feature

How do you get more sales and repeat customers for your ecommerce business?

That’s the number one question most online store owners want answered. Most of the time, it comes down to making small improvements and optimizations to your site over time.

But where do you start? 

To give you some ideas and inspiration, we decided to take a look at Harry's, a 12-month old ecommerce business powered by $122.5M in venture capital funding. Harry's sells razors and grooming products for men and was founded by Jeffrey Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield. Raider was one of the cofounders behind Warby Parker, the popular ecommerce service for eyeglasses founded in 2010 and currently rumored to be valued at around $500 million.

Surely with all that money and experience they must be doing something right.

Let's find out :) 

The Homepage

The design of the Harry's website is clean and uncluttered. It's a simple but effective aesthetic that's built around excellent product photography.

Having an attractive ecommerce website with high quality photos is important because it helps to make your products appear more valuable and helps your business appear more trustworthy. Remember, people can't touch and feel your products in an online buying environment like they can in a physical retail location so you need to make sure you're showcasing your products in the best possible light – something Harry's does particularly well. 

The Harry's website is also mobile responsive and looks great on any device – something that's now mission critical for online stores. In fact, a recent survey found that 83% of global shoppers who use mobile devices plan to make a mobile purchase in the coming year. To make sure your website looks sharp and is optimized for all screen sizes, consider investing in a premium mobile responsive theme or hiring an ecommerce web designer

On previous visits to the Harry's site, they were using a carousel that displayed a rotating selection of hero photos which showcased a mix of products and information about the company. At the time of this writing, the carousel is no longer being used and they're instead employing a static hero image. This could be something they're A/B testing or it could just be that they no longer wish to highlight certain products and information as prominently anymore.  

In any case, large hero images are definitely "in" right now and are typically used to display lifestyle photos featuring the product in action. If you decide to use a carousel on your site, make sure you test it as they've been shown to reduce conversion rates.  

Update: Matthew Tully from Harry's confirmed they did indeed run an a/b test and the static image won:


If we continue down the Harry's homepage, we can see they've chosen to display their flagship products followed by a selection of content including their online magazine, pop-up shop and manufacturing story.  Making sure you tell your story on your website and communicating what makes your business unique and remarkable is more important than ever with Amazon a click away. 

Finally, in the footer there are some important trust-boosting elements including links to email and phone support as well as social media profiles.    

The Product Page

The Harry's product page is exceptionally well done. Studies show that larger product images can increase online sales by up to 9% and Harry's takes full advantage. 

Their free shipping offer is easy to spot and their add to cart button is prominent and obvious. Offering your customers free shipping can be an effective way to improve conversions on your site – especially when you consider that shipping and handling fees have been shown to be the number one factor driving shopping cart abandonment

Harry's product descriptions are relatively brief but they bolster them by beautifully presenting more information about the product's features below the fold. In addition, they do an excellent job of communicating their "quality and craftsmanship story" by offering a look into their factory. 

Confirmation / Success / Thank You Page

Every step of the buying process is a chance to impress your customers, build customer loyalty and showcase the voice of your brand. In other words, don't neglect the transactional elements of your website like your order confirmation page.

Harry's put this page to use by including the following:

  • Customer order information
  • Delivery information
  • Customer support information
  • Brand personality
  • Social media links
  • A customer survey

This is a nice mix of elements that make their customers feel confident about their purchase while at the same time helping Harry's improve their business by gathering customer feedback.  

Other things you could consider presenting on this page include:

  • Cross selling other products
  • Newsletter sign-up
  • Resources on how to use your product
  • Request for a product review

Take a look at every page on your site that your customer is required to interact with and ask yourself how you can improve it. 

Order Confirmation Email

When most online retailers think about email marketing, they often just think about sending monthly newsletters or information about sales. However, your transactional emails are just as important as your transactional website pages.

In fact, every email you send to a potential, current, or former customer is an opportunity to provide value and have a sales conversation. 

Customer Lifetime Value Optimization

A month or so after I made my purchase with Harry's, they sent me the above email asking if I needed more blades. This is a great example of how to increase the lifetime value of your customer. If you sell a consumable, anticipate when your typical customer will run out of your product and then get in touch with them. If you don't sell a consumable, figure out other offers and products that you can build into your business. 

This is something that can be automated with email marketing software. Increasing customer lifetime value is one of the best things you can do for your business. 

What's Missing? 

There's no question Harry's is doing a lot of things right. But there's always room for improvement. Below are some opportunities and tactics Harry's are not taking advantage of that could help them boost conversion. Harry's may be aware of these opportunities and are simply choosing not to deploy them because they're not "on brand" or for other reasons.

User Generated Images

Professional product photos are great. But what they don't do is actually prove that people are buying and using your product. That's where user generated product photos come in.

A new study recently found that putting user-generated image content into the context of ecommerce is a big opportunity for brands. According to the research, brands experience a 5 to 7 percent increase in conversion rate and a 2 percent increase in average order value when they incorporate, or link to, user-generated content on product pages.

Check out how Black Milk Clothing incorporates Instagram photos from their customers on their site.

If this is something you want to test on your own site, check out the Instagration app

Reviews and Testimonials

When it comes to making buying decisions online, customer reviews and testimonials can be the deciding factor that make or break a sale. Displaying positive feedback from your customers on your website demonstrates that you have existing sales and provides social proof for potential customers who are thinking about buying from you.

In fact, word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchases, while 63 percent of online customers say they're more likely to buy on sites with positive reviews. Harry's currently doesn't display customer testimonials but it might be something for them to consider as a newer ecommerce brand. 

Abandoned Cart Emails

The most surprising thing about the Harry's shopping experience is that they don't send abandoned cart emails to shoppers who've exited the site right before buying. Considering that studies have shown as many as 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned, this is a big missed opportunity for them.

If you’re on the Shopify Professional or Unlimited plans, you can find out how to set up abandoned checkout recovery emails here.

In addition, there are several well-reviewed apps that can give you other sorts of functionality.

If you’re not on Shopify, you still have options. These include:

Summary

All in all, Harry's is setting the ecommerce bar pretty high. Their website provides lots to draw inspiration from if you're looking to improve and optimize your own website and buying experience.

Let us know in the comments if you plan to implement any of the ideas in this post.


About the Author: Mark Macdonald is the Content Manager at Shopify. Get more from Mark on Twitter and Google+.


Use Shopify to create your online store.

  • Easy to use online store builder
  • Fully customizable store design
  • Trusted by 120,000+ online merchants

Start your 14-day free trial today!

Get started