Friction in My Underwear (Especially the RED ones)


It’s not every day you go out of your way to buy underwear. For a guy in his early 30’s that loves to shop online and still enjoys the retail experience, one would think that the ‘buying’ underwear journey should be pretty straightforward right?

Well I was wrong!

You see when a man shops online it’s usually different to the way a woman would shop online. We are impacted and influenced by different things.

The Woman

Women look at the quality the price they like to browse, shop around and then around again. Many women also wonder if their friends have the same item so they don’t run the risk of buying the same or to ask if they recommend it.

A social shopping experience is the best way to describe the way a woman shops online and often offline. I don’t know many women that don’t like to shop with friends in tow.

The Man

Makes it his mission (if he chooses to accept it) to go in and buy without too much thought as we believe we have enough information (a man’s intuition) to decide this is exactly what we need and ‘I’m just going to get it’. He doesn’t have time to shop around find out if it fits or if its what he actually came to the website to buy in the first place.

Most of the time we don’t care if it’s on sale and we don’t even care if our friends have one or not. I mean how cool is it when you see another guy at the pub with the same shirt… “Mate… Great taste’ and a thumbs up usually makes your product choice a winner.

Here is a great survey between man and women and what they think about shopping.


The coolest part about this gender statistics, and what I really try to focus on with conversion rate optimisation, is the persona that you are targeting will be different depending on gender.

The Journey

So what actually happened?

Well I had one main objective and it was simple really simple.  Go by underwear from

The journey in my experiences eyes (for conversion optimisation and not underwear) should have been simple:

The journey in my experiences eyes (for conversion optimisation and not underwear) should have been simple:

  1. Find the pair I want to buy
  2. Press checkout
  3. Let me pay
  4. You send me product

Pretty standard for most ecommerce sites and honestly most of it went to plan, but at the same time the conversion rate optimisation expert in me all the time when shopping online would just not let me sleep without wanting to let them know what they are doing wrong.

Wrong in the sense in what was causing the friction in my underwear that would probably be causing the same friction for many others.

Nobody likes friction, it makes you stop, think, get anxious, second-guess everything that’s going on and finally step away from what’s causing it.

[Tweet “Friction on any website is the number one killer to conversions.”]

Friction on any website is the number one killer to conversions.

So how did I cop friction on

1)   First of all the product page was trying to give me too much and not enough at the same time.  Heaps of options and small images but not enough auto zooming and QUICK LOOKS that you can quickly see if this is the sort of product you are after.


The product page went on for another two pages full of underwear.

No auto-zoom on scroll or option to see price, pick size, add to cart or go straight to checkout.

[Tweet “This caused my friction. I was wasting my time.”]

This caused my friction. I was wasting my time.

2)   Once I was inside the product that I selected I was greeted by a very confronting image for any man no matter their sexuality.


3)   Even though the image was a little out there I still went and head and picked my size and pressed CHECKOUT.


I was shocked to find this


It wanted me to ADD ITEM first before actually CHECKING OUT.

So why are you showing me the CHECKOUT button?

4)   I was then put through the OLD drop down checkout. Complete billing, complete shipping, complete this and that. More friction. Just give it to me on one page already.


5)   A few major things missing from the CHECKOUT is the proof elements. Show me testimonials of happy customers; tell me how many people you have on your Facebook fan page. Make me feel comfortable about going through all this effort to buy from you.

After all that I still abandoned the cart, I didn’t buy the red underwear. But I waited… I waited for hours to see if I would get an abandon cart email and I didn’t. I was very disappointed. I wasn’t after a discount I was after the experience that should come as standard with all ecommerce sites.

Conversion rate optimisation is a methodology that is usually the last thing to be considering when building ecommerce stores, instead of the first. Making the whole conversion rate optimisation process more expensive to execute on a live site.

Don’t make the same mistakes take control of your conversions today and improve your yield. Download my free 14 Conversion Hacks to Double Profits 80 page EBook by clicking here to cover your butt.

On a side note to over 8% of men are blue/green colour blind so the choice of colours for buttons may be a conversion show stopper.