Our Process: Stasherbag.com

We are always looking for ways to show you our process, so here is an example of what we would have done if we were working for a site like Stasherbag.com.

Stasher is a product that reduces the use of plastics (you know, the ocean killer). Yet, on their product page they simply don’t talk about this (and if they do it’s so buried we weren’t able to find it).

What Stasher’s product page currently looks like:

This is our concept (notice how we’ve placed our test element, “Priceless for Mother Nature”, near the price, where this pitch makes the most impact):

This is what appears after shoppers click on “Priceless for Mother Nature”:

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Make Me an Offer

I was exiting ________.com and saw this “Make an Offer” message:

How is this a good idea? Some questions to consider:

1: How does this make your brand look?

2: Any smart shopper is going to lowball you. Is it worth matching that lowball offer for a minuscule margin?

3: If you don’t plan to match the lowball offer then what’s the end game? Is the hope that after a few email exchanges the buyer changes their mind and agrees to pay more? What’s the opportunity cost of those email exchanges?

4: What impact does this have on customer lifetime value? Will this buyer ever repurchase from you without “Make an Offer” option?

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[Private] Our Secret Sauce: A Behind the Scenes Look at What We Do

In this post I’m going to be talking about something that is really at the core of everything we do at Frictionless Commerce and that is a process we call ‘Deconstruction’.

For those of you that prefer video, I recorded a video walkthrough (note: the video is 18 minutes long, but it’s worth your time if you want to know how we come up with our conversion ideas):

Deconstruction is essentially when we look at every single pixel, word, and emotion that is expressed on a page. When we deconstruct a page, we’re doing so from the perspective of a first-time shopper. We step into their shoes and navigate through the site as if we shared the same intentions, FUDs (fears, uncertainties, and doubts), and so on. Our goal is to identify points of friction and come up with ideas to fix them. This is how we come up with all of our insights to help increase conversions.

In this post, we’ll deconstruct a product detail page on Bogsfootwear.com and show you a concept that we’ve created to address some possible customer FUDs.

Bogs sells and manufactures winter boots and outdoor boots; I think most of them are waterproof. The product we’ll be looking at is the Bozeman Tall Men’s Insulated Waterproof Boot, which is $150. This is, I believe, one of their highest selling boots; there’s a lot of emphasis on this product on the site. It’s also the number one rated winter boot by Outside Magazine.

While going through this page, one of the things we first noticed is that if you go to the boot selection or the size selection, you’ll see that there are many different sizes:

This section doesn’t address a possible customer FUD— is the boot size is going to be the same exact size as my shoe size? If you’re like me, you’ve probably experienced some sizing discrepancy when it comes to shoes. My dress shoes always run one size larger than my tennis shoes.

It never fails.

Since I’m not the only person in the world who has experienced this problem, we wanted to add some messaging here that would remove any confusion. Take a look:

In our concept we added “(SAME AS SHOE SIZE)” after “PLEASE SELECT” in the size options dropdown menu. This lets shoppers know that the boot size they select will be the same as their normal shoe size. They don’t have to worry about accidentally buying a boot that is smaller or larger than expected.

The next thing that we noticed is that this page is linking shoppers to a blog post by Outside Magazine. This post claims that the Bozeman Tall is the #1 winter boot:

This is typically a great way to build credibility.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that when the shopper clicks on “View The List”, they are taken to a blog post that shows a different price for the boots:

When the shopper arrives at the blog post, they’ll see a more expensive price of $160. This can cause two things to happen: 1) the shopper will think they’re getting a better deal since the new cost of the boot is $150, or 2) the shopper will become confused and not know which price is correct. Is there something wrong with the Bogs site?

This isn’t even the biggest issue, though.

In the blog post, the writer links the shopper to two different pages to purchase the boots: 1) the Canadian version of Bogsfootwear.com, and 2) their Amazon store. Both locations show very different prices. Here is the Canadian site:

The Canadian site shows a price of $175. The majority of shoppers will not notice that they are not on a U.S. site. Additionally, the product name doesn’t include “Men’s Insulated Waterproof Boots” like it does on the U.S. site and there’s no longer a camo color option. Is this boot waterproof still? What happened to the other color option? Shoppers will undoubtedly become confused, and many may leave the site altogether.

This is what the Amazon page shows:

Instead of $150, the price is no between $127.99 and $159.95. So what is the real price that a shopper will pay?

