A Better Ecommerce Landing Page

What if there was a simple formula ecommerce marketers could follow to improve conversions from digital ad campaigns? It turns out there is.

MECLABS Institute is a research firm devoted to understanding how folks make decisions, such as for purchases. Several years ago, the institute bundled its data and produced a formula for a high-converting landing page.

C = 4M + 3V + 2(I-F) – 2A


  • C = conversion.
  • M = motivation.
  • V = value.
  • I = incentives.
  • F = reduced friction.
  • A = addressing anxiety.

The idea is that if it’s going to convert well, a landing page should mention:

  • Shoppers’ motivation four times,
  • Value to shoppers three times,
  • Incentives to buy twice,
  • Shoppers’ anxiety twice.

Testing the Formula

Ecommerce landing pages are often different than, say, those of information providers. An ecommerce ad has a clear goal: sell a product. Thus many such ads point to an existing product or category page.

But those pages are not necessarily a good way to convert an ad-driven visitor.

As a test, consider building a campaign-specific landing page using the MECLABS formula. The page doesn’t need to be an advertorial or anything exotic. Simply apply the formula.

Screenshots of a t-shirt ad and a t-shirt category page.

Linking ads (at left) to category pages may not produce strong conversions.


I learned about the MECLABS formula from Chris Misterek, a user-experience designer at Showit, a creative agency. Misterek was giving a presentation at a conference on what motivates shoppers to buy a t-shirt or anything — the M component of C = 4M + 3V + 2(I-F) – 2A.

A business that knows its customers’ motivations can address them in landing page copy and position the product’s value accordingly.

Businesses that have not yet identified why customers buy should do a bit of research. If nothing else, ask an AI to summarize each of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Self-Determination Theory, and the Theory of Needs.

Theory of Needs

In his presentation, Misterek zeroed in on the late Professor David McClelland’s Theory of Needs.

McClelland argued that everyone needs a sense of achievement, affiliation, and power.

  • Achievement. Folks with a high need for achievement want to excel in relation to a set of standards.
  • Affiliation. These folks want to feel like they belong to a community wherein they can build friendly and, sometimes, close interpersonal relationships.
  • Power. These individuals want to influence, teach, or encourage others.

For a landing page, motivation can be positive or negative. For example, the need for affiliation can be a positive motive (“be part of the community”) or negative (“don’t miss your chance to connect”).

Imagine you run marketing for an online shop selling science-fiction-themed t-shirts. You might develop a YouTube ad and landing page based on customers’ need for affiliation.

The ad shows a male standing alone at a party. He looks a little nerdy and doesn’t seem to fit in, but he is wearing a sci-fi t-shirt. He spots an equally nerdy female from across the room wearing a similar-themed top — instant connection and affiliation.

AI generated image of a male and female wearing sci-fi shirts.

Focus the ad and landing page on shoppers’ motives to buy.

The landing page features an image of the male and female from the commercial and employs the formula C = 4M + 3V + 2(I-F) – 2A.

The headlines and subheads tell a story in various ways. Wearing a science-fiction t-shirt is a conversation starter, allowing sci-fi fans to connect with like-minded individuals, thus fulfilling their need for social interaction and friendship.

The body copy could state, “When you wear our t-shirts, you join a community. Our designs follow iconic sci-fi themes that resonate with fans worldwide. Share your passion, make new friends, and feel the camaraderie. Follow us on social media to connect with others, participate in discussions, and display your latest purchases.”

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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