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Episode 99 - Review of Some Shopify Stores

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Hey, Scott Austin here.

In this episode, I'm gonna review some Shopify stores. I've put this podcast out in the normal audio format, but I've also made an unedited video available for those of you that wanna follow along visually. That way you'll be able to see what I'm seeing. I'll leave a link to the video in the show notes. I'm recording this episode on January 29th. The next gifting holiday in America is Valentine's Day. So I found three Shopify stores by doing Valentine's searches, and then I took the first Shopify store that showed up in the shopping ads at the top of the search results. The stores I'll be reviewing today are my face socks, friendships, lamps, trending custom. And I've never seen these stores before, so I don't have any relationship with them, and you'll just get my firsthand review of what I think of what I see.

So, let's get started. The first shopping query I did was best Valentine's Day gifts for her under $20. And I just did this by typing inve Valentine's Day gifts and seeing what Google put into auto complete. And that's how I came up with three random Valentine's queries. So the first shopping ad here for personalized socks for him, custom face socks, Valentine's Day present, this is a Shopify store. Now the interesting thing here is the search query, and you can see it right here is gifts for her, but the ad is gifts for him. So, you know, it looks like the store owners have, you know, done a good job in getting shopping ads up, but they probably don't have very many campaigns for different keyword phrases, and they could probably do a little bit better job there. Now, because we're gonna be looking at shopping ads today, all of the results are gonna land on product pages.

You know, normally, and I've talked before in other episodes about building out holiday landing pages for different campaigns, and you would do that in a page, not in a product. So, you know, the organic searches down below or keyword searches, you know, those could go to a page, but by the nature of Google shopping ads, they have to go to a product page. So let's click on this first one. And as I said, these are all Shopify stores. Now I am looking at this right now on an ultra wide HD screen, and you see how it, it loaded and it took a while for this other element to come in cuz it took so long to load all the content on the page. And, you know, it's, it was kind of jarring, right, where I was looking at the pro, and now I got another popup popping up and I haven't even tried to leave yet, right?

I didn't put my cursor up here. And I, I'm getting an exit intent one with a message of don't leave without taking the discount. So it looks like they've just got that trigger to show up three seconds after page load. And in that case, I would actually have a different message, like in, I'm gonna assume this is cla or whatever they're using for email collection. What I like to do is have two different popups there. One being if you want to have one when they show up, it could be, you know, hey, welcome, you know, first time customers get, you know, know 10% off or up to 50 whatev whatever your message is. And then another one for exit intent. Now here, right, extra 20% off the second item, up to 50% off. So now, now I've got two confusing messages in their email.

One says 20% on the second item, the other one says up to 50% off. So this is in my mind, not a well thought out or not a cohesive message for a popup, you know, for email collection. And because it is Valentine's Day, I'm assuming that's why the hearts are in the emoji over here. It may not be this page, you know, this popup, I, I don't like how quickly it happened and I don't like the fact that it's kind of an exit intent one when I wasn't exit and tenting, I think they can do a better job there. So let's just close that out. And what we were talking about was how this element at the top of the screen, so the product showed up first, the product form and I could see it and it took a few seconds and then it, the, it loaded up this big element up top.

And now I see this big element up top. Oh, it looks like it's a slider. Oh, it is a slider, yeah. That's why it took so long to load. It's a slider with tons and tons of content, which I dunno if this is Instagram post, I, I'm confused by this, right? Is I, you know, it says highly recommended worn by your favorite stars. So I guess this is as influencers on Instagram who they've gotten to promote their socks, which is, you know, a great marketing campaign. But this, this thing that I'm scrolling through, it's got tons and tons and tons of images, which almost no one is going to scroll through them, but that's why it probably took so long to load, is it's all this content in there. So, you know, if they put this below the, the, the product form, I would, you know, I wouldn't have that jarring jumping effect of when the product form showed it loaded up this Instagram feed or however this is being driven.

And then, you know, it moved the product form down so that execution isn't the best and there's a number of ways they can improve upon that. Now let's look at the header here. As I said before, I'm on an ultra wide screen here. And their top, you know, their promotion for Val. So they have a Valentine's Day promotion on their site, which is, you know, timely cuz it, it's a couple weeks before Valentine's and it talks about the price and, and this stuff. And the image doesn't go the full width of the screen, you know, and most of their customers are gonna be mobile. Not a big deal for them, but it's just that little polish that kind of things that I notice. And also, you know, these, the emojis on this image here are kind of fuzzy. So the, the quality of the graphics aren't that good, which means it might be being stretched.

Now the, it's it's Valentine's Day, they got the promotion to the top, they could have added a promotion. You know, I've gotten occasions with a Valentine's Day. Sometimes what I do is I'll move that to the top bar or to the top nav element also and like highlight it in red or something like that. So it really pops out that when people are coming here for Valentine's Day, they can see that. But let's look at the product they landed us on. So I scroll down and, and it's custom face socks. And if you remember the, the ad said personalized socks for him, the query was Valentine's gifts for her. And, and neither of those follow through on this custom face socks product title. So what it said in the ad is not consistent here, says a lack of continuity. But, you know, the challenge here is this is a product page.

So the, you know, because of the nature shopping ads, you can't just build out your own landing page to continue that context. But some of the things you could do is have some JavaScript on the sites and custom code that knows that this is coming from an ad because up in the URL of this product, right? So it's my face socks, my face socks.com products slash custom face socks colorful, and then it's got the UTM source. So I can see in the UTM source that it, you know, it's coming from Google, it's a product. And then there's also some information there. So what I've done for stores before is we actually look at that information and if we see that like this came from Google Ads, we might put a little banner, you know, in place of this, this big Instagram thing they've got at the top of the page, you might have a little banner that says, you know, acknowledging the fact they came from an ad and how how you message that, you know, is totally up to your brand.

