5 Ways of Applying Trader Joe’s Business Philosophy and Structure to Brand Websites

There’s no denying that Trader Joe’s is quite special when it comes to grocery store chains. At PML, we participated in an exercise where we listened to, discussed, and dissected the Freakonomic’s podcast, Should American Be Run By … Trader Joe’s?. This podcast features ideas around what exactly makes Trader Joe’s so unique (find the podcast here and give it a listen).

Trader Joe’s has many unorthodox business strategies, especially given the digital age we are currently living in. Interestingly enough, our team found a lot of parallels between the values of Trader Joe’s and the recommendations we often give our clients when conducting website audits. Check out the top five similarities we identified below:

1-Be User Friendly

A huge part of Trader Joe’s business strategy is creating a welcoming, easy to navigate experience for their customers. They have an abundance of employees at any given time manning their stores to help guide customers through their shopping experience. User experience is a huge buzzword when it comes to optimizing websites. In a world of bounce rate and shopping cart abandonment, it’s our job to create an intuitive, digestible experience.

2-Understand Decision Science

Trader Joe’s takes this concept to the shelves. They don’t offer a ton of different options within product categories and this makes it easier for shoppers to pick an item. It is common knowledge in the web world that you don’t want to provide users with multiple calls to action on a website. It overwhelms them and can often cause them to make no decision at all. Maintaining concise and clear paths toward desired actions on your website help to reduce/remove friction and confusion.

3-Emphasize Customer Interaction

Trader Joe’s purposefully hires extroverted, outgoing employees to provide an interactive and friendly experience for shoppers. Similarly, an interactive experience on a webpage can really elevate a user’s visit to a website. At PML, we’ve created multiple types of interactive symptom checkers as well as our Nix Lice Tracker (find out more about our Lice Tracker here). Providing an interactive experience to your users will increase interest in your product and/or services and allow customers to learn more about what your brand has to offer.

4-Ensure Friction-less Checkout

According to Freakonomics, the first lesson in sales is “don’t make it hard for people to give you their money”! As we previously mentioned, Trader Joe’s has extra employees on the floor and by the checkout area, more employees than many would think necessary, so that check out is streamlined and truly a breeze. The Baymard Institute, an independent web usability research institute, conducted a study where they recently determined almost 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned (see more info about this study here). A complex, confusing, or complicated check out process is a major cause of cart abandonment. Avoiding things like unexpected shipping fees and a lengthy account sign up process will help users complete the check out process on your website.

5-Bolster Brand Identity

Trader Joe’s does very little outside advertising, this means that their store is their brand. Customer’s come to understand what Trader Joe’s is about most by visiting a location. Your website is likely to be the first touchpoint that a potential customer has with your brand. This is especially true in today’s digital age where everyone is so research savvy. Ensuring that your website accurately represents your brand will assist customers in understanding your brand’s values and culture.

Can you think of other values Trader Joe’s holds that may apply to optimizing websites? Want to find out more about how we can apply the above concepts to create an ideal user experience for your website users? Drop us a line here to start the conversation.

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