Why Pogo-Sticking is Bad News for Ecommerce [Video]

Posted by Hannah Stacey 23 Jul 14

springIntrigued as to what the online phenomenon of ecommerce pogo-sticking is? You should be - it can have a huge impact on your website's ability to sell.

At Ometria’s latest breakfast seminar, renowned ecommerce expert Dr Mike Baxter spilled the beans on what online pogo-sticking is and how it can be prevented, alongside a whole bunch of other ecommerce ‘hacks’ (now available in a free downloadable ebook called 12 Things You Can Start Tomorrow To Accelerate Your Ecommerce Business.)



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Pogo sticking has been around for a long time, and by that I don’t mean the bouncing around on a stick type.

About 15 years ago Jarred Spool did a piece of work where he looked at what happened when people went from category page to product page to category page to product page to category page. And he found that as soon as people had done two or three of these return visits, the likelihood of them converting plummeted.

And pogo-sticking, in effect, numbs people. If you watch and chat to people as they’re doing it, you’ll end up saying to them ‘so what is it that you’re looking for?’ and they’ll say ‘well actually I’m not sure’ because they’ve been back and forth and back and forth so often.

So it tends to numb peoples' thought processes and it certainly reduces their decision-making power. In one experiment, Jarred Spool compared website visits that had a lot of back and forth with visits that had less than three - the ones that had more jumps had 89 per cent less likelihood of converting.

You obviously don’t want to completely stop people from pogo sticking, you want to encourage them not to. And you encourage them not to by giving lots of information on the category page.

Some people are doing this extensively. They’re using things like large thumbnail images, informative descriptions and customer reviews all on the category page. Other people are putting in little bits of key tech specs or the most favourable customer review. Clearly there’s a trade off because the more info you put on each cell in a category page, the more people are going to have to scroll to find the bottom of the page. But generally scrolling is not nearly the inhibitor it used to be several years ago.  

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