Having that continuity is, is a nice elegant touch so that, that people feel like they started a conversation on Google shopping ads. They, they clicked on your ad on gifts for him. They come over even though the query is gifts for her, but they come over and it says, Hey, this is the best Valentine's gift for him right at the top. And you know, you could do that with some JavaScript. I'm sure there's an app that does it. I always do it with just some simple custom code you can add, add the themes that align to do that and just have that continuity. Now in our custom face socks, you know, this is actually an interesting product where you can, you know, change out your color and then I see, you know, as I pick the different colors, the the variant level image shows up, which is nice.

And you can have one or two. So you, you put your own, you upload your own photo, it looks like on here. So there's like customization there that people can do. Interestingly, right? So the, these products are 1298 right now. Cause I picked two faces, it's 9 99 and they've got, you know, four payments of two 50 each with Klarner or Afterpay. I, I probably wouldn't do that. I wouldn't put a, you know, the Klarna promotions on things under $50 or whatever. I'd be surprised if people actually use those things, but if they do in your store, then that's fine. But what I like to do is if people aren't using Afterpay Klarna on products below a certain amount, then just put some code in there that you don't show that promotion on those products to simplify the page as much as you can. And they've got this little surprise gift package. I don't know if this is on every product or just this one because we did say this is a gift for Valentine's as we, you know, we're doing our Google search, but they've got nice little packaging. So some cute little things they're doing to make this an even better gift. I like that. Now it's,

There's a surprise gift package, I guess the gift package is, see

I don't know if

That's the box these socks

Come in

Or if it's a separate product. Cause it's a gift prepared with care, A gift prepared with care is

Worthy of beautiful packaging. So

That is a separate box. So that

Could be better message. Cause

The, the text says surprise give package.

And that, that to me makes it sound like it's

A

Separate package from the socks I'm ordering. Whereas I read it and look at it a little bit and understand it.

It's actually

The packaging for this

Product. So

I would word that

A little better. So it's absolutely clear to

Reduce confusion. You wanna make things as clear

As possible for customers

Because they don't know

This store, right? They just did a Google search, they

Clicked on a shopping ad. They don't, they don't know your brand yet. They don't know how you merchandise things. They're probably a new visitor to your store. You want to be dropped dead simple about things. So

Then I've got the surprise gift package

Promotion, and below

That surprise gift box,

Most

Customers

Prefer adding the

Surprise

Gift box to match their

Gift. So

I don't know if this

Is,

Do I order the package and the gift

Box, or is it the package or the

Gift box? And one, once again, it's one of those things, you gotta make it a lot more clear. And then there's also a quality warranty for 5 99 for extra 90 days.

So they've got

Bad grammars. It should be for an extra 90 days, not for extra 90 days.

So I n now I, I now am thinking that this store, so I'm, I'm in the United States, I'm assuming this is the United States store, right? Which may or may not be a valid assumption. We're gonna get through that in a minute. Now I'm thinking this is not an American store, right? Because this, you know, because of that grammar error, I'm now questioning where this store is from. And there's nothing wrong with, you know, a store and let's just say Brazil randomly, right, selling socks to America. But now I'm, I'm questioning that in my head because of the poor grammar. But let's

Take a step

Back. I'm buying socks for 9 99 and they're trying to upsell me for 3 99, which is half

The price, almost half the price of the socks for a

Gift package, and then 3 99 to 5 99 for a

Gift

Box. And then 5 99 for a warranty for a 9 99 product. I am now thinking that this site is kind of scammy. That may not be true, but this is my, my gut response to what I'm looking at and drawing me in with a cheap, you know, a,

A good price product, let's

Say. And, but then they're trying to nickel and dime me with a bunch of little

Add-Ons, especially

The 5 99 warranty for a pair of 9 99 socks. That does not make me feel good about this store. And then the below

That

We've got this M f s Club fan. So

The

Site is named MyFace

Socks.

So I'm now understanding that m f s means my face socks, but I'm a brand new visitor to the store. How is I supposed to know that? And I'm also, you know, not a fan of the points. Things like brand new customers, you shouldn't confuse them with, with like points and stuff like that. That's a retention tool right now. You should be focused on selling me for the first time and not promoting your retention program. And then below that we've got a standard shipping with some estimated dates. So today is the 29th of February, and standard shipping will get delivered between the 10th of February and the 16th of February. So two weeks out, that seems to be like a long time for me. And then express shipping from four Feb to seven Feb. So I like the fact they're setting the expectations on shipping and they give you two options so that, that's actually nice, even though the standard shipping in today here, here in the United States where, where I live, I can literally order something on Amazon and get it the same day, if not the next day.

Almost 99% of the time we've gotten really spoiled with good shipping. So, and then we got a little description, put your face on custom face socks. So they're explaining how, you know, it's a custom product and a little bit of the specs. I'm scrolling down now. Oh, this is getting weird. And by weird I mean it's making me feel it's even scammer than I thought. And like I said, I, I could be wrong in that this is just my gut impression, right? So here I have custom face socks and my images show faces, right? And you remember, you know, this is a Valentine's gift. I guess the idea is, you know, you put your face on your partner's socks and you know, they, they, they walk around with you on, on their feet kind of thing and you know that people may love that, right?

So these are face socks. But as I scroll down, I haven't even clicked on the video. I'm, I'm, there's a video that I definitely wanna look at here in a second, right? But now then I see related products. I'm not a fan of related products very often. And here's the thing with these related products, they're kind of similar to the one I'm on. So at least it's not like I'm looking at socks and they're trying to tell me that I should buy, you know, a spatula for my kitchen or something. But now they're just introducing confusion like, well, are these socks that I'm on right now, the best ones or are these other four that are all now twice or two and a half times as expensive as the one I'm looking at? Are they the better ones? So now, and once again on this one here, the related products I'm scrolling, it looks like six different tabs.

