One thing I’ve learned over the years is people like things that are perceived as “easy”. They do not like “hard”.
This goes for almost anything – they shop at places with easy parking. They want an easy time finding things they want to buy. They want an easy time checking out. And they want an easy website – easy to navigate, easy to understand – just plain easy. They want to know right away what you offer, and where to go to get it. If you make it hard in any way, you will lose them.
Let me use two “offline” examples that demonstrate how people like easy (even if it’s actually harder in practice):
For some reason, my wife (thankfully) likes really “cheap” jewelry. Show her a huge display of $20 silver earrings, and she’s in heaven.
My wife also has a thing for unpleasant, crowded little stores that sell this stuff. She LOVES these types of places. I have a thing for avoiding these places like the plague, so on our last shopping trip, I wandered around and people watched while she perused the jewelry counter… and I made an interesting observation.
This store’s entrance had several doors – a row of “normal” doors that you had to open yourself, and one automatic door all the way to one side. Would you know that roughly 8 out of 10 people used the automatic door? Even people coming from the opposite side where the automatic door was would walk PAST the “normal” door and use the automatic door. And these weren’t people with packages – they largely had two free hands which to open the door. But a huge majority would actually rather walk further than to open the door themselves.
I find that interesting.
Later that same day, I went to McDonalds to pick up dinner, as Maryellen didn’t feel like cooking (yes, yes, I know… but have you TRIED their Angus Burger? I love a great cheeseburger, and let me tell you, this one is sublime.) Anyway, I never use the drive-thru at these places (in the immortal words of Joe Pesci “They @#$% you at the drive thru”), so I parked my truck and went inside to get our food.
It was then I noticed something very odd – the drive thru had a line of about six cars. But the counter inside was completely empty. There was a little red car at position number six when I went inside (just one driver, no kids, etc). I came out with our food 5 minutes later – little red was now in position 3, next in line to order. I went in and completed my entire transaction, got my food, and this guy didn’t even order yet.
So it would seem that given the choice, most people would rather wait two to three times longer at the drive-thru than just walk inside. I find that odd, for sure, but it says something about how most people like “easy”.
Just remember this in your marketing and web design. If you make it “hard” (and hard can mean something as silly as a stupid flash “intro” page that plays music), you will lose a TON of business.
People like easy. Never forget that.