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One of the most important things is establishing trust indicators, because if a customer is dropping a lot of money, it better be 100% exactly what you promised it was. Over communicate all the key product points. You are going to want polished and professional imagery and videos. Think of 360 product shots, listing all product materials in excessive detail, reviews, customer lifestyle images and offering warranties.

Instagram is a great tool for building sales funnels with high end items. There is a niche community for everything. Find that community your product or service is a part of and jump in. You can consider doing a giveaway too that gets people excited.

To start, here are a couple standards to help you benchmark your customers and traffic:

  • Over a 30 day rolling period, if you get 150 people a day to visit your store, you are getting traction in the marketplace and are building an audience
  • 20-30% is a target average for repeat customers

Let’s talk strategies:

  1. Set up the remarketing funnel: When you increase the total number of touch points with a customer, you will convert better and you’ll make more sales. With remarketing, you’re really only paying when traffic comes to the site and clicks through. I’d recommend setting up your Facebook remarketing. You don’t have that top of funnel costing you money yet, but you’ve got that remarketing in place for when you achieve a threshold of traffic that works. And you can set that up natively in Facebook, or you could use an app like Socio.
  2. Build an organic social media following: Try to engage with Instagram influencers, give freebies. That is a gateway to cheap, top-of-funnel traffic. If you start to kill it on Instagram, then when those Instagram people hit your site, you are building a Facebook remarketing funnel.
  3. Facebook like ads: These ads provide a little bit of social proof and brand awareness. Once you have a good organic social media following, Facebook like ads are extremely cheap. A good one can be around $.15/per like. You can then also set up ad campaigns to target people that have liked your page.

Pro tip: Look for all they ways you can drive alternative traffic to your site

Resource: A company like Workmacro will manage a follow/unfollow campaign for you on Instagram and get you several thousand followers quickly. You can now remarket to that audience.

I have not had direct experience with someone who was successful with only Pinterest ads. Pinterest tends to bring a lot of drive-by traffic that you can use to drive awareness. You can use it to fill remarketing ad funnels, but those people are not wallet out, ready to buy. They won’t convert directly into a sale necessarily.

If your Facebook ads are already a successful channel, keep spending your money where you know it works.

Pro tips: combine Pinterest and Facebook efforts

  1. Drive your Pinterest traffic to follow you on Facebook. This will fill the top of your Facebook funnel with remarketing ad potential and already established familiarity. Remarketing ads are much cheaper.
  2. Something to experiment with.…. You’ve got 100% of your ad budget on Facebook. All right, keep spending on Facebook. If you think you haven’t exhausted it, spend more on it till you get it to a place where you’re comfortable. Then divert some of that money into driving cold traffic from Pinterest and see if that works.

Financing apps are becoming popular and are proven to be an easy way to increase your average order size. They appear as a widget underneath the price on your product page offering payment breakdowns; for example, $100 or 4 payments of $25 using Sezzle. Generally the buyers don’t pay any interest.

My favorite…

Sezzle:

  • Simple option with a killer Merchant Interest Program. Any money you collect and leave in Sezzle earns 8% interest! Yes, you read that right.
  • Offers a max of 4 equal payments so it does not appear as a hard item on the consumer’s credit and comes with zero percent interest
  • Good team and support

Other options…

  • Affirm
  • Afterpay

Pro tip: Adding a financing app is a quick easy win for your store. One store I work with had an average order value of $50 storewide, after using a financing app it jumped to $80.

*For one month free, no strings attached with Sezzle use referral code: SZXRLQJ

Privy offers a suite of conversion tools that sit on top of your website. The platform offers tons of display formats, design tools, and targeting rules that many use cases:

  • Exit intent email capture: this is Privy's bread and butter, but a small subset of what Privy offers.
  • Cart saving displays: reduce cart abandonment by looking for pre-abandonment signals in the checkout flow, and load displays based on product or cart value.
  • Cross-sell displays: target add to cart displays to people who have one product in the cart, but not the other (i.e if razor, recommend blade)
  • And many other on-site use cases we can unlock related to personalization, loyalty points, post-purchase engagement and more.

ESPs like Klaviyo pour their heart and soul into email flows, segmentation, and deliverability, the same way Privy pour theirs into the onsite experience but ESPs can only handle simple email capture scenarios.

Learn more at Privy.com

Let’s talk product pages.

If its your homepage's job to get visitors to your product detail page, then its your product detail page's job to get them to add to cart.

I'm about to give you some clear design rules for making the most of your product page (and boosting your add to cart rate in the process.)

The Buy Box

First, make sure the "buy box" is above the fold. (The buy box is a term my guy Ezra Firestone coined.) That means your photos, thumbnails, title, price, product description, color swatches, ADD TO CART button, etc. are all above the point where the customer would have to scroll down. See this example from Tactical Baby Gear I designed:

Because people can't see, touch, smell, or otherwise experience your products in person, your product photos are incredibly important. Some quick tips here:

  • Enable click-to-zoom. This is important, people want to see what they're buying.
  • Crop all images consistently. (More on that below.)
  • Consider including a product video.
  • If you sell apparel, include your size chart as a photo so people can't miss it

Image Ratios Demystified

The number one thing that baffles merchants is image ratios. When I say image ratios, I mean the ratio of the width to the height of the images. Everyone struggles with getting these right, and that's a problem, because inconsistent images cropping will result in messy, unprofessional looking thumbnail grids and collection grids.

