The Perspective #10
Welcome to the tenth edition of The Perspective by Oddit!
Twice a month we send out actionable tips for creating brand-first and conversion-optimized customer experiences from the best in DTC.
In this edition 🗞:
Brand-first breakdown with Penny Skateboards
5 questions with Three Ships Co-Founder Connie Lo
Why big brands should never stop communicating
If you missed our last editions, you can read them here!
Brand-First Breakdown: Penny Skateboards
Penny Skateboards makes some of the best high-quality and long-lasting plastic skateboards in the world.
We're breaking down their site and offering a couple of tweaks to make it an even better user experience and conversion machine. Let's jump in!
Suggestions to test:
Suggestion 1: Add an active state to your menu link so customers always know where they are.
Suggestion 2: Use the additional white space to a snippet about your brand!
Suggestion 3: Add a shop all CTA for the users who are looking to explore.
Suggestion 4: Reduce the attention on “need help finding a size”. It’s definitely a helpful link but in the Nav, the goal is to get your customers into the shopping funnel.
Suggestion 5: Add product badges, such as “popular” & “beginner friendly” to quickly communicate to your customers the different values of your products.
Suggestion 6: Bring in a hover micro-interaction to show you have a range of colors.
Suggestions to test:
Suggestion 1: Highlight your prominent shopping category by defaulting it open. This reduces clicks and increases product exposure.
Suggestion 2: Add a full-width CTA to shop all with the “find the right size” underneath. This is a helpful page but shouldn’t be the focus in your nav.
Suggestion 3: Secondary product categories can be simple clicks that lead to a full collection page.
Suggestion 4: Tertiary actions such as search and account can be lowest in the hierarchy but still be clickable links.
Ambassadors (Penny Mates)
Suggestions to test:
Suggestion 1: Add “meet our” above “penny mates” to build section context.
Suggestion 2: Utilize a card carousel to feature your penny mates so it’s super scannable and digestible.
Suggestion 3: Replace the ambassador bio with a quick-hitting quote. This type of content will resonate with your customers over lengthy text.
Suggestion 4: Share your Penny Mates favorite board! This is a great place to highlight products. It helps build so much context around how to use your products.
Suggestion 5: Pull your CTA to the bottom of the section and add in the title so customers will know exactly where the link is bringing them.
Suggestions to test:
Suggestion 1: For product cross sections add a headline so customers know what category or collection they’re shopping.
Suggestion 2: Include reviews. Quick hits of social proof help customers make quick decisions.
Suggestion 3: Add a full-width CTA that brings customers to full collection page.
Suggestion 4: Remind customers of your shipping offer below CTA.
Suggestion to test: Bring your product pages to life by adding in lifestyle imagery, gifs, or videos (as long as it doesn’t slow your page down - remember to optimize all content!).
This type of content allows customers to envision themselves using your products.
If you enjoyed these tips, reply to this email and let us know. We love feedback :)
Founders Five 🖐
Oddit: Three Ships is in retailers across the United States and Canada - what’s been the biggest struggle operating across two countries, and what advice would you give to brands trying to enter their second national market?
Connie: The biggest struggle has been demand planning, as it impacts how many units per SKU we keep in each of our warehouses (one in the US, one in Canada).
For example, there have been countless times that we sell out of inventory in the US faster than we anticipated, and this results in out of stocks or needing an express inventory transfer from our Canadian warehouse.
For advice, I recommend getting a 3PL or warehouse in the secondary market, and especially one with experience fulfilling retailer orders if you’re an omnichannel brand.
Oddit: The retail game can be stressful on supply chains - what have you done to try and minimize the possibility of supply chain disruptions?
Connie: To manage the current state of supply chains, I’ve asked our key retail partners to provide more lead time for PO’s. To mitigate supply chain issues for new product launches, I get opening order forecasts from retailers ~5-6 months ahead of the launch date.
This allows us to airship a smaller quantity of packaging needed in advance, with the remainder shipped via ocean. It’s also been helpful to work with a distributor for accounts like Whole Foods, because it allows us to ship in bulk to their warehouse, and they manage the fulfillment/demand planning directly with our retail partner.
Finally, at the start of the year I created monthly forecasts for units sold by retail account, and each month I track forecast vs. actual. If there is a variance larger than 20%, I reforecast for the remainder of the year. Over time, this helps me create more accurate budgets, which greatly helps our supply chain management.
Oddit: Early on you were making the original formulations in your kitchen, when did you know it was the right time to start talking to manufacturers/co-packers and what were the most important aspects of finding the perfect partner?
Connie: My co-founder, Laura, manages our product and supply chain. Even when we were hand-making all products, she began reaching out to various co-manufacturers doing initial research. She had a rule of thumb - if no one at the VP level or higher attended the exploratory meeting, she crossed them off the list.
This ensured that the co-manufacturer was taking us seriously, even though we were only 23-years-old at the time! It was very important for us to find a partner we could grow with, and we’re very happy with our current manufacturers. Along with a partner looking for a long-term partnership, other important aspects were: production capabilities/expertise, minimum order quantities, reputation, and room for scale.
Oddit: As a founder, you have to wear a ton of different hats - what’s your favorite and least favorite hat to wear?
Connie: My favorite hat is team management and culture. My least favorite is cash flow management.
Oddit: As the Three Ships website has evolved can you point to a particular change that had a big impact on conversion?
Connie: We saw a 50% increase in conversion when we started implementing more before/afters and our sustainability source map on our PDP’s. We believe it’s because of the social proof + transparency with the traceability.
Never Stop Communicating!
The greatest brands never stop communicating what they do best – they understand new customers are discovering them daily.
Test these 5 changes 👇
— Oddit 👀 (@itsOddit)
Jul 25, 2022
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