So they're loading up like 24 related products. So now I'm looking at 25 different products that are all very similar and nothing here explains to me what the difference between them are, right? So by giving the customer more choices without an informed information about them, like, here's why you would pick this one over that one, here's the, the differences between them, you're now just making me think, well, I might not be buying the right socks. I'm confused. I I don't know enough, I'm just gonna abandon this cuz I don't wanna make the wrong decision. Where if they didn't have the related products on this, on this page, they're not introducing that confusion, right? So some logic, you know, will say, well, we, we put more things on to give them more choices. But the other side of that is the more choices you give them, the harder it is for them to make the decision.

So if they're already on a product page, they saw that product on the Google Shopping ad, stick with that product, stay with it. Don't give 'em the related products. Keep scrolling down. This is what I leading up to before we were on the custom face socks, and now I've got a bunch of images and these are big tall banners, which probably look good on mobile. They're too tall for my desktop screen. The the image is taller than my screen height. They're, it's not good. Responsiveness. They could have a separate image for mobile and a separate image for desktop if, if they were, you know you know, better, better put together. But now these socks have dogs on them. So the first one's a dog, the second one's a dog. The next one is a dog. Really, really long images that just scroll forever.

There's a surprise gift box thing. Really not explain it. There's just images and dog image, dog image, dog image. Every time I'm saying dog image, it's a new image that is taller than my screen. I am scrolling forever on dog images. So here I am on the, on the face sock page and there's tons, there was at least a dozen images of dog socks. And let's actually click one of them and see, see what happens. So I click it and it takes me to a collection page and the collection is faces and so humans and one dog. So it's not even taking me to mostly dogs. So that's just once again, horrible, horrible. I'm, I'm gonna stop being nice about this. This is a, I'm not a fan of this page. So once again I have picked face socks and I picked an ad that said Best Valentine's, you know, gifts for her under $20 or whatever I I I put in, you know, that about me.

And now you're trying to promote dogs on a pa and I, I actually thought these were product photos and they just had the wrong product photos for the face socks. It's actually promotions for dogs and other socks. So I've gotten down to the product that I want and they're taking me up the funnel to when I click on the dog photos. It's not just dog socks, there's not a consistency there. So really confusing messaging here. Scrolling down beyond that, they got customer reviews. I love customer reviews and I also love the fact that the, they got 115 reviews for an average of 4.91. So it's nice that it's not just five star reviews, but it's just four and five star reviews. So the nice thing when you have, you know, your own website and your own review engine, this is looks like judge me, let's just see if it is, I'm just gonna inspect code and I can't easily see what review engine that is, but is fine.

So it's not judge me, but whatever you they're using for reviews, you know, because it's your own store, you get to moderate the reviews. So, you know, we've all had haters in our store, like in Legal One Star, you're like, I'm not gonna show that on my website, but I do think that if the reviewer who leaves a 1, 2, 3 star review has a valid point and they're being honest and fair, you should show that. And the reason for that, it gives you more authenticity by showing your negative reviews, you know, when they're fair and you can respond to those in most review engines. That makes the reviews seem more honest. Like the, like I said, the fact that it's a 4.91 is a really good thing cuz a lot of stores have all five star reviews and every product is five stars and you're like, that's just all moderated.

So allowing some honesty in there, you know, and on the negative side is a good thing, right? Because maybe, you know, somebody doesn't like the socks for whatever reason, or they, you know, maybe you printed one bad on these custom printed things, you know, whatever. Have some negative reviews that are fair and honest. Now, at the bottom of the page, they have a happy Valentine's Day little skinny banner thing above the footer. That's okay, but when I click on it, it does nothing and it's kind of, it's got really bad contrast where I'm highlighting on my, my screen right now I can barely make out the difference of the, there's a gradient background on the, with the text and the gradient, you know, there's some contrast issues behind there. So that could be be better done. Now I want to click the video that was at the top and see what that does.

All right, so the video just started playing. I'm four seconds in, there's really loud music going on. And what I cannot stand, this is a personal thing, I can't stand videos that don't talk to you about their products. So I'm gonna assume it's a 25 second video. I'm gonna assume the whole thing is just music and we'll see if that's true or not. But you know, you've, you've all seen those YouTube ads or videos where the person doesn't talk to you and like doing a tutorial or telling you about their products and they just put some text up or, you know, they, they point at things on their screen like, use your voice, you know, use all the media you have available to you. So let's see the rest of the video and see if they talk or not. So now they're just scrolling through that infinite feed of Instagram things that I talked about at the top of the product page.

They're not saying, so now I'm 16 seconds in, they're not saying a word yet. So they're not gonna talk in this video and they're just scrolling through and they didn't even have texts that came up and, and said, Hey, these are influencers or famous people that love our, they're not explaining why they're showing this random set of images that really aren't adding value. Yeah. So that, that video, it wasn't bad, right? It's better than nothing. But what I would put there is a video about this product. Like, cuz here's the cool thing. You've got these custom printed socks that you can put your partner's face on, or you put your face on, your partner, wears them around, you know, kind of thing. And they're actually showing the couple the man and the woman together on these socks, which you can do, right? Because you can have one face or two face.

So they've got this custom design product. That video for me would talk about that process. Like, hey, we, we take your images and we print them out on these things and then ship them off to you. And, and while I just said that, I realized that now I said they're standard shipping, that's gonna take two weeks. That's really long. But they are custom printing so that I understand why it takes so long. Now I forgot that part is they're, they're actually making these socks after you order them, which is why it takes a little bit longer. And that said, I would actually call that out in that shipping box. I would say, Hey, these are custom printed so they take a little longer to deliver because we have to make them, once you order them, let the customer know why the shipping is going to seem to be taking so long.

But back to the video, I would have a video that explains the custom sock process. Like, hey, we make these from your images, we print them, we ship them out, they're high quality, and then they had all these influencers and they actually showed some videos of influencers without the influencer talking, right? I would have a couple videos of the influencers talking and have what they're saying. Actually you can hear it. Like, and you know, here's influencer number one. I love these socks. They're the funnest thing. Every time I go out, people comment on them. They're, they're just a hit, you know, five, you know, little snippets like that from five different customers and all of a sudden, you know, you the new customer. This is like, oh, these things are great. Look at these people that, you know, seem like they're, they're kind of cool people, they love 'em.

