CSN Stores Eases Howsers Last Minute FUDDs

Jason Billingsley shared with me his positive shopping experience with a multi-store retailer while shopping for a birthday gift for his wife Amy, and we both agreed it would make a great blog post. (Unless you’ve been following Get Elastic for a while, you may not understand the title of this post, please read on…)

A self-described Howser (knows generally what he wants but not specifically – still open to suggestion and in need of navigation aids on-site like filters and product finders), Jason was looking for a jewelry box.

Of course, his first stop was Google. Being a Canadian resident, he didn’t want to waste time on a site that wouldn’t ship to him, so he Googled “jewelry boxes canada.”

One of many niche shops run by CSN Stores, Everyjewelrybox.com‘s search listing snippet included “Look for the items with Ships to Canada Ships to Canada & check out as you …” This immediately addressed Jason’s FUDD (fear, uncertainty, doubt and deal-breaker) of whether this store would ship to Canada. Even if you’re not the #1 search listing, your meta description or site snippet can attract the first click, as can a shorter URL.

The genius here is if you just search for “jewelry boxes” (as a US citizen, for instance) this snippet appears:

So Google is intelligently matching keywords to Jason’s query. But when you click through, you can’t see this messaging on the page, can you?

Actually, if you click on the “We Now Ship to Canada” image, a box appears with more details (nice usability as it keeps the users on the page, and helps boost relevant keywords on the home page):

So search engines can read the keywords, and users can view the detail if they want to. This is the HTML code that Everyjewelrybox is using to accomplish this:

Since Jason has no idea what kind of jewelry box to get, he really needs help filtering his options, especially on a site that sells nothing but jewelry boxes. Add to that, he was cutting the decision pretty close to Amy’s birthday, so shipping speed was crucial. We’ve never seen another retailer use this filter, but Everyjewelrybox had a “Ship Speed” filter:

We are impressed.

Alright, this is definitely not the box that Jason bought for Amy (is it Jason?) But let’s use it as an example.

On the page, Everyjewelrybox answers more FUDDs. It reinforces that it ships to Canada (remember, Jason could have used a long tail keyword search and landed directly here) and that this item usually ships within 48 hours. (However, the customer may assume it arrives in 48 hours rather than leaves the warehouse. I would prefer to see “Usually Leaves Warehouse Within 48 Hours”).

The page also has easy access to shipping policies and information via pop-ups. If you click on Shipping/Delivery Estimates:

You get this detailed information:

What I love about this is they provide a calendar date, rather than “X business days” which require some mental gymnastics on the part of the customer.

If you’re savvy enough to click on “Ships to Canada” (which doesn’t necessarily appear clickable), you get a similar pop-up that explains lead time, taxes, duties and return policies for Canadian customers. Jason felt his FUDDs were addressed well, in the right place on the page.

This is a nice touch:

*Some of our suppliers have warehouses located in Canada. Whenever possible, we will ship from our Canadian warehouses to cut-down on transit time to you!

Finally, when Jason added the product to his cart, he appreciated the 3 trust builders along the bottom of the cart: 100% No Spam, 100% Protected (McAfee Secure, but not the traditional McAfee badge which may be something to test) and 100% Approved by the Better Business Bureau.

A side note, Everyjewelrybox.com is just one of hundreds of niche stores run by CSN stores. Each of these stores are highly search engine optimized – I can’t image you can get any more niche than a store dedicated to adirondack chairs:

Jason is presenting a 1-hour webinar on multi-store ecommerce at 9am PST, 12pm EST on Wednesday, November 19th. Even if you don’t run multiple stores now, you may find Jason’s insights into the perks and pitfalls of multiple stores valuable as an online retailer. Sign up today.

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11 Responses to “CSN Stores Eases Howsers Last Minute FUDDs”

  1. Jay says:

    I’ve had a good experience with lots of CSN Stores sites as well. It’s a little ironic that you mention the jewelry box site though because I’ve also snagged something from there for my sisters bday last year.

    I just found out CSN has a blog too, kinda neat:


  2. Steve says:

    I’ve had one terrible experience with CSN stores, one good experience – nice sites though. Also, their 100% approved BBB icon is very misleading. See their BBB report for yourself – they have the most complaints in the entire state of MA.

  3. Carl says:

    I ordered some lighting from CSN Stores and it showed up in great shape and actually a day or two earlier than I thought it would. Have you ever looked at all the stuff they carry? They’ve got something like a million products…And those customer service people actually help you when you call…More than I can say for a lot of other stores. Have you ever tried to get a printer fixed from Dell? I had their customer service people tell me they’d call or email me back after they couldn’t figure out what was wrong…That was three years ago and I’m still waiting for a call and a new printer.

  4. I ship to about 20 to 30 foreign countries. I list shipping rates on the shopping cart page, but I do not list all of countries by name.

    I do have an International Shipping page link on all of my site pages in the footer. Is there a better way of doing this?

    I am all ears……

  5. And of course I ship to my good friends in Canada.

    I just ordered some decals for my website logo coming down from Canada, so I am spending money up there also…..

  6. Jay says:

    This is the jeqelry armoire I bought for my sister:


    I had no problems with CSN Customer service they were very nice. Comcast is the worse!!! At least they picked up my phone call and sounded interested. Overall, good experience though.

  7. The “shipping speed” filter/winnowing tool that you have presented is excellent. It shows that CSN has done a very good job of understanding that not everyone who comes to their site is the same. Different visitors are looking for things in different ways and have different priorities.

    In this case the visitor is someone who has left their gift buying to the last minute. CSN’s stores have a dizzying number of products which can totally overwhelm howers. So cleaver filtering/winnowing tools that address visitors concerns and needs should significantly improve their ability to convert howsers into customers.

  8. I’m usually happy to get just ONE bit of good info from an article or post – but there were so many excellent take aways in this one post, I think I hit a gold-mine today. Thanks!

  9. @Steve – good observation about the BBB report. Unfortunately, their 100% Approved BBB Status is technically correct, but misleading as you’ve pointed out. One thing I’ve noticed, and I wonder if there are any studies on this, is that most users simply look for these “seals” and don’t actually check their validity. I was considering running a test to simply post seals for these kinds of things, without a link, and then using the versions of them with the link to determine if it makes any difference at all.

  10. Hi all,

    Please use your discretion when discussing your personal customer experiences with retail shops, we’re not a consumer forum, we’re here to discuss strategy and other ecommerce topics.

    @Pat, thanks for dropping by and glad you got value out of this post.

  11. [...] recent Get Elastic post described a recent purchase Jason made for his wife’s birthday gift. The site was an [...]

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