The story of e-commerce and scaling brands has changed time and time again.
Detailed targeting, broad targeting, good quality content, UGC, SMS, email flows…
Although the conversation around growing brands changes what seems daily, there’s one aspect to your brand that’s always in play no matter what your growth strategy is.
The post-click experience. AKA, your website.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your growth strategy is, if your website doesn’t convert, you’ll have a hard time scaling your brand profitably.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty details of building a high-converting website, let’s go through a quick example to see just how much of a role your conversion rate (CVR) is.
Let’s say you’re spending $20k/month on ads and sending them to a site with 1.5% conversion rate (Shopify global average). Let’s say this pulls in $50k/month is revenue. That brings us to a 2.5 ROAS. For some brands that works, but for a lot of brands, that’s not profitable and therefore, unacceptable.
Now let’s focus on improving the CVR.
Let’s say you’re still spending $20k/month on ads, but instead of a 1.5%, you bring your conversion rate up to 3%. Now, with that same $20k you’re pulling in $100k in revenue at a 5 ROAS.
Although not every brand can swing their CVR this much, this shows us how much of an impact your website can have on your growth channels.
Imagine how much revenue you’re missing out on simply because your site isn’t converting as well as it could be!
Now let’s dive into how you can transform your average old store into a conversion powerhouse!
First and foremost, creating an overall experience throughout your store that’s simple and intuitive is key. There are few things that kill conversions faster than making it tough for people to find the correct products for their needs.
This is especially important for stores with larger catalogs because nobody has time to sift through tons of products just to find the right product.
Here are a few ways that we can create an experience that’s easy for people to follow:
Notice how those first two bullets mention graphics and images?
Good, because targeted content is the next step to a great site!
What is targeted content and why do you need it?
We talk about content a lot for ads and organic socials, but the content strategy for your site is an absolutely crucial step that is a key lever to pull when it comes to taking your site from good to great.
Let’s break this up into two sections.
Part 1: Audience content
When people are shopping, they want to feel like products were made for them, so leaning into that for your imagery will be huge with audience connection.
When someone lands on your site, your content needs to show exactly who your product is for and how you’re going to help them. This can be easy for some brands with very niche products, but tougher for others.
A great example of audience identification content is from BYLT Basics. Within five seconds of scrolling through their site, you’ll know exactly who is in their audience: young men who take care of themselves and want to look good.
Part 2: Educational content
The next step for your content is educational content. This is extremely important for brands that have to explain their products.
People shop with their eyes and few people will actually take the time to read blocks of text beyond a heading, so showing people how your product works is a great way to reduce any question of what the product does, how it works, or how it can solve your customer’s problem.
A variety of action shots, explainer videos, or even product breakdown graphics are a great way to educate your audience!
Grayl does a fantastic job of showing exactly how their purifier bottles work with graphics just like this one on their product pages.
Speaking of product pages, it’s time to dive deep into how to drive conversions through your product pages.
For many brands, the product page is a pinch point that crushes conversions quickly!
For brands on Shopify who built their store before OS2.0, it was tricky to build unique product pages without the use of custom code or 3rd party page builders such as Shogun or Pagefly.
Because of this, many brands have very simple product pages that have the bare necessities of information and nothing more.
Since the introduction of OS2.0, having unique product pages is accessible to pretty much every brand so take advantage of the tech and make your product pages convert.
But what needs to be on these pages you might ask?
Here’s what your product pages need to convert like crazy.
Part 1: The buy box
First and foremost, the buy box area needs to have enough information for people to make an educated buying decision quickly, so summarizing the product is key.
Here are a few things your buy box needs:
With Shopify OS2.0, a lot of this information can be pulled from metafields and app blocks to make things more dynamic from product to product as well!
One thing to note for your buy box is that it’s important to have the information visible without too many clicks. A lot of stores try to minimize information into collapsible tabs, but for main info blocks, try to avoid that.
More specific information such as nitty gritty tech specs can be minified because a lot of people will just cruise past that stuff anyways whereas the people who want to learn that info will actually open the tab.