I'm gonna love 'em too. I'm definitely gonna get 'em. So, you know, to do a video like that obviously takes a lot of time, but it seems to me like they already have videos from their influencers. It's just an editing process that they're missing out on. And the beginning process of explaining the socks, they can just do an audio on, on their own. You don't need to hire somebody to do that. Everybody's got the equipment now because of Zoom meetings and all that kind of stuff. That's easy stuff to do and way better than, than what they have there. I'm a huge fan of video. Love the fact they got video, not impressed with the implementation of it. So that is my face Socks. I think we've talked about the product page enough. Now the other thing I mentioned, right, I feel it's kind of scammy, I don't think they're in America.

Not that you have to be in America, but I, I didn't like that grammar thing. So let's learn a little bit about the company. So I wanna go down to their footer, see their about page. So company info about us. So they have one that's great. This page here, they've got, oh, so there, there's a, a photo of maybe that's their manufacturing, you know, facility. I like the fact that they're, they're showing a manufacturing facility. So I, I like the, the banner that I see there. So here they, as I look through their copy, they've got some generic stock photos. Their photos on the about Us page are obviously stock photos of gifts. So it's not the company, right? It's, it's supposed to be the customer. Getting them on the about page. I wanna see photos of the company owners, right? And I see the, the people behind your designs completely a stock photo, you know, really good looking lean people with heads.

You know this, it's just totally a stock photo. And it, it says the people behind your designs. And what it says is, there's a quote, that's why at my face socks, we only equip the best designers customer service extraordinaire, marketing specialist and more to bring your, yeah, that's poorly written. We're a small team of 25, but we dream big one pair at a time. We've expanded to more than socks, blah, blah, blah. So if you're a small team of 25, I wanna see 25 people in your warehouse in a team photo. There's no reason you can't do that. And it, it just, you know, they say we're a small team of 25, prove it and show me who these people are because there's gonna be more of a human connection. And I scroll down some more once again, oh, so this is, it looks like an influencer photo cuz they have their socks.

So yeah, now, now we just have product photography and then production line, there's no text, but it's some copy and they're showing a warehouse. So they're showing their, their facilities. That's fabulous. I would make that a video or, or just one image, which is a composite of six or seven images. You know, I, I would spend some time talking about that cuz that's, that's the proof of why you're different. You know, we are manufacturing these in our own facility, blah, blah, blah. And, and now they're doing customer reviews. That's not what this page is for as seen on press. That's not what this page is for. This page is about us, right? I wanna learn about the people and the company. I didn't see a single human, you know, staff, you know, company employee on this page. I didn't see a single name. Like, you know, this company was started by, you know, Jack and Jill, blah blah, blah and the origin story, right?

We all love those things and I didn't see where the company is located. Oh, down at the bottom. Yeah, so they're in Hong Kong, okay. So that just reinforces my, hey, these guys, you know, aren't American cuz the bad grammar and it's just, it was just one word, but that triggered for me. Now, you know, some people prefer things to be, you know, in certain countries and, and they, they object to things being from other countries. So I, I like, you know, telling people where you're at more overtly. And then here this is kind of weird, this, this just doesn't rub me, right? Right. So their address is in Hong Kong, but they've got an American telephone number and their American telephone number has office hours on New York Times. So are they, you know, a Chinese manufacturing company with an American office, you know, and then the name of the business, that's fine.

There's a number, which is probably the Hong Kong business id, but they don't explain that. So this just doesn't rub me as a, you know, a small business of 25. You know, that to me sounds like a family owned business. I don't get that sense now. Now I'm thinking it's some sort of, you know, manufacturing facility in Hong Kong that's manufacturing lots of other things. You know, it's not a small business. It might be a big business and I could be wrong in that, but because there's not as much story on this about page and it's all stock photography, it's not drawing me closer to the company or the brand. You know, the, the kind of feelings I had on the product page are now being reinforced on this page. And, and if I was actually shopping, I, I would just leave, right? I, I would not buy on this site.

So that, that's enough about this pa this this brand here in my face. Socks. All right, let's move on to our next Google search. Like I said, I just did some random search queries and let auto complete finish it for me. This one was best Valentine's Day gifts for Best Friend. This first shopping ad is a gift for Mom, which is not a Valentine, you know, it's not what I did for Best Friend. So I didn't click, I I clicked on it and saw it was a Shopify store, but instead I wanted to go to the friendship lamp because, and, and the middle one, whatever that was, was not a Shopify store, but the, the Friendship lamp. So I, so the best Valentine's Day gift for best Friend was the query. So I wanted to click on the, the friend result and it's a friendship lamp and I have no idea what that is.

So that's, that's a fun thing to look at, right? So I click on that and I go to a dark background site or just a dark background at the top, which is always a bold statement. I like, I like that a little bit, that it stands out. And at the top there's a up to 50% off Valentine's Day sale because it is Valentine's Shopping season. Their header, oh, I just had a popup and it's a spin and win. So here I am, I'm just trying to learn about this store and I was just, you know, looking a little bit at the header and three seconds in I get this popup today special gift for you. I'm a brand new customer. I click the shopping ad and you're assuming I'm already trust the store enough to buy now I don't trust it enough to buy yet.

I haven't made the decision that I even know what a friendship lamp is, and you're rushing me to give you my email address. And if you win, you can claim your coupon for 10 minutes only. It says it right here in the signup form. So they're pressuring me to sign up before I've established, you know, my, my comfortable feeling with them. So I think that this is forcing them a bit, right? And it might work really well for the customer, customer who comes to their site the second time or the third time and those kind of things. But for someone who just came from a shopping ad, remember I told you, you know, that I came from a shopping ad because in the URL it says it up there. And you can see up, up here, there's, there's the tracking link from the, the ads from Google Ads.