In our concept, we wanted to eliminate all of this confusion. The most important detail here is that this is the #1 rated boot by Outside Magazine (which is a pretty popular outdoor magazine). Just by showing this as a heading will be enough to establish credibility.

Additionally, we added copy that was more personable to connect with the shopper on a personal level. The copy is personalized, as it changes based on the type of person they are. See below:

When the shopper clicks on the dropdown menu, they’ll see this:

(Note: Ideally there would be a few more options here to address all possible use cases and personalities)

After selecting the type of person they are, the shopper will see copy that is personalized for them:

This copy adds personality and likability while creating a story. Currently, Bogs doesn’t have much copy on their page, which contributes to a bland experience. Remember, people buy from people they like, so establish a genuine connection with your shoppers.

With that being said, I want to remind you that we don’t use templates for our projects at Frictionless Commerce. Each concept we come up with is custom-tailored for each site’s needs. Conversion optimization works best when we realize that each business has its own unique conversion challenges.

Just like your business isn’t a cookie cutter business, we’re not a cookie cutter agency.

Many people think if something worked well on one page or site, it’ll definitely work just as well on another. But that’s not always true. And that’s why Deconstruction is at the core of what we do. Every time we deconstruct a page, we come up with new ideas that target the points of friction that exist on that page.

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How to Get More Reviews

We assume people are rational. If you’re a retailer and offer a good product wrapped in delightful service then customer reviews will pour in.


Let me tell you about a recent delightful experience. I purchased jewelry for my wife online (thanks for all your help, Ron). The experience was great. The product was exquisite. And the service was exceptional.

I thought several times to write a review so that others with my concern (buying jewelry online) could confidently pull the trigger because Ron just cares that much.

I even had a review written out in my head.

I got busy and told myself I’d do it next week. This week is bad.

Next week started and other things took priority. This glowing review kept getting pushed further and further back. Do you think I ever wrote that review?

And that’s for an exceptional experience. My point is that even well intentioned people don’t walk the extra mile. And this is precisely why we need to be more proactive about requesting reviews. And the only way I know how to do that is to ask. Ask once, ask four times. Be respectful. Be enthusiastic. Be sincere. But ask.

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Don’t Let Amazon Eat Your Lunch

We can’t force shoppers but we can certainly gently nudge them.

If a visitor to your site leaves for your Amazon page you are basically paying an affiliate tax that was yours to keep.

Can this be prevented? Let’s look at a product page on Headsets.com:

They have an impossible to miss Buy from Amazon.com button. On click, you are taken to their Amazon page. Goodbye margins.

Here is what we would have done if headsets.com was a client. When a shopper clicks Buy from Amazon.com we’ll show this popup:

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Thank You Card

My girlfriend (a social worker) recently rescued a kitten from a client’s condemned home, so we had to take her to a veterinary clinic to get cleaned and up to date on her shots. It was our first time at this particular clinic, but it was definitely friendly and hospitable.

About a week after our appointment, I checked my mail and received this card:

Image of a Thank You card

Image of the opened Thank You card

The doctor and staff at the clinic hand-signed a thank you card after visiting them for the first time. This immediately put a smile on my face and I still have the card at home.

Although this is a physical card, the same approach can be taken on your website or with your email campaigns. Thanking someone for their patronage may seem like a fruitless task, but guess what? My girlfriend and I are most certainly taking our two cats to this veterinary clinic again in the future. There’s a clinic 2 minutes away from our home that specializes in treating cats, but we don’t mind driving the extra 10 minutes to the clinic that sent us this card.

Your customers will return to your site too if they feel valued.

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#1 Way to Turn Interested Browsers into Buyers

I was listening to a really interesting story about Charity: Water. Turns out, a big reason people don’t donate is that they don’t trust how their donations will be used. Charity: Water grew because they convincingly addressed this concern.

Addressing these types of resistances is one of the 16 tactics in our toolbox. We call it Narrative Control and use it to convert interested browsers into buyers.

Our definition of Narrative Control: Making positive something that is or will be perceived as negative.

Think about your product’s sales pitch. You are likely listing a whole bunch of benefits targeted to a whole set of buyer types. Here is one example (see red box):

This line was added to appeal to people concerned about crashes. Simply stating “crash-resistant design” might work on a few people concerned about crashes. It will not work on the rest of the group. When the larger group sees “crash-resistant design,” they’re thinking, “yeah, but what makes it not crash?? I don’t buy it.”

