Tip: Increase conversions by intentionally slowing down key features that are too fast to satisfy user expectations

Faster is usually better, but sometimes more users will convert when they see your product working hard. If people assume a lot of processing power goes into an important feature of your product, consider lengthening the feature's execution time and displaying a progress bar.

Amit Mehta of Boost Software fixed all the bugs that were slowing his product down, but his conversions didn't budge. Then it dawned on him — now that his product's "scan" took mere seconds (down from a couple of minutes), his users weren't convinced it was doing as much as it had before. He noticed his competitors' scans were on the slow side too. To make his product seem like it was working harder, he slowed it down. And to his amazement, his conversions nearly doubled.

Amit's in good company — other sites employing this counterintuitive tactic include the likes of Priceline and Expedia.

How can you know which features to deliberately lengthen? It ultimately comes down to user expectations, which you can gauge by taking a look at how the same feature is implemented in other applications.

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    A tip you'll often see on Indie Hackers and elsewhere is: "Customers care how much value it provides, not how much it cost you to build."

    Your growth tip proves that this untrue. People care about fairness.

    1. 1

      "Customers care how much value it provides, not how much it cost you to build."

      The tricky thing about value is that it isn't located in a product, but rather in a customer's perception of that product. A counterfeit Chanel handbag that is nonetheless materially identical to the real thing will seem worthless in the eyes of prospective buyers the moment it is revealed as counterfeit.

      Another example from Ben Thompson:

      On a product level there are not massive differences between, say, Axe and Dove. But their branding could not be more different. Dove has had massive success with their “Real Beauty” campaign that fights against highly sexualized stereotypes that only serve to make most women feel worse about themselves.

      Axe, on the other hand, in an attempt to appeal to young men, heavily emphasizes exactly the sort of stereotypes Dove is objecting to.

      Here’s the kicker, though: Axe and Dove are both owned by Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch CPG conglomerate.

      So which of Unilever's customer segments is "right"? The men who buy Axe for the perceived sex appeal? Or the women who buy Dove for the perceived body positivity?

      They're both right (from a marketing standpoint)!

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        Great point, @channingallen. Value is complex, and quite often emotion is a part of the value. Like, I might pay for a todo list tool (just kidding, nobody pays for todo lists tools) from a giant company and the value is exactly the amount of time it saves me. Or I might choose to buy a slightly work-in-progress todo list from a fellow Indie Hacker, for a little bit more money and a little bit less time-saving, because that feeling I get from being supportive is worth more to me than the tradeoff.

        Here’s the kicker, though: Axe and Dove are both owned by Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch CPG conglomerate.

        Oh wow. The more you know.

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