And I've done for, for stores custom code where when it comes from Google shopping ads, we treat, you know, the destination differently, right? And you could do that kind of stuff here. So I think they, they rushed me in that pop-up ad. Now I trust them less. And you, you notice, I use the word trust a lot cuz our job as store owners is to establish trust with customers so they feel comfortable buying our products and giving us their money, right? With ENT trusting us with their credit card kind of thing. So everything we can do to build trust is a good thing. So here I am now on this, this page and I see a little thing that says 45% off. So it says Friendship lamp five star review, right? You just heard what I said before about five star reviews. They get my radar up immediately.

I don't trust five star reviews, especially when it's got 1083 reviews. So I, I click on that. Oh, really nice. Their review engine has user photos. I absolutely love that. And all of them look to be, it's probably sorted by photos with customer reviews at the top, which is really nice, right? And you can see what people say. So the reviews are good, but the fact that they have a thousand reviews and they're all five stars, I don't trust them. Now they're, they're, they're definitely moderating the reviews or they have the best product ever. So, and right below that 45% off Valentine's sale. So that's really nice that they've got the Valentine's promotion there and they got little emojis with, with hearts. So it's thematically correct, stay connected with friends and family with our long distance friendship lamp. So I still don't know what a friendship lamp is.

I scroll down a little bit. I can buy two, I can buy a single lamp. I don't know why I'd buy a single A three. So I don't know why I'm gonna buy more than one. And I can see that as I buy them. What that 45% off is. So they show me the, the full price and the sale price. So that's nice. And as I pick a different number, the variant level photo shows that number of products and I love that, right? So when you're buying, you know, two lamps, I see two, two lamps in the photo. If I say three, I say three in the photo. If I see four, I see four in the photo. And the nice thing about that is when you add it to the cart, it uses that variant level image. So as you're in checkout and you're in the cart, you see four lamps if you're ordering four.

So it's just a nice confirmation that you made the right choices. When that variant photo shows exactly what you're picking. There's an add to cart, there's buy with Google Pay, there's a Afterpay promotion. Here are the products $300. So Afterpay makes sense. They say two day delivery Wednesday for order within 22 hours where I'm delivering to. So that's really nice. We deliver worldwide. That's really nice. We accept PayPal, visa, MasterCard, amex, I don't know how important payment types are right there, but it's not a bad thing. To ship to multiple addresses. Please place a separate order for each address. That makes sense because if you're buying a pair and you wanna send one to your friend and one to you, you wanna send them a separate shipment. So that's why you'd buy one versus two at a time. It's nice they've got that there.

They might even wanna make that a little more, you know, bold and explain that. And then I got some product level icons for 30 day money back guarantee. Thousands of happy customers, 12 month warranty. Worldwide connection tho those are nice. I, I like showing content in multiple formats, like showing photos, graphics, videos, icons, copy. And I, I, I find those product seals are, are nice reinforcements for your main value props. Like, what if I don't like it? Well, there's a 30 day money back guarantee, you know, so that's nice. I still don't know what this product does. Scrolling down, link up with your friends and family. The Love Link app keeps you connected with the people you love. Send from anywhere, create a secret code, beautifully personal. And I see links to download an app from, you know, I store and Google Play.

I still don't know what this product does. I scroll down unlimited potential, unlimited connect, turn sync as many together as you would like. Unlimited distance, connect with loved ones, unlimited messaging, send unique colors, cute feelings and meaningful messages. I still don't know what this thing does. All right, how it works. Here we go. Send colors swirling to your loved ones with the infinity lamp by Love link. And I see an image of a lamp that's a circle with a hole like a donut. I scroll up the product photos look like cans of soup that light up. They're, they're cylinders. So the product photos at the top don't match the video photos. The video image that I see down below, and I'm gonna click on that video image. It's a YouTube video, but the second I clicked on it, it said this is an infinity lamp.

I have a voiceover much better than the previous site I was on. Okay, now they're explaining to me. So it's not just showing a product, they're actually explaining to me how it works. I love that. Okay, so on one end, when you activate the lamp, the people on the other end with the lamp that's connected through their app, I guess see the lamp light up. So you're telling them, Hey, I'm thinking of you. Now I finally understand and I'm halfway down the page what the product is, but I think they put in the wrong video. I think this is for a different type of lamp than the one they're showing in the product photos. Okay? So that's a nice little video that explains the product. The, the problem is it's the wrong product, but it's a similar concept. So they, my guess is they haven't made a video for this exact product yet, but, you know, a video of a related product is better than no video at all.

But that's the first time they explained to me what the product did. And that's at the bottom of the product page. The next thing down is the reviews. We talked about already some product details in faq. So I would've moved that up higher. That video, which is in the product page, I would put it in the product page up higher and I would also include it in the product carousel. Now I'm gonna go through their product carousel. There's a lifestyle photo product, photos of, of human beings, which I like. And then here is a video. All right? So this video actually talks about the lamp that we're talking about. So they do have a video for this one. They just have the wrong one on the, so I would take the one on the product page for the Infinity Loop and replace it with the right videos.

That's, that's just a mistake they made setting up the page. Or it might be a function of the way they've got their template set up. They didn't have a unique template for each product, which they can fix, right? And, and make sure so they've got it in the product carousel or in the, yeah, in the product carousel. But I would've made that the second image in the product carousel. I think it was four images in before I got to it. So I would put the video in earlier and on some themes you on the collection page and you enable second photo on on hover. The nice thing about that is, is when you do hover, which only works for desktop, it doesn't work for mobile. When you do the hover, there's an autoplay of the video. So they can actually, oh, there's a video that explains it.