I am going to give you the easy way out here: Just crop all your images square so they're consistent.

If you have hundreds of product photos already uploaded at odd ratios, don't panic. You can use the app PixC to automatically resize the images square.

Once you get your images cropped square, you’ll have a nice clean look as customers switch through the image thumbnails.

Image Sizes

When uploading product photos to your store, you want to upload them as large as you can. "But Kurt, what about PageSpeeeed?!" Fear not– The theme and Shopify will work to resize photos, so you should aim to upload the max size Shopify will accept at a square resolution.

Here are the stats:

  • Size: Square, up to 2500x2500 px
  • Type: JPEG (dont you dare upload PNGs)
  • Quality: 60%, progressive, don't embed color profile as it has little value.

Pro-Tip: Before uploading them to Shopify, drag & drop them all into ImageOptim, it's a free, safe, and automatic image compression tool.

Social Proof

Make sure you have reviews on your product page. If you don't, that should be the first thing you do.

My favorite reviews apps are Stamped.io, Judge.me, YotPo, Loox, even Shopify Product Reviews.

The Number One Secret: Copywriting

A clean layout and quality photos will only get you so far. The most successful stores all invest in detailed descriptions for their products. You need to treat your product descriptions like sales letters.

But copywriting is hard, right? I thought so too, then I discovered the magic of copywriting formulas.

My colleague Joanna Weibe has put together a phenomenal guide called The Ultimate Guide to No-Pain Copywriting (or, Every Copywriting Formula Ever). Bookmark it.

For further reading, check out Sean D'Souza's The Brain Audit. This was the one book that made copywriting click for me. It's a quick read too.

Hope that helps,
-k.

P.S.: For more info on building the perfect product page, listen to our podcast Building The Perfect Product Page.

What's the fundamental difference between a good and a bad home page?

A bad homepage doesn't center on helping the user find a product. That is the number homepage conversion killer.

When someone lands on your homepage, you have just a couple of seconds to convince them that:

  1. they should not leave,
  2. and they should start browsing.

(As opposed to what most people do when they land on a homepage: click the back button, click over to a different tab, or, if you're lucky, scroll halfway down and then leave.)

Your homepage has one primary job: convince someone to start browsing your catalog. You have to break them out of general browsing and into shop mode. This is the difference between someone walking past a storefront and walking into it. A visitor who hits your homepage and then bounces is no different than someone just walking past the storefront.

Let’s talk hero image. You see a lot of stores doing slide shows, and honestly, I’m not a fan, for two reasons:

  1. Image slideshows often bloat page sizes.
  2. 89% of users never make it past the first slide.

Instead, I recommend you just do one big hero image. Or, if you're feeling particularly fancy, go with a video. If you can put together a video, it will boost conversions.

Either way, have a headline over it, with your positioning statement. Make it really clear what it is you offer, what your value proposition is, and who it's for. Being clever or subtle isn't going to sell anything.

Next, your main navigation menu is instrumental in converting a browser to a shopper. If someone is landing on the homepage, they're showing intent, so let's make it easy for them. I see too many stores that have their products buried under some sub-menu that just says, "Shop" followed by a bunch of non-shopping related links like that blog you haven't updated in six months.

Which do you want? Do you want people to come to your site to read a blog that you never update? Or, buy something? The latter of course. Take all that extraneous stuff and put it either into one sub-menu at the very end called, "Info," or move it into the footer. If people are looking for it, they'll find it. That way all your shopping is across the top. You can break it out by collection, break it out by top sellers, whatever you want.

Lastly, throw some social proof in there. I like to do testimonials, reviews, or even something like a reviews app carousel widget. If you've ever been quoted or featured in any kind of press or media, include those logos, and some nice blurbs from the articles. Social proof adds a lot of credibility.

Let's recap:

  1. Your homepage has one job: get people to browse your catalog.
  2. Ditch the carousel, instead use a single hero image or a video. Caption it with a clear and concise call to action.
  3. Focus your main menu exclusively on shopping.

Hope that helps,
-k.

I wanted to talk to you about ways to improve your conversion rate, starting with your homepage. It’s often the first thing customers see, so its a good place to start. Let’s walk through three quick wins you can make to your homepage.

Quick Win 1: Optimizing Your Logo

When people land on your homepage, what's the first thing they see? Nine times out of ten it’s the logo.

There’s a simple reason for this: People read in an “F” pattern. Top to bottom, left to right. That means they are going to start in the upper left of the page. Which is where you want your professionally designed logo.

If you don’t have a great looking logo yet, hire an illustrator or logo designer, or submit a project on 99 Designs, where you can effectively crowdsource your logo. You want to make sure a professional logo is the first thing visitors see.

