The Tulip Test

Posted on: May 4, 2021

The signs of spring are all around us now with blooms popping up and the sun lingering on after dinner. That means it’s time to give your website the Tulip Test to make sure you’re ready to take full advantage of the summer spending cycle. Tulip is an acronym for trust, user experience, load time, information, and path, all important aspects of turning site visitors into buyers.

Trust continues to be one of the most critical factors in keeping a visitor on your site long enough to make a purchasing decision and then actually following through with it. Make sure that the address bar for your site shows the lock symbol telling visitors that your site is secure. Replacing low quality images, updating the design, and posting recent testimonials, are great ways to let customers know you are a legitimate and active business.

There are several ways that you can improve the user experience, but we’ll focus on two here. The first is helping the user make a decision to buy, and the second is letting them buy as easily as possible. Think about what you sell and what the key decision-making criteria are for the customer. For example, for clothing it’s probably colour, size, and your return policy. For services it’s usually the qualifications and experience of the provider. Make sure that your descriptions include those criteria. Once a customer makes a decision to buy, you need to finish the sales transaction fast. That means paring down the steps to the absolute minimum. This is not the time to ask how they found you or if they’d like to leave a review. Get the payment and delivery information and finalize the sale.

Page loading time is still a major factor, with some estimating that three seconds is one second too long to hold the attention of a would-be buyer. With the huge increase in people shopping on their smartphones, a fast loading, responsive design is a must. If you haven’t checked lately, look at your site on your phone. How quickly does the home page load? Can you easily navigate to a product or services page?

Information about you and your business as well as the products and services you sell is one of the trust factors. Make sure that you show a physical address and give customers at least one way to get in touch with you. “About Us” pages have a purpose, so use them to address some of the decision-making criteria.

The last letter is P for path. The path is the route that you want customers to take from the landing page to the check-out. Is it obvious? Can a visitor easily find the product or service they’re looking for? If you sell online, then the check-out path is key, if not, do you tell customers how they can safely purchase or obtain your services in person?

So, how does your site fare? If you need a little spring make-over, give us a call.