It's a nice little enticement sometimes, but I like the fact they have a video that explains it. Love that. I would just have it twice on the, on the product page once in the carousels, a second image, and then as quick on the page as possible for people who don't know what a friendship lamp is, can understand it better kind of thing. That's all good. Scroll down again, I'm gonna go past the video. There's reviews we talked about below that. There's some product details of size and weight, which is, you know, g good stuff to have. And they've got the you know, they got those down low on the page cause not everybody's gonna wanna see that, but I like the fact that that content is there. And then they got some FAQs about is it easy to do so? And I love the fact they've got content on this page.

What work at my school? You know, just, just random questions. And what I love is anytime your, your customers ask you a question where they send in an email or something, answer it to them through their email and then add it to your faq. Cause if someone has that question, many people have that question. So, and it looks like, you know, they've, they've done that before and they've built out this, this FAQ based on that kind of stuff. I, I like that. So what I don't see on this page, so we got 30 day money back guarantee. What I'm not seeing is anything about the company. What I like to do on product pages is show the shipping policy. You know, they've got it, you know, 30 day money back guarantee and the return policy. But I put those in accordions also, as you see the full policy, right?

So any questions people have about that, they don't have to leave the product page, they can get that information without having to click a link in the footer. And I also like some information about the company. So, you know, we're gonna go to the about us page here in a second. But what I would also do is, you know, on this page I would have something you know, about the brand, about us or something like that. And I would throw that in an accordion also with the policies, the shipping policy and the return policy. Just so that any question the customer may have, as many as you can think of that they're gonna ask like, well, tell me more about this company. Right? They don't have to go to another page, they can stay on the same page and consume that content. But let's see what they're about us looks like about friendship lamps.

We provide top quality friendship lamps that allow you to easily connect with friends and family anywhere across the globe. So that's about their product, right? That's not about the company. Friendship lamps are a part of the Love Link family. And there's a link to that, which takes me to a different website. So the first link on there about Page takes me to a different website. I, I'm not a fan of that. You want to keep people on this site. If they, if you wanna tell them more about the Love Link family, then do it here on the page, don't take 'em to another website. We know Distance Forces people apart, but our goal and objective, oh God, I hate this language, but our goal and objective is to create beautiful, innovative products that bring people together that is just so generic. Anybody could say that.

So this isn't personal, right? A person is not talking to me, somebody who wrote marketing copy wrote this. Not a person who wants to connect to me, right? So we are a global company that brings to market the best quality products. Once again, any company can say that this is nothing about them, it's just marketing company. It's like they, they went to, you know, one of these AI chat bots and just had it spit out garbage text and then Yop for our products, 30 day money back guarantee, 12 month warranty, outstanding track record, quality assurance, nothing personal, nothing about why they got started. There's nothing human in this page. It's all company speak. I don't see owners, I don't see team photos, I don't see facility photos, I don't know where they're at. I don't know why they're doing this, all that kind of stuff.

It's just, it's just fluff. It's just garbage. I'm getting really honest about <laugh>. I find that when I review stores I start getting angry like cuz I can see like there's so much you could do here. And I like, I get too excited and wound up and it's you know, if Friendship Lamps is, is listening to this, I actually like your product. It looks pretty good, your store is really good. I am being overly critical cuz I want you to take it to the next level. So, and they have other stores for us, Australia, uk I'm out looking at the footer trying to learn more about this company, right? Visit our other stores, us, Australia, UK and New Zealand. So if I click on us, which I assume I'm on because I was searching on Google in the US and when ended up on friend lamps.com.

So let's see what happens when I click on that, it takes me to friend lamps.com, the homepage. So here's the thing, when I saw that visit our other stores and it says us, I was thinking I'm on the wrong site, maybe I'm on there. I know south African site or something cuz this is English language, right? But their footer isn't the right thing. And let's see what happens when I click on au it takes me to Friendship lamps au. So what they probably have here is the market set up. So the, they're probably in one Shopify instance using Shopify markets is my guess in that case, what I would do is somehow in that footer make the customer understand they're already on the US store. So maybe you highlight that as like, you know, your current link or something and, and make those buttons or something instead of just links and let people know you're already on the US store so you don't have to click on one of these to, to get to the right one cuz you're already on the right one.

Now the last thing I wanna look at is their Contact Us page. I wanna know where they're from. They're in New South Wales, so they are an Australian company, but it actually, so the address says level 13, suite one a 40 65 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, new South Wales 2 20 67. So not everybody's gonna know that NSW is New South Wales, which is Australia. So they're not even saying, Hey, we're in Australia. Like, so there, there's some stuff that's missing there, right? And the Contact Us page, by the way, doesn't have any contact us. There's no phone number, no email address. Now there are links to contact our support team. Let me click on that. It takes me to a separate website, which is probably their ticketing website. The UI changed a little bit. You know why they wouldn't put a contact form on that Contact Us page, you know, and I can, you know, they're, looks like they're using probably Fresh Desk for their customer support.

Like you, you can have it set up on the Shopify page that it sends an email off the fresh desk and creates a ticket. So you, you don't have to take another website to do that kind of stuff. So when I click on the Contact Us page, I have to click on another page after that to be able to actually contact them. So, you know, that's just something that could be done a little bit better. But overall interesting product I like their presentation. I think they made just, you know, one or two mistakes with the content, the video being the biggest one. But that's such an easy thing to fix, but not bad.

So let's go to the next one. What I was searching for here in Google was best Valentine's Day gift for animal lovers. And the first Shopify link was the second ad, which was a gift for Cat lover walking fluffy cats. Good morning Cat, human Servant. So that is absolute horrible copy, but you can fix that in Google Merchant on your Google ads, your shopping ads. But yeah, the, the text is not good, right? But let's click on it. And this happens to be a personalized product. Also, I got a popup now I did start hovering up, so that might be an exit in ten one. And it says Happy Valentine's Day. So it's timely only today a secret discount for you. Simply enter your email below to get your special savings. It's probably an artificial only today, right? You know, when I see those things, I, I always, you know, my scam radar goes up.