Quick Win 2: Tagline

Knowing that the logo is the first thing customers will often see (especially since its on every page of your site) there’s another easy quick win we can implement in the logo, and that’s a tagline. To communicate your brand message to the consumer, add a tagline to your logo. You can't fit a long one into a logo, but three to five words can be powerful.

For example, our client and purveyor of fine teas, Harney & Sons, has a name and logo that doesn’t communicate what they do at all. It’s totally ambiguous. But with the addition of three words, MASTER TEA BLENDERS, they quickly and easily communicate to everyone who sees their logo what it is they do.

That’s important because visitors aren’t going to spend time trying to decipher what it is you do, they’re going to bounce back to Facebook in the hopes of finding some more spicy memes.

Quick Win 3: Toll-Free Number

The third must-have item is a toll-free phone number. Yeah, we all have cell phones, and we don't really pay for long-distance anymore but a toll-free number still says, "Hey, I'm a legitimate for real business."

You can get one for about $30.00 a month from services like Grasshopper or Ring Central. Then, forward it to the appropriate phone line. Once you do, make sure you display it prominently in your header. A quality theme like Turbo by Out of The Sandbox even has a place for it in the top header.

These seem like obvious recommendations, but very few sites have all three in place. Three of the easiest and quickest ways to increase your conversion rate.

How to Make $1 Million (with Ezra Firestone)

In 2018, Ezra Firestone generated $700K over Black Friday, with $100k alone on Thanksgiving for his Shopify store BOOM by Cindy Joseph.

This year he plans do 30% more and he's going to tell us exactly how.

I sat down with Ezra to break down the exact Black Friday and holiday email campaigns he'll be running this year to hit his seven-figure goals.

Reader Nick Colebatch writes, “I went through your training, took copious notes, and ordered them in the area of websites, to help others tear down their own websites. Here are your tips, summarized and ordered from a merchant's perspective.”

Header

  • Strip out social links and share buttons
  • Add tag line under the logo in the header
  • A toll-free number is good

Navigation

  • No “Home” on Menu - it’s safe to assume that clicking on logo navigates to homepage
  • If the difference between product categories not obvious consider putting images into a mega menu
  • Ensure Menu breaks out products as much as possible, and if you have a top secondary menu you can put non-product related stuff (e.g. About) into that
  • Check menu doesn’t take up much screen real estate when you scroll down

Footer

  • Have an exciting newsletter call to action, not “Subscribe” - provide a compelling reason to join
  • Have Media Enquiries in the footer
  • A toll-free number is good

Home Page

  • “As seen in” strips are powerful social proof and consider having them high on the homepage

Collection Page

  • Quick View lightboxes not generally recommended - adds load time
  • On a Collection page, when you scroll over a product you want a “hover effect” on that product
  • “Trending now” instead of “Featured Products”

Product Page

  • Dynamic checkout buttons
  • Add reviews under the product name
  • Strip out social links and share buttons
  • If print on demand then have some real photos and try to have photos that are different even if you just crop them differently
  • Videos to increase conversions
  • Returns policy in the description - use returns policy all over your website
  • Don’t hide text on the product page, such as “Details and Dimensions” - have all text display by default
  • When a product has options: Consider changing “Add to Cart“ button text to “Select a size [or colour or whater]” if not all options are chosen. Have default drop-down option as a “Choose” option so you force the customer to make a conscious choice for the option before they can Add to cart so you don’t get people accidentally buying the wrong thing (like a small size t-shirt just because that was the default size) - requires development
  • If different pricing for different options, then have the price dynamically change based on the option chosen (rather than showing a range of prices) - not sure if this needs a developer?
  • Financing options like After Pay can be a huge conversion boost especially with higher-priced products
  • “Only x number left” (inventory indicator when low) is good
  • If you have “out of stock” have the ability to enter your email and get notified of when back in stock
  • Add to cart navigates straight to cart page
  • Big advantage to keeping to layout conventions
  • Hex colour 444 (light black) good colour for easy reading
  • Font Size 16 point good size
  • If selling apparel add size guide as photo
  • Addressing sizing concerns and returns policy is a common area to improve for apparel stores as it is a key reason not to buy

Cart Page

  • Dynamic checkout buttons
  • “Proceed to checkout” good text to have on the checkout button
  • Have a lock icon on checkout button (on the cart page) instead of lots of trust icons - not sure if it requires development

Checkout Page

  • Dynamic checkout buttons
  • Add phone number under your logo on checkout
  • Auto-suggest on address field in the checkout
  • Make sure it’s styled (colours/fonts) as per rest of website
  • (Multiple pages) Colour isolation: Consistent button colours from product page > Cart page > checkout page with only one button on each page being key branded colour and other buttons subtle colours that don’t draw attention

Sales copy wins

  • Instead of “View All/More Details/Learn More” use “Shop Now” on any buttons
  • “You focused language” in copy
  • Don’t use “Industry Speak”. Use customer surveys and reviews - find common phrases and make those your headlines
  • HotJar Survey “If you did not make a purchase today, what was it that stopped you?” set on exit intent and limited it to fire only if the url contains “products”. Mine the responses.