When you visit an online store which item do you decide to buy? I have a sneaking suspicion it will be the one in the middle. It seems we are visually attracted to items in the middle of a display; we just can’t help it. Indeed, research shows that when you actually buy something your are often convinced it was not in the middle, even though it was. Our recall of where items are displayed is pretty poor.

People will choose to buy the item in the middle

People will mostly choose to buy the item in the middle

For anyone running an e-commerce site, or some kind of online catalogue, this has important implications.

If you want the greatest conversion rate on a page, then the item in the middle should be the “number one” product people are looking for. It should be the one which most connects with their keyword search, or their desire from a link of some kind, whereby you need to match the “anchor text” to the item in the centre of the page.

However, if you are looking to increase profits, then the item in the centre of the page should be the most profitable. However, to gain that profit you are going to have to be sure that all the products on the page match the desire of your visitor.

So, with a combination of keyword research and the presentation of your product pages you should be able to increase conversion rates and raise profits by targeting your best-sellers to the centre of your page displays.

Researchers have found that when we are presented with an array of product choices we focus on the centre of the display in the final five seconds of looking – the point at which we are making our decision as to what to buy.

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