But, you know, some many people may be influenced by that, that, that sense of urgency kind of thing. But why a secret discount? Simply enter your email below to get your special savings reveal now, right? Like, why, why, why are you so secret? I I don't trust you and I haven't learned anything about this story yet in the first three seconds I got this popup. You're, you're noticing trend here probably, right? Is I do not like popups when you first enter a store. Now that said, they are effective, but I think you have to be careful with the messaging in them and maybe be selective on when you use them and not pop them up for every single customer. Especially somebody coming from an ad where you know, they don't know anything about you yet, right? It's just generic ad you know, it is not like they were reading about your brand or followed a social link or something like that.

Maybe you want to give them a little more time on your site on this, you know, click Now reveal. I I don't know why it has to be such a, you know, secret thing I'm not gonna tell you about it. Like, wouldn't it be better if you're gonna give me, you know, 25% off or 30% off, then tell me that. Now it makes me think like, oh my secret discount's gonna be 5%. It's not worth it. I'm not gonna give you my email address. But let's look at the product page. So this is a pillow for, remember this is animal lovers. I can on this pillow pick sizes. So that's nice when I change the size, the image doesn't change. Now they're both square. So the aspect would be the same. But you might wanna put a little thing on the, the the images so that I can see the size changing.

The pillowcase can be different materials, linen, canvas and suede. That does not change the image at all. I can change the number of cats that are shown on this is a personalized product. So one cat, it shows one cat. That's awesome. So they've got a product configurator product options that that changes the actual product image based on the customer's inputs. That's really nice, right? And I can have anywhere between one and 12 cats on here. Oh, that's crazy. That's fun. I see 12 cats on here now. And you can choose the background of the pillows, of the pillows color. That's really nice. And as I'm clicking all of these, the product images updating and then that's done through some sort of customization app. And you can put in multiple cats' names. So I'm just gonna put in fluffy ti Oh it's actually shows it on, on the image.

That's really nice. I can change the breed of the cat for each one of my 12 cats so I can say, oh, it's a long hair. And then I get to choose the color. That's really nice. So this, this is gonna be something where people are gonna pick however many number of cats the gift recipient has and pick the images that are close to it. That's probably a product that people that are cat lovers would total to get into. Now there's a preview button. It's weird because as I'm doing this, the, oh, I see why they're doing that. As I'm doing this, every choice I make the, the image changes, but on desktop, right on one half of the screen I'm making my product choices. On the other half of the screen there's the image, the image stays there. And as you put start inputting 12 cats in your choices, you're scrolling up and down a lot to get that all done.

So they've got a button at the bottom that says preview. And this is probably designed for mobile where if you click it, it takes you back up to the product form. But on mobile it probably takes you back up to the product image, which is great. I would just have that preview, say see image. And I wouldn't show it on desktop, I would just show it on mobile. But that's a little bit of custom code and maybe more than these people have done. And then below that, you know, the add to cart button, we've got a guaranteed safe and secure checkout via and it shows their payment types. I'd rather see things here like their policies on shipping and satisfaction. But below that I've got a des you know, tabs for description shipping info. Oh, I like their shipping info. We'll talk about that in a section.

Second, satisfaction guaranteed and reviews. So that's all good. I would just reinforce that. So their shipping info shows that today's January 29th, the order will be placed, it'll ship between February 2nd and fifth. And then it'll get delivered between the ninth and the 17th. So they're showing the different phases of that. I would just also have some icons to support these things, like satisfaction guarantee. I would have a product icon instead of just the payment ones. I would add some policy icons cuz not everybody's gonna read all the text, right? So you wanna present that information in multiple formats so that however people consume information that's available for them there printed in us with love. Oh, so it says printed in us would love us. So I think that US is actually a little, that us is supposed to be a us but that's, that's just grammatically wrong.

So there's something wrong there. And now, now once again, when you're grammar's wrong in English, I'm not trusting that you're actually in America, but that just could be some, you know, something going on there. I, I just don't like that. I think you know, your, your product pages should be perfect, right? But that's not always possible. We do make mistakes. There's complexity in setting up Shopify stores, but it's important to go review your store and find all those little things. Just that, you know, that little one thing, you know, that an, that was missing in that, that first product I talked about. If someone discovered that and and fixed that, then they, they might not lose as many people, right? I just think that missing the word and they're gonna lose customers because of that, that one little fix. You're, you're not, you know, losing as many customers and you're conversing rate goes up because you put two letters on your product page.

So reviewing your products relentlessly is super important. It's hard when you have lots and lots of products, but it's super important. Act like a customer in your store. Find all those little details and maybe you're too close to it. Get your friends to do it for you. You know, pay people to do it for you, whatever it takes. So I go to the product description here. Pillows are the perfect home accents that enhance the look and feel of a place instantly. Our personalized pillows are unique, cozy, and the perfect accessory for your better sofa as a token of love for your loved ones. It's kind of redundant on many occasions. So, a, that product description has nothing to do with cat lovers. It's a generic product description that they probably have on all of their products. So, here I am, the product name is, the product name is Awful.

Walking Fluffy Cats. Good morning, Kat. Human servant, personalized pillow. Absolutely awful product name, right? It should be cat, you know, cat pillow, personalized cat pillow for cat lovers, right? So now once again, I'm questioning, is this actually an American company? Like they say they are. And don't get me wrong, you don't have to be an American company, but here I am in an America, I clicked on a shopping ad in America. I'm, you know, so I'm an American audience. You should be grammatically correct for me. Now, you can't be grammatically correct for every single country you're operating in, but they say they're printing in the United States. They're probably focused on the United States as their target market, cuz they're doing ads in the United States and it's, it's not well executed in a couple places, right? Like, I love the personalization process. I don't like the things I'm seeing around that here.