If we don’t address this larger group we’re missing out on sales.

And this is just one claim.

Your site probably makes dozens of claims. Ranging from promises about quality, special discounts, popularity, etc. Each of these could benefit from some Narrative Control treatment. It’s a little bit of work but it makes the sales pitch watertight and converts people who are definitely interested but just not 100% convinced yet.

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My Holiday Shopping Experience

Now that it’s the holiday season, we are seeing websites use many different strategies to increase conversions. Some of these strategies include special holiday sales, free holiday shipping, extended return and refund policies, and so on.

While doing my Christmas shopping for one of my close friends, I decided to take some mental notes of my observations while on the web. The two of us play video games together often, and he had mentioned a few times over the past year that he was thinking about getting a new gaming headset (the Razer Kraken Pro V2, to be exact). He still hasn’t purchased a new headset, so his gift this year was an easy choice.

I did a Google search for “Razer Kraken Pro V2” on my phone, and these were the first two results:

Search Results

I clicked on the first search result, which was Amazon.com. Although I use Amazon a lot, I’ve never been a fan of the layout of their product detail pages. I eventually decided to go back to my Google search results page and find the manufacturer’s site because I know many sites offer extra benefits if you buy from them directly instead of through their Amazon store.

After navigating to the listing for Razer.com, this is what I saw at the top of my phone’s browser:

Razer Nav Bar.png

Razer informed me that if I ordered today, I would receive my headset before Christmas and get free standard shipping. Razer made a good decision by ensuring me that I’d get my gift before the big day. I already knew I was definitely going to buy this headset, however, but the only information I cared about was if this headset was definitely compatible with my friend’s PlayStation 4.

After scrolling up and down the page multiple times while skimming through the copy, I finally found confirmation that this headset would meet my friend’s needs. I then clicked “Buy now”, entered my payment information, and received my package within 2 days of ordering.

So why am I telling you all of this?

While shopping for this headset, I was in the unique position of being both a gift-buyer and a gamer while shopping during the holiday season. Most of Razer’s customers are likely not in the same position. Many are potentially parents buying a present for their kid while many more are gamers like my friend and myself who are buying a headset for themselves (in fact, I have been considering buying the same headset for myself).

Why is this page treating both of these groups the same?

Parents and gamers will have wildly different questions and concerns when shopping for this headset. I highly doubt a parent cares if this headset is made of Bauxite aluminum, but a gamer definitely does because it makes the headset very lightweight. A gamer who is buying this headset for themselves may not care if they receive it by December 24th, but a parent most certainly will. Both parents and gamers will care if this headset is compatible with their kid’s or their own gaming system, however. No one wants to go through the hassle of returns and refunds.

This is the perfect time of the year to personalize content for shoppers to reduce friction and increase conversions. As an example of this, we created a mockup for one potential solution for Razer. In our concept, when a shopper arrives at the Razer Kraken Pro V2’s landing page during November and December they see a question:


When the shopper makes a selection, they see this next question:


(Note: for shoppers who answered with “myself” in the first question, they won’t see “I don’t know” in this question)

Here we ask the shopper which device they need this headset for. This will serve two purposes: 1) to let them know if this headset will be compatible with the device they select, and 2) to personalize the copy around their selected device on the product detail page.

After the shopper selects their device, this is what they see:


(Note: for shoppers who said they are shopping for their themselves, this page will begin at the YouTube video)

The gift-buyer’s biggest questions and concerns will be answered. They will see that this headset is compatible with the device they selected and that they will be able to receive a refund if they need to return the headset. For shoppers who are buying for themselves, they will see that the copy on the page has been personalized based on the device they selected. Here is a closer look (the content in square brackets [ ] is dynamic and changes based on the device selected):

Razer LoL.png

Razer PC.png

League of Legends is an extremely popular PC game. We’ve used our Serendipity tactic by predicting something about many shoppers who arrive at this page and play this game. By doing so, we’ve increased the chances that a shopper will convert. Alternatively, a parent may notice this content and remember that their kid plays this game. That may be enough to tip the scale in our favor.

Razer is a company that saw $4 billion in sales last year and they are one of the biggest names in the eSports world, which is growing every year. And yet, even their website has room to improve conversions.

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