Monday, February 22, 2010

Improving our conversion rate

Based on our offline retail experience to date, when customers physically get to see and touch our shoes they are 10 times more likely to make a purchase than a customer who only visits our website.

From our discussions with these customers part of the reason is that they get a much better understanding of the quality of the shoes when they see them in person. And at our price point that's important.

When I last visited our workshops I took some photos of the shoes being made and we've put this together to tell the story of how the shoes are made.

At the moment the link to this page is hidden away in our FAQs so I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this. Do the photos and the story assist in getting the quality message across?


  1. Just had a quick look - the feeling I got was that it brought out the 'artisan' quality to the story - making the price appear more valid.

    My first thoughts are that it belongs in the about page and I'd also link to it from the home page - capturing those people who are just being introduced to the brand/concept.

  2. I would do add 2 things below your designer:
    - iframe "how we make shoes" such as they can stay on the page but be reassured about the making process
    - iframe pictures of your clients. People will buy if people see that other have bought your product before. At this stage on your site, I cannot tell if you have sold 2 pair of shoes or 2,000,000. Maybe a counter or big achievements should be highlighted

  3. Love the idea. Should definitely be on the home page.

    Points to fix:
    1. Hate having to click through so many screens.
    2. Step 1 - the materials don't look so gorgeous. I don't want to read any more. Use better pic.
    3. Step 2. Delete "Almost". It's either unique or it isn't.
    4. Step 4 ... bad unsexy pic. Use better pics ... perhaps get someone to make a shoe with nice studio background (not a dark and cramped factory background).
    5. Text sometimes refers to the picture or includes a question rather than describing the process. Be consistent with text. EG step 5-8.
    6. You should a screenshot of the order page and a pic of the consumer with their new shoes (ie the nice box, handmade note etc)

    Hope this helps.


  4. Telling the story visually of how the shoes are made is great!. It highlights the quality of the product.

    Possibly some closer photos of the materials would have been useful.

    Another way you could make the product come to life and give women a better sensory experience is via video. Show women actually wearing the shoes, or video the shoes from all different angles.

    Having these videos on places like Youtube and Vimeo would also give you greater market exposure.

  5. Thanks so much for the great comments and suggestions. Glad to hear the consensus is that the photos add value, and some great additional suggestions too.

    Clare - great thoughts on linking to the photos from our about and home pages, cheers.

    Etienne - excellent suggestions adding this to our designer page, along with other information to help ppl feel reassured. And how are your project going??

    Sib - good thoughts on improving the photos and text. I'll take my camera with me on my next trip to China.

    Kat - totally agree re: videos and they're high on our to do list. Going to get to them soon...

    Thanks guys!

  6. I just blogged about how people don't appreciate manufacturers. I even used a shoe manufacturer as an example! See

    Glad to see someone making stuff! Good luck in the endeavor.
    How about making men's shoes?

  7. LOVE IT!!! It really does go a long way to bridge the gap between "but its just a pair of shoes" to the message you want, which is "oh, and hand crafted, personalised, labour intensive, detailed, prestige shoe". Big difference. Is there any way of throwing a few stats in that might wow how many different processes there are, or different parts, people who work on the shoe etc...some random numbers that re-enforce the quality angle.

  8. Bruce - Good blog post. It's interesting that countries like the US and Australia are not doing a lot of manufacturing any more. We actually have our shoes made in China because it's impossible to get them made locally. No plans for men's shoes just yet sadly, I'd love to so I can wear our product myself but so much to do with women's shoes first.

    Dom - Great thoughts on adding some stats about the process. I'll scope out some more details when we're next visiting the workshops.

  9. At this stage the story seems very disjointed. While it does a decent job explaining the process, there is no real reference back to the shoes themselves or to the customer. Other than step 12, nothing distinguishes these shoes being produced from any others. For all I know you might have lifted these images from flickr and put on image of your own in the process.

    My suggestion would be to explain the process from ordering on the website through to delivery. Make it a story of how one customers shoes are produced. Follow the one pair of shoes right through the process, and ensure that the photos show the materials etc in such a way that they clearly can be referenced to a photo of the finished shoe.

  10. Hi Andrew, that's a very good point and I think what you describe would make the story much better. I had originally wanted to follow one pair of shoes being made, but the trouble is it takes about a week for a pair of shoes to go through all these steps and the workshop is about 1.5 hours away from our office and where we stay in China, so I'd need to make the trip or pay a photographer a photographer to visit the workshop every day for a week to take the photos.

    It might be worth doing that sometime in the not too distant future though because I agree, it would make this story much better.

  11. Can you buy the factory a digital camera and give someone the responsibility? Sib

  12. Good thought Sib but quality photos = good camera and someone who knows how to use it. We need at least semi-professional shots.

  13. Hi Michael,

    For me, the best example of photos telling a compelling story is

    People are much more happy to scroll than click - as long as there's a reason to scroll.

    You can still have the text under the photos but assume this will not be read.

    You can easily turn a set of photos into a video by narrating a slide show.

    It might be nice to see the faces of the crafts people - and perhaps tell their story. I will always pay more for something created by someone who takes pride in their work.

  14. Hi Ian, wow I hadn't seen before. There's some incredible and inspiring photography on that site! Good thoughts on doing some similar story telling with how our shoes are made. I like your ideas around scrolling rather than clicking and telling the story of the shoe makers too... thanks!