So let's go back down to our product description. And it's got that generic product description says nothing about cats. Now, if I look at the whole product description, you know, it's probably got 300 words in it and literally nothing in there talks about how this gift is meant for this type of user. It's all about specifications in the process to personalize and order it, which is very generic to all of their products. Now, I wanna scroll down to see, yeah, nowhere on this page do they talk about how this pillow is fabulous for cat lovers. That to me is something missing. And it's probably just a function of, you know, they're doing too many personalized products, not too many. They're doing a lot of personalized products and they, they haven't had the time yet to invest in product specific copy, but I would highly recommend that they do that.

And then below that, they got some share buttons, which I'm not a fan of, share Buttons. Nobody's used those since 2006. So it's just a, a waste of space. Now, below this, they have more items to consider. So this is like a related products and this one here, yeah. So some of these products are coffee mugs instead of pillows. And once again, you know, you're just now confused. You're giving them too many choices. They're all good, but it's just too many choices here. You've got them on the pillow, keep 'em engaged on the pillow. If they don't like the pillow, let them decide to go to your header and see what other navigation is up there, right? But I wouldn't be confusing them with other products on, on this page. And then they've got reviews. They've got 17 reviews with five stars, right? So actually it says 17 reviews with five stars, and the second one is four stars.

So maybe their review engine is wrong or it rounds to the nearest whole number or something. But there's one four star review in the 17 reviews, and two of them have photos. And I love customer photos. So you know, if you're, if you're, you know, have a review engine that allows you to solicit customer photos, make sure you do that right? And one of them in their customer photo shows the pillow with the cat next to it. And that's, that's just awesome. You know, you can't ask for better, better merchandising than that from your, from your customers. And then I get below that, there's an email thing, and once again, this email says only today a secret discount for you. Like this is in your footer. There's no way, it's only today that just make me not trust you at all when I see that kind of garbage, right?

And just below that, I see a policies 2022 Christmas shopping cutoff time, which is great in December, but it's now January 29th. So that was over a month ago and you haven't, you know, taken that down. So it just makes me think that, nah, maybe you're not that on top of thing. And then I see a US warehouse, a Canada address, and a Singapore address. So maybe, you know, so maybe they are, you know, a shipping, you know, printing them in the United States for shipping reasons. But now I'm thinking this is a Singapore run company and maybe it's not. Well, we're gonna look at the about US pages in a second. My guess is this is a Singapore run company, which is why the, the copy that I'm talking about and the the bad, bad, bad product title of walking, fluffy cats, good morning Cat, human Servant, personalized Pillow.

That is literally the product title. That's just awful, right? But Singapore, if I remember correctly, is an English speaking country, so is in Canada. So I don't know why it's, it's so bad for, for the copy. But I also, now I'm beginning to think that this is in a small company, right? They're probably doing lots of things and they're running at a scale and there's nothing wrong with that. But, you know, if you are a small company and family owned, you definitely wanna let your customers know that. So let now let's go look at the about us, Paige, about us. Welcome to Trending Custom, which is the name of their, their store. We are a young dedicated team, always trying our best to bring customers. The most positive shopping experience. God, that's awful, right? Personalization is what sets us apart from other stores.

Love that. Right? Here's how we're different at Trending Custom. We believe that personalization is the most powerful way to express your custom love to the person you honor and your personal characteristics as well. Poorly written from birthdays to anniversaries to holiday gifts. We're your number one personalization destination where you can find one of a kind products of high quality with unique designs. That's okay, but I don't see a single person's name right from the company. So we've just started our business in 2019. Well, that's now four years ago, so you didn't just start update your copy. So they wrote that in 2019, probably haven't updated it since, but have the opportunity to be the best, to be the gift destination for more than a hundred thousand customers from all across America. And receiving a lot of lovely feedback from them. And that's just not, that's just not written by an American.

Obviously your feedback is the motivation for us to continue creating new products and bringing you the best shopping experience. So there's nothing personal about this. Whoever the owners are, and they say we're a young, dedicated team, like they should be showing photos of the team. How big is the team? Show me your manufacturing warehouse. Show me your facilities, show me photos of the employees. Show me happy. You know, people stuff in boxes, you know, put the customer, you know, the owner's name up there. Hey, I'm Jim. Hey, I'm Jane. I started this company because of X, Y, and Z. And then on there about us, they have what our customers say about us. So they, they can't even come up with more than 300 words a copy to talk about themselves. So they're gonna make their customers do it instead. And then they put, you know, just this, you know, the addresses not explaining why they have three different addresses.

They're showing you here. Once again, you know, this, this company who's advertising, so they're spending ad dollars to drive traffic to their store, has some things on their product page that make me question what they're telling me. And then when I go to back that up or to learn more about their company, they're just leaving money on the table by not being open, honest, sincere, and authentic. There is nothing wrong with being a Singapore based company or a Canadian based company trying to market to me an American in the United States, but just be authentic about that and real. And show me the people that are behind this business so I can go, Hey, look at this team in Singapore. They're absolutely awesome. I love the story, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm gonna buy from them. They give me this generic marketing fluff copy that, you know, almost any store could have the exact same thing.

And, and don't really take this opportunity to build a relationship with me. A relationship of trust, right? I, I, I think there's a lot being left on the table there. I I just reviewed three stores who had shopping ads for Valentine's Day queries. And I, you know, honestly was not impressed with any one of them. The products weren't bad. I, I think I came up with three examples of stores who are doing a good job with their products or a decent job, but not a good job with their brand. And, and I've talked in the past how as an e-commerce store, your job is to, you know, set yourself apart by building a brand that, you know, people relate to instead of just selling products. And I think these are ended up, you know, unintentionally being three good examples of people who have interesting products, right? Two of those were personalized products and one was a unique, the, the friendship lamp that the products were all interesting. They did an okay job explaining the products. Some were better or worse, but they all fell short on establishing a brand that I trust and want to actually buy from. So that's it for this review. 

 

Thanks for listening.


JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.


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