Point is, order can make a big difference and it’s not a difficult test to set up.


Another interesting characteristic of order is that it actually influences consumer preference. A study published in 2007 explained these effects clearly.

The researchers studied “recommender systems” – systems that help consumers choose which product to buy.

Subjects were shown randomized variations of tent order. All the tents had different features – waterproofing, closures, etc. – yet consumers chose the first tent over the rest by a factor of 2.5X, no matter what the first tent was.

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If you’ve ever sent out an email newsletter, you know the order matters. People click more on the first (and last) links.

With ours, for example, we feature content from the blog that was published the last week. We consistently find the most traffic going to the first one we post. Therefore, we try to feature a post that has already shown signs of organic traction to give it a boost:

Other newsletters, like Instapaper, organize by popularity as well:

According to Roger Dooley, this effect has some VP Maintenance Email Lists clear implications for website design:

RogerRoger Dooley

VP Maintenance Email Lists

“Well, for one, you could put the product you’d most like to sell in front of the others. Perhaps it’s your most profitable product, or the one in which you hold the most inventory.

From a more customer-oriented standpoint, I’d recommend putting your most attractive product up front – the one which offers the best combination of value and performance, for example. This should maximize the chance of an order actually being placed, and should also be the most likely to create a good customer experience (and repeat orders).”

Often, the newest products are given precedence, which makes sense because you want to get a lot of eyes on new products for market validation. But when designing product pages, try testing different default orders. Try emphasizing the most attractive products. An example? Chubbies places its two most popular products first (and a new product third):

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