Remember, click = friction in the buying process so if people need to click around to learn more about your products, you’re essentially creating friction.
Part 2: Below the fold
If someone didn’t buy right away, it’s probably due to one of a few things:
With that info in hand, you can create a below-the-fold experience that helps your customers make educated buying decisions.
Pro tip: Before you start building these product pages, decide whether you want to use a specific product page template for your product or if you want to use metafields.
A good way to determine which option is best is to look at the similarity in information between products and between the content/copy that you want to use. If they are similar, metafields would be a great option. If your products are very different, it might be a good option to use separate product page templates.
When you’re ready to start building, a great starting point is to add a few sections to wireframe out your customer flow. Although no two products are the same, here is a basic layout to help you out!
Product education: Show your customers exactly who your product is for and why they need this product. This is where you can talk about how your product works, show the product in action, and share some important benefits (remember, sell the benefit, not the feature!).
Product value: If your product has a premium price point compared to other options, this section will be especially important for selling your products. Similar to the education section, use this section to explain your product and the problem it solves. However, instead of the “how it works” information, this section is a great place to go over unique attributes to build more value and get people stoked.
Brand information: There are a lot of products on the market so share with people why your brand is awesome! Do you support certain causes? Do you use special materials? Do you have a unique process for making your product? These are just a few examples of brand information that you can share to get your customers excited about your brand!
In addition to more information about your product and brand, it’s crucial to add in third-party validation with reviews (Loox and Stamped are excellent review apps), editorial features, etc…
Now that we have the foundation of your site dialed in, let’s run through a few nitty gritty details that can have a huge impact on the performance of your store!
Performance driving store features
The goal of these details is to help your customers complete their purchase easily while purchasing more stuff!
Feature 1: The mega menu
A great way to help your customers navigate your store is with a mega menu. There are a ton of apps for mega menus and some themes can implement them natively so do some searching to find the one that fits your needs and style best!
The whole point of a mega menu is to help people find their specific product(s) faster so you can get creative on how you use this. Instead of just showing your product categories, you can cross-categorize with a mega menu to create a menu that fits how people shop.
For example, let’s say you sell athletic apparel and some of your items are sport specific. Instead of just having a “shirts” collection, you can have a “shirts” collection alongside a “running” collection.
Thanks to your mega menu, you’ll have space to cross-categorize your store to make shopping a breeze!
Feature 2: In-cart shipping notifier
If you’re like the vast majority of the population, you’ll probably spend more money just to get free shipping. In fact, 78% of shoppers will do this according to the Supply and Demand Chain Executive.
With that in mind, we can use our free shipping thresholds and notifiers to our advantage to make our customers excited about free shipping while improving our average order values.
Most brands these days have some kind of threshold that’s often called out in the announcement bar at the top of the page, but that gets scrolled past and forgotten about quickly so having a notifier in the cart is very helpful!
By adding a shipping threshold to your cart, you can subtly remind people to add more product to their cart, without being “annoying” or “salesy”. Instead, it’ll seem like you’re trying to help people out!
Feature 3: Product bundles
An excellent way to help people feel like they are getting a good deal while increasing your average order value (AOV) is to create a bundle offer.
There are a few ways to go about this with some strategies being easier to implement than others.
The easiest way would be to create pre-made bundles on your site that people can add to cart like any other product.
If you want to add some sophistication, there are a number of apps (or you can custom build it) that allows your customers to create custom bundles.
Not only can bundles help with your sales, but they also make for great offers throughout your marketing funnels. Bundles work well for first time buyers who need to feel like they are getting a deal and they also work well for past customers to incentivize reorders.
As you build your bundles, make sure you pay attention to your profitability points so you don’t crush your margins!
In conclusion, building an efficient, high-converting store is crucial for your long-term success. Not only will a better store help with your brand perception, but it will also help improve the performance of every one of your marketing channels.
As you build your store, keep in mind that your store will never be “done”. It will always be a work in progress and it will always change as your brand grows and changes.