Let’s imagine for a second that you’re trying to get a date with George Clooney, I know it might be tough to do, but do it anyway and pretend you have a chance. The fact is, he's single and has plenty of options. Now, if you’re hoping to court Clooney and get him interested, what’s that “x-factor” that’s going to get him to bite?
You’re probably wondering, how does this apply to crafting a compelling About page for your ecommerce store? Simple, online consumers are the George Clooneys and they have way more options when it comes to shopping than ever before. Now it’s your job to convince them to buy from you.
A lot of store owners end up underestimating the conversion potential of their About page. Have a look at your own Google Analytics and you'll find your About page is either the second most visited page or in the top three.
In fact, one study looking at an online store selling surf gear found that shoppers who visited their About page converted 30% higher than shoppers who didn’t. Another study found that visitors to an About page were five times more likely to purchase a product, while spending on average 22.5% more on their purchases.
Now, there’s no one size fits all solution to creating the perfect About page. It should be as unique as your brand, your products, and your story. But, there are some key elements you can put in place to establish a connection with your customers, build trust and ultimately boost conversions.
What's Your Story?
Your marketing story is the most critical component of your About page and it's why some of the most successful small businesses online have an “Our Story” page not an "About Us" page. In fact researchers have found that when people consumer stories, they’re not just doing so passively, they’re instead vicariously living the experiences they’re reading about. Talk about engagement.
But maybe you’re sitting there and thinking “I’m not a writer, I don’t know what makes for a good story.” Lucky for you, there are tried and tested common "story elements" that humans have become accustomed to picking up on through the ages. Some of you in fact may be familiar with Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” those of you who aren’t can check out these neat video.
Stories that capture our attention will have the following elements:
- A protagonist(s) - The founding team or person behind the company
- An end goal - The mission/vision/values that drive your company
- An obstacle(s) - Things you’ve overcome personally or as a company and how
- A moral - What’s the big takeaway of your story?
The other thing you want to think about is what really makes you unique or sets you apart from everyone else.
This could include any or all of the following:
- Your history
- Your values/mission statement/manifesto
- The way you source your products
- The way you manufacture your products
- Your founder or team
- Your work culture
Hopefully, you get the point, however to better illustrate what I mean, here are some solid examples from companies that know firsthand the benefits of telling their unique story. Hiut Denim Co. does an incredible job outlining the history behind why they started making jeans, while Black Milk Clothing founder James Lillis describes his “aha” moment that led to him starting his company. Both stories tug the heart strings and help make the companies more personal.
Hiut Denim Co.
Cardigan is a small town of 4,000 good people. 400 of them used to make jeans. They made 35,000 pairs a week. For three decades.
Then one day the factory closed. It left town. But all that skill and knowhow remained. Without any way of showing the world
what they could do.
That’s why we have started The Hiut Denim Company. To bring manufacturing back home. To use all that skill on our doorstep. And to breathe new life into our town.
As one of the Grand Masters said to me when I was interviewing: “This is what I know how to do. This is what I do best.” I just sat there thinking I have to make this work.
So yes, our town is going to make jeans again.
Black Milk Clothing
It was around this time I made my very first pair of leggings. I bought a tribal African print that I thought it would look great on legs. I drew up a pattern, cut it out and made a pair of leggings. I talked to a friend who had a friend who agreed to be a model for me to see if they fit. She put them on, and they were terrible. So I cut them again, and sewed them again. Slightly less terrible. I must have recut those things ten times…and finally, they fit.
It was at that point that something remarkable happened. Something…unexpected.
She asked if she could buy them.
She took out her wallet, gave me some money and walked off with my leggings. I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day. I was stunned - some girl was willing to actually pay money for clothes that I had made!
Complement Your Story with Images
Running or thinking about running an online store means you know the difference beautiful images can make in bringing a story come to life. You’ve heard it a million times but “a picture is worth a thousand words” is no where more relevant than helping visitors to your site connect with you and your online store. Based on the focal points of your story, you’ll want to select images that best reflect and in turn compliment what you’re trying to convey. Whether it’s a primary header or hero image or a gallery, this alone will go a long way in establishing an emotional connection.
Two companies that do an effective job at this are Charlotte Lane and The Fudge House of Edinburgh. Charlotte Lane does this with fantastic photography of the founding couple, while the later provides mouth-watering images of how their fudge is made.
The Fudge House of Edinburgh
Complement Your Story with a Video
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video might as well be worth a million. The emotional power of a video to give visitors a window into your story or company is unparalleled. It’s as close as they can get to you other than sitting down with you for a cup of coffee and having you tell them the story yourself. This is one video you’ll want to spend a little money on to get the videography, music, and look on point with your brand. You also probably want to keep it to under two minutes, ideally somewhere between a minute to a minute and a half is your sweet point.
The Greats Brand
Put a Face(s) to Your Brand
This ties back into to your story, maybe it’s the people and how they came together to form your company that helps you stand apart. Even if it’s not the cornerstone, a lot of times, consumers want to know who’s behind a given brand, why did they decide to start this, or are they relatable. Which is why profiling your founder or your core team can be a great way to have your brand appear more approachable and personable.
For example, BeardBrand does a great job of outlining how the initial team met over one startup weekend and provides great portraits of each founding member. Another is The Dry Bar, which lists and profiles every single person in their organization.
The Dry Bar
Press Mentions and Testimonials
Another one of the most persuasive factors that can help drive purchasing decisions is the concept of “social proof”, which essentially states that if we know and see others like us are purchasing or using something, we’re more inclined to do the same.
So if you’ve got press mentions in publications that matter for your industry, make them apparent with the press logo, if you’ve got customer testimonials that will enhance your brand proposition, add them in as well. There’s nothing like following the herd that takes the risk away from consumers visiting your online store for the first time. Below is a great example from Camila Prada:
The Almighty Footer
With your About page being one of the most effective weapons in your conversion arsenal, it’s important to put calls to action at the bottom so that when people are done connecting with who you are as a brand, they can jump on the bandwagon. This means an email subscription box for your newsletter and social buttons to all of the major networks you’re active on. That’s how the love gets spread and news gets out.
The folks at Langly have it bang on once again as you can tell here:
There you have it, all these different jigsaw pieces make up the anatomy of a highly effective About page that not only gets you more sales but helps you connect with your customers for better retention and increased brand loyalty. If you have any other useful tips, be sure to mention them by commenting below.