On conversion rates

According to the Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Online Retail report (that’s a mouthful), here are the top 10 online retailers by June conversion rates:

1-800-Flowers 19.4%
Lands’ End 18.4%
Victoria’s Secret 14.5%
L.L. Bean 14.1%
QVC 13.7%
eBay 13.6%
Amazon 12.2%
Proflowers 11.9%
Barnes & Noble 11.1%
Crate and Barrel 11.0%

These seem low to me. After all, people are going to these sites to buy things, right? They might be doing some comparison shopping, but I doubt that’s the bulk of the visitors. So over 80% of the visitors, who don’t have many reasons for visiting the site in the first place, are leaving without buying anything.

Maybe they’re looking for this week’s specials? Browsing the latest offerings? Reading the site’s privacy policy? The analysis here would be useful.

On conversion rates

I’m with the brand

Advertising Week is, well, just what it sounds like. A week of the ad industry celebrating itself. Among the highlights, the “Procession of the Great Icons”, where you can get a glimpse of Mr. Clean, Smokey Bear, Cap’n Crunch, McGruff the Crime Dog and dozens of other advertising icons strutting through Times Square and up Madison Avenue.

Brand Icons in NYC

Also (drumroll please) the award ceremony for the winners of this year’s brand icons. Last year, the winners were M&M’s brand characters, the AFLAC Duck, Mr. Peanut, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Tony the Tiger. Who might it be this year? Coffee addicts are hoping for an upset by Juan Valdez, maybe riding on Charlie the Tuna. Or will the Doublemint Twins ride off with Snap, Crackle & Pop?

Notably absent, I would think, would be the makeover edition icons. Yes, Twinkie is absent, but LL Koolaid may grab the young urban vote, especially doing his “fat guy in a little coat” routine.

Oh and lest you think that only icons were winners, Advertising Week will also announce this year’s slogan hall of fame winners.

What’s your favorite advertising icon? Slogan? Cast your vote! and check out the previous year’s winners.

I’m with the brand

Common themes for Mac applications

The Mac community is aghast at some of the cosmetic changes in iTunes 5. Apple in general seems to be encouraging its own developers to do whatever feels good. The resulting interfaces are sometimes pretty slick, and sometimes gruesome.

I’m in the “brushed metal sucks” camp. So at home, I use Sagefire’s Iridium theme. Here’s a screen grab of iTunes 5, Mail and Finder, after the theme is applied:

Iridium theme

Iridium Volume It’s not for everybody, doesn’t even out all the usability quirks, doesn’t mask absolutely everything (see the white in menu bar volume control, for example), and it only runs on OS X 10.4. But when the alternative is brushed metal finder, I can deal with these minor inconveniences.

Common themes for Mac applications