Upgrading the About page is our first Growth lesson! Since this is the first one we're going to start with something very easy, but super impactful.
The About Us, or Our Story page is estimated to be the 2nd most visited page on an ecommerce site. Your customers want to know who you are and what you stand for so make sure your About page is high quality. It should say who you are, why you do what you do, what your brand's mission is, how long you've been in business, and how you approach customer service. Consumer these days are hyper informed, and transparency is very important these days. They want to do business with a brand that aligns with their own principles.
Why is the About page so frequently visited?
Because trusting businesses online is hard. People know that making a website is the easy part (my 14 year old sister even made a great looking ecommerce store) so they want to know more about the people behind it, and determine if it's a brand they want to do business with. The lack of a face-to-face transaction makes many people weary, so they visit your About page to give you an opportunity to earn trust. They might have these questions on their mind:
- Is this a big corporate-like company, or a small family-run business?
- I wonder how long they've been in business
- Where do they make their products?
- What values do they stand for?
- Why should I buy from them and not the dozens of other competitors?
You don't have to explicitly answer these questions in a bullet point format (because, that would just feel uninspired), but keep them in mind with the types of words and sentences you use. Consumers want to feel a connection with the brand, so if you have a great "About" page you'll do well to make customers excited to own a piece of your brand through your product.
Examples of awesome About pages
Here are four example ecommerce stores we've pulled some inspiration from. Each has taken a very different approach, but succeeds in getting across what great "about" pages have in common: Trustable Personality.
Let's start with something super simple. Article is a men's clothing brand that literally uses three lines on their About page. "Your grandfather didn't have to consider quality. Unfortunately in today's disposable culture, you don't have that luxury." It goes on to say their products are genuine, curated, and built to last.
But before you try to copy this strategy, keep in mind Article's brand exudes simplicity and quiet confidence. So their three lines in their About page actually says more about them than if they had paragraphs worth. Use this type of About page if your brand personality is of the "speak less, but mean more" quality.
It's clear they sell to a specific Arab, South Asian and Muslim audience who have immigrated to Canada. They are clear with their names (their audience can probably put together that this is a husband and wife team), and with their direct email and phone number. Their phone number is a local Toronto area code so it also helps Nadeef look like a friendly neighborhood operation that likes selling locally.
"Nadeef was born from the frustrations of bathroom hygiene in North America." Here they make it clear why they started selling, and their origin story. And their audience has the same frustrations, which makes them extremely relatable and trustable.
The first thing I noticed, apart from the large image of their team, was the large sidebar of their most recent media mentions. This shows their audience that they aren't the only ones who have stumbled across their brand. Dozens of external publications have features Cotton Bureau's story which buys instant credibility. Basically, it's almost like they are saying, "we could tell you how awesome we are, but don't take our word for it..."
As for the large team picture. I love it. It tells their audience alot about their culture. They all look like friends who probably love coming into work every day to service their customers. As a customer, you can see the faces of the people who would probably be designing, packing, and shipping their recently bought clothes. If your business has a team, even if it's a family-business, showing a picture is a great idea to put a face to your company. Before the days of the internet everyone did business face-to-face, which was a great way to also earn trust with a window shopper.
In terms of the "Promise" on their website, there is a quote from their founder, Ryan Barr, "If it breaks, we'll fix it. We're in it for the long haul." which gives your audience the peace of mind that their goods are extremely durable and high quality. This kind of guarantee goes a long way for the "manly" consumer who dislikes frequenting stores for new items.
It's interesting to note that both WP Standard and Article, mentioned as the first example, have a similar brand personality, but have two very different approaches to this page. Both very effective. This shows there is no one right answer when it comes to "About Us" pages as long as your brand personality comes through.
The challenge of creating a great About page
Personality doesn't come out easily in writing. And it's that personality and emotional connection that customers are attracted to when shopping on boutique small business sites. So as the merchant not only do you need operate the business smoothly, but you also need to build and maintain a certain brand image. If you don't already know what your business's brand pillars are (5 adjectives that would describe the personality of your brand if it were a real person), here is a worksheet from our friends at A Better Lemonade Stand that will help you. Basically, circle the 5 adjectives you feel represent your brand and use them to guide the language and voice in your About page.
Additionally, you should also know your customer. What is your customer looking for? Do they care if it's family-run or not? Do they want to buy from someone with grey-hair or fresh out of school? Are they environmentally conscious, price conscious, or socially conscious? What is their biggest problem? Are you speaking to a new father, a recently retired individual, IT savvy, or vegan?
If you know the answers to questions like this, you can mould your About page to be so relevant that a customer reading it will get excited, "wow, this business was made for me!"
Where to get started
Here is the link where you can edit your own store's About page: https://[yourstorename].myshopify.com/admin/pages - I've highlighted the section where you need to write in your own store's Shopify name.
Also, if you're not quite sure what your customer wants - it would be a good idea to call a previous high paying customer and learn more about their expectations, why they bought from you, how they heard about you, and just generally learn more about them. After a few conversations you should be able to find a pattern and piece together what your ideal customer is looking for in terms of branding from a store like yours.