A ton of considerations go into substantially increasing a conversion rate on an e-commerce site. We’ve distilled our process down to 4 key takeaways for digital brand retailers, especially purposeful brands like our clients. We will try to avoid the obvious, like where to place your cart button, and stick to the insights that you may not find elsewhere.
We recently redesigned an already beautiful site. Not only was the existing site beautiful, but we are the ones who designed it two years ago. So, why did we bother with another redesign? 3 reasons:
- Brand evolution
Our client, Osmia Organics, had grown significantly and, over the last 2 years, had developed greater clarity around its brand direction, product strategy, and marketing. In the meantime, the internet had continued to evolve at a breakneck speed. Both of these factors opened up a multitude of opportunities to create a more optimized site that would promote the Osmia purpose more effectively and lead to more conversions. So, we got to work.
After launching the redesigned site, we compared a 30-day period with the same period from the year prior on the old site. The results were incredible. Not only was the bounce rate decreased by about 25%, the conversion rate was up by over 34%.
Here are the top 4 takeaways:
1. Lead with Purpose
Purpose matters. Customers want to know that they are purchasing something more than a product. They want to know what you stand for. Osmia Organics is a purposeful natural skincare company. While using natural, healthful ingredients is central to the brand, that’s not the approach that founder Sarah Villafranco has taken to defining the brand purpose. Rather, the Osmia Organics tagline is “Return to your senses.”
Sarah says she wanted Osmia to be “a reminder to sense your life—to really absorb the rich textures and use your senses in ways that seem mundane but make your moments so much fuller.” Gentle, wholesome natural ingredients and uncompromising commitment to craftsmanship and quality all support that purpose.
I want Osmia to be a reminder to sense your life—to really absorb the rich textures and use your senses in ways that seem mundane but make your moments so much fuller.Sarah Villafranco
In designing the Osmia home page, we didn’t lead with the top product or a sales graphic. Instead, we incorporated a rich full-screen video of lavender so beautiful you can almost smell it. Overlaid on the video, in large, simple type, are the words, “RETURN TO YOUR SENSES.”
Instantly this creates a connection with the viewer—an invitation to experience a moment of mindful enjoyment, a “come hither” to the other side of the page, where Osmia’s artisanal products promise to lead you on a journey back to your senses. (And they really do, by the way.) Featured products are of course included a bit further down the page but are now viewed in the context of the brand purpose.
The video—and other elements throughout the site—ensures that purpose is always in the spotlight. Sarah’s customers should never forget why they are on her website. It’s not just about products—it’s to be a part of Sarah’s purpose. Prominent callouts to information about Osmia’s ingredients and ethos support this.
In addition, this content is truly designed—it’s not just the obligatory mission statement or a fact-sheet. The photography and visuals are crafted to give the user an emotional connection with what this content means in terms of experiencing the product and brand.
2. Make Navigation Better than Just Functional
Everybody knows that an intuitive navigation is critical to good e-commerce conversions, so let’s not talk about the right places to put your menu and cart buttons. Instead, I want to emphasize the importance of making your navigation better than just functional—or even intuitive. Your navigation should be pleasant, a joy to use, and it should contribute to the overall digital brand experience.
The previous Osmia site had an interstitial page to navigate between main product categories. On the new site, we eliminated that page completely and built the main categories straight into the menu in a highly visual way. Rather than simply linking to the categories with text links, which certainly would have been efficient, we designed beautiful images for each category. Each photograph is carefully selected to reflect the brand ethos.
The Osmia navigation is not just easy to use; it actually elevates the brand and customer experience.
3. The Little Details = Credibility
In conversion optimization, you will often hear the term “credibility indicators,” which identifies website elements that help the user to take the brand seriously and trust its claims. Commonly cited credibility indicators are testimonials, press mentions, partner logos, industry seals (like “certified organic”), and security badges (like SSL).
Digital entrepreneurs, however, often forget a vitally important factor: EVERYTHING IS A CREDIBILITY INDICATOR.
Every detail of your site, especially the small ones, can add or detract credibility from your brand. This is often overlooked, because it’s difficult to pinpoint the effect of just one small detail on conversions. That’s why it’s important to take a holistic design perspective to ensure that the little details are working together to enhance the brand’s credibility.
Are all of your product shots uniformly sized and stylistically consistent, or do they jump around the product catalog page? Are you working from a solid style guide, or do you have random bold, all-caps, colored and sized type popping up throughout the site? Have you remembered to add the little details that take your site to the next level?
As a growing digital e-commerce brand, it’s not always possible to be 100% consistent and on top of every single detail, but it’s important that, as a whole, the site feels “considered.” The small details go a very long way to building credibility.
On the Osmia site, we made sure that every existing detail was consistent, but we also added details that users might not notice right away but that added to the brand experience and feeling of credibility. Notice how the “Shop” navigation images pop out into the white space above them. Did you notice that the large images on the “About” page also do this?
Did you see that the style of the illustration on the “What We Use” page perfectly matches the little hummingbird in the footer?
Collectively, these details matter, building massive trust and brand affinity, our next topic.
4. Build Brand Affinity
Finally, let’s talk about that elusive quality that brands strive for yet is so hard to measure—brand affinity. All of the factors I have previously discussed—and more—contribute to building brand affinity with your users. Sarah, Osmia’s founder, has built a social following around returning to your senses and treating yourself to a healthy lifestyle. We were sure to include feeds from her social media on the site, as well as to take the tone and messaging that we saw working on her social media and build it into the copy and visuals of the site. Leveraging Osmia’s incredible attention to cross-channel customer experience and messaging, the website serves to concentrate Osmia’s brand personality. This builds on the users’ trust and enthusiasm, nudging them toward a purchase that we personally know they will be very pleased with.
A More Holistic Prospective on Conversions
Many more technical considerations go into conversion optimization, and I’d love to chat about them with you any time. We hope that these quick tips give you a more holistic perspective on how to increase your purposeful brand’s digital conversion rate.
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