relationships with two online art retailers and has also established an independent relationship with an art print vendor.
The transition has been full of challenges, both technical and conceptual. A lot of soul searching took place with respect to the basic value proposition. That proposition happens to be that music and online avatar personalities can create a sense of accompaniment in the online art shopping experience. We have friends and guides, including the customized audio presented with each painting, to inspire and inform our discovery of the art we love. A lot of nice words to be sure, but has the site in fact converted image browsers into art buyers? Not yet, but there is a tentative indication that the concept may be working.
That indication is the apparent success of the website’s customer path design. The goal is to transform a casual browser into an actual art buyer by directing the flow of the visit. The essential flow is from homepage to gallery page to project page to shopping cart. At each page information is shared and value building occurs. A call to action (CTA) then moves the prepped viewer along to the next page.
Of course each website will be unique in terms of the information and value building. But the homepage certainly should present the basic value proposition. The viewer should know what he can get out of his visit to the site. Midisparks announces on its homepage in no uncertain terms that the site is about art appreciation and art shopping. Likewise, each painting in the gallery includes the title, the item for sale (e.g. – poster, photographic print, etc.), and a price. But in writing this we realize there is no explicit CTA (such as a popup or mouseover message) for a click from the painting in the gallery to its dedicated project page. This is a broken link that must be addressed. The impact is obvious. We see in the analytics an encouraging relationship between the number of visits to the homepage and the number of visits to the gallery. But visits to the individual project pages drop off disproportionately to gallery visits. So here is a clear opportunity to keep viewers in the game longer through a CTA strategy in the gallery.
Once on the project page, the viewer is offered not only the content, front and center, but also a corner section that is dedicated exclusively to product specifications (dimensions, features, etc.) The CTA “Cart It!” is placed directly beneath the art, along with another CTA leading back to the gallery. The “Cart It!” CTA is also placed directly below the product features section in the upper right corner. In essence then the project page asks for the order twice. It appears that the introduction of the product details and the additional CTA in the right corner of the shopping cart has positively impacted the number of actual clicks over to the shopping cart. In the last week of May, prior to implementation of the product details section there were only two conversions to the cart. In June so far there have been 26 conversions.
We invite you to walk the Midisparks Art Sales customer path. You might enjoy a bit of art on the way. Perhaps a bit of audio. Let us know what you think.
We would be remiss not to mention our special discount available to art fans buying their first art photo print off of the site. Sign up for our free monthly bulletin and receive a discount code worth 5% off any print in the Midisparks Art Shop!