I recently responded to a post in a Shopify social media group where an exasperated store owner was seeking help trying to figure out why people kept asking them if they sold all sizes of collars for dogs. Dropping onto the website, one can quickly see that the site sold dog collars and there was copy on the home page that specifically stated all the different sizes they sold. Problem solved right? It was clearly written on the page and customers were clearly just missing it. Right?
Nope. The problem with that whole scenario is I was primed with the idea that I needed to look for that information. Your first-time customers do not have that advantage. I knew what I was looking for even before I visited the site.
...I was primed with the idea that I needed to look for that information. Your first-time customers do not have that advantage.
So what was the real problem here? That the store owner's customers just clearly could not read? Was it the copy or the images on the site? The store owner's takeaway was that something on their website was indicating that they did not sell dog collars of all sizes. I had a different take and it is how you as a Shopify store owner can start to give your customers exactly what they want.
Take Customer Feedback Objectively
My educational background is psychology, so I often go right for the mental aspect of things first. This store owner's issue was not that they did not set up their website properly. Sure, there are always things to improve, but they were looking at the problem from the wrong perspective. This store owner was looking to assign blame for those customer interactions to their own failures rather than take them for what they are - customer data gold.
This store owner was looking to assign blame for those customer interactions to their own failures rather than take them for what they are - customer data gold.
So what do I mean by "customer data gold?" What I mean is people pay really good money for focus groups, customer feedback surveys, and user experience reports to provide feedback on the number one objection a customer has to purchasing on their website. If you have customers providing that information for free, that's fantastic! And now that you're taking that information objectively, the next step is to act on it.
Address Biggest Objections to Purchasing
But what if the copy is already there?! In this instance, copy stating the specific sizes sold was below the fold. This means a customer has to scroll and read the one specific section to get this information. It has to be simple and easily found without really thinking about it. It has to be made plain to the customer so they do not have to try and find it.
How to Make it Plain
If you hear a primary objection like this from your customers, understand that this means that they have been trained by your competitors to ask this question. In going to other websites, they have found the perfect or best product - only to find that the store does not carry the size that they need. So, how do we fix this?
Use Headers to Grab Attention
For starters, I would address these customer concerns directly with a header. If a primary objection or concern for customers is whether or not all sizes are sold, write copy directly to that. Something short and simple like, We Sell All Sizes, would do the trick. Underneath this text you can add some subtext to write what specific sizes are offered.
Place Important Content Above the Fold
This is not always possible, but consider trying to place this sort of ultra-important content above the fold, or as close to the above the fold content as possible. Limit the amount of scroll that is required. One of the considerations for design in line with User Experience (UX) is that people do not read when they are online, they scan for information. Seriously, try to be aware of this the next time you go to a website for the first time and objectively notice your behavior.
...people do not read when they are online, they scan for information.
Use Main Navigation to Lead Customers
One of the issues with this site in particular that could have been improved was the navigation was set up for seasonal wear. There were references to Fall, Summer, and Winter or Holiday collections, but nothing about sizes! Given this was their customers' main query, it would have been great to include an option in the main navigation to search by size. Customers would have then easily found sizes and different options without any real effort on their part.
Have an FAQ Page
You would think this goes without saying, but it is that important. Your website needs to have a frequently asked questions page - no matter how simple the product or how educated your customer base. FAQ pages provide great insight and will help you cut down on customer inquiries, not to mention bounce rates. Just make sure that your FAQ page has actual questions asked by your customers and is relevant. Don't just put fluff on there, or this will hurt the trust value in your site's content.
Your website needs to have a frequently asked questions page - no matter how simple the product or how educated your customer base.
Be Aware That You are Not Your Best or Ideal Customer
One of the most insightful things I had heard was from Kurt Elster's Unofficial Shopify Podcast (highly recommended). He stated in an episode with Steve Chou on common mistakes in running an online business that people often think they are their own best first customer. And that's just not true.
There is this fallacy early on in running an online business that we intimately know who our customer is and we read copy, consider product features, and implement decisions with ourselves in mind. In all reality, that may start to get people in the door, but you will often find that your first actionable customers who purchase from you are not like you at all.
What Can You Do to Get This Kind of Information From Your Customers?
Customer interactions like this, where the customer actually tells you what they want, are not easy to come by. As previously mentioned, ecommerce brands will pay marketing companies tens of thousands of dollars per month just to get this kind of feedback and act on it. It is incredibly valuable.
Lucky for you, getting this kind of information does not require tens of thousands of dollars a month. There are tools and strategies within easy reach of your store's budget that can help you find these golden nuggets yourself.
Use a tool like Klaviyo to create and send out customer surveys or responses. Klaviyo uses incredibly powerful methods called Flows to help you gather feedback, customer reviews, and bring customers back to your website to make purchases. Klaviyo is one of many different tools, but tends to be the standard in high-performing Shopify stores. It's been recommended so much by other store owners as making them money, that I started working on becoming a Klaviyo Partner this summer and hope to provide more services to customers who already use Klaviyo.
Respond to customer reviews! There are lots of great Shopify apps that help support gathering and responding to customer reviews. One of my all-time favorites is Judge.me. A very generous free tier and their support, regardless of the plan you're on, is fantastic. Another really great, all-in-one, premium option is Reviews.io. They pull in reviews not only from your store, but through Google and other main avenues so you can get a good grasp on your response and engagement through reviews all in one place. Store owners also love using Loox.
Use an App
There are some apps that are specifically designed for this purpose. A good example of this as a place to start is Hot Jar. They have been in this space for a long time and have a decent free tier, but they provide the option to do recorded screen interactions and heat maps as well as my favorite exit surveys. Lucky Orange and Inspectlet are two other apps in this space to consider.
What if You Need Help?
There are a lot of different places to get help in the Shopify community. Here are some of the best places to get some free help and feedback on your store.
Social Media Groups
Most everyone is on some form of social media. Thankfully, there are lots of groups and channels that are focused on ecommerce, and even more specifically, Shopify. Here are just a few:
- Unofficial Shopify Facebook Group
- Shopify Entrepreneurs Facebook Group
- Shopify Unofficial Facebook Group
Shopify has social media and other channels on most platforms and at times promote Shopify businesses or even give free advice on action items they have seen make stores more successful. The Shopify Forums is also a place you can pose a question and get answers from Shopify staff or other experts.
Of course I would love to encourage folks to reach out and get help from me! But, truth is I am not the best fit for all projects and/or stores either so I like to provide options wherever possible. So here are a handful of other places you can check out that could also help you with getting improvements implemented into your store.
The Ultimate Win-Win in Ecommerce
If you are getting consistent feedback or consistent questions from your customers, consider not taking it personally or trying to assign blame to yourself, your marketer, copywriter, or to your customers. Take it as the gift that it is, your customers telling you how to give them exactly what they want. Implement that feedback and then keep your ear to the ground for even more insightful information. Not only will you serve your customers better by giving them what you want, you will see your conversion rates improve as well. And that's the ultimate win-win in ecommerce.