The Perspective #17

Welcome to the 17th 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 Kettle & Fire

  • 5 questions with Founder Tom Brown

  • How to format review badges

  • New brands we discovered this month

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If you missed our last editions, you can read them here! 

Brand-First Breakdown: Kettle & Fire

Founded in 2015, Kettle & Fire creates bone broth made with all organic ingredients and bones from 100% grass-fed cows. Their broth contains 10 grams of protein per serving and supports gut health!

We're breaking down various parts of the Kettle & Fire website and offering a couple of tweaks to make it an even better user experience and conversion machine. Let's jump in!

Cart with Items

Suggestions to test:

Suggestion 1: Rather than just surfacing these large cards in a long line, let them live offscreen and the user can swipe between them. Make sure the heading communicates a benefit!

Suggestion 2: Trust and credibility are cornerstones of conversions. The checkout button is a crucial conversion point. Add a secure lock icon to signify secure checkout which builds trust.

Suggestion 3: Pull in a secondary payment option here, or simply let users know there are alternates available at checkout!

Mission

Suggestions to test: 

Suggestion 1: Simplify this down to the core mission idea in a single heading.

Suggestion 2: Rather than cards that live off-page, make this a simple, scannable list of content.

Suggestion 3: Style this action as a secondary action. Your secondary actions (anything that is NOT shopping) should not be as present or loud as primary actions.

Product Page Header

Suggestions to test:

Suggestion 1: The heading of your product page is no place for pointless padding or whitespace — dial in the spacing here.

Suggestion 2: Rather than allowing these images to run to 2 lines, let them run off-screen for users to swipe.

Suggestion 3: Rather than a long-winded paragraph of content here, pull in the key traits of the product in a format that’s easy to scan and get through so users can move on to the add-to-cart!

Buy Box

Suggestions to test:

Suggestion 1: Let’s make sure these frequency options feel actionable. As well, call-out the savings much more loudly!

Suggestion 2: 12 and 18 packs unlock savings — make sure the user sees that!

Suggestion 3: Call-out your shipping threshold directly below the action.

Suggestion 4: Move your rewards action BELOW the “Add To Cart”. There should not be any actions above your “Add To Cart”.

Rewards Panel

Suggestion to test: Convert this into a sticky “Add To Cart” to let users add the product to cart wherever they are on page. Make sure this only pops in once users scroll past the “Add To Cart” button that is on the product page.

The rewards content could still be accessible if needed.

More Products

Suggestions to test: 

Suggestion 1: Let users toggle between a few categories of products.

Suggestion 2: Surface multiple products at once, in a simple, swipeable cross-section.

If you want loads of fresh insights like this for your site, check out our essential and premium reports!

Founders Five 🖐

Founder: Tom Brown is currently the Head of Growth at Hutch, but before joining that team he bootstrapped 3 CPG brands to seven figures!

Oddit: You’ve bootstrapped 3 CPG brands to 7 figures — what’s an overlooked, but effective growth tactic more bootstrapped brands should utilize?

Tom: Influencer Seeding – while a lot of folks claim it’s “taking advantage” of influencers by asking them to post free content – it’s allowed us to seek out the true brand evangelists of our products; those individuals who would gladly shout from the rooftops about our brand without a financial incentive from day one.

Once we clearly know who is talking about and promoting our brands because they love the mission of what we do and they love the product – not because they got paid to say so – then we unquestionably know who we want to form longer-term paid partnerships with.

It’s not an overnight success, and expect to send a lot of free products to creators & micro-influencers, but view it as an opportunity to get your products into the hands of hundreds of potential customers who may go on to tell others, but more importantly, will voluntarily give you feedback on what they love and *don’t love* about your product & brand.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to be human with creators and build meaningful relationships.

Oddit: What’s the most recent site adjustment you’ve made recently that had the greatest impact on revenue for any of your brands?

Tom: It’s not quite so recent, but one of the biggest overall movers we ever implemented was offering our products in bundles – even for a product where it didn’t seem to “make sense” at the outset.

Friends & family that meant well told me it wouldn’t work and that they couldn’t see anyone using the feature.

It took our AOV from circa £25 to £50+ as we stacked discounts on those bundles.

E.g. 1 Pack = Full price, 3-Pack = 10% off, 5-Pack = 20% off.

It pushed many customers to buy multiples and to consider gifting them to friends, family and co-workers.

Something we also never expected, the change drove an enormous number of B2B orders via our DTC front-end Shopify store with businesses buying for their employees where they could see the saving of buying in bulk.

Also worth noting we hacked this together somewhat, using variant selectors to add the products to the cart in one click vs forcing the customer to add 3 or 5 individual units.

Worked especially well when we weren’t on Plus and couldn’t use Shopify Scripts. (The new discount automations have solved for a lot of this on Shopify now, though.)

Oddit: Could you share one of the more painful lessons learned from building your businesses?

Tom: Jeez, where would you like me to start? I’ve fallen flat on my face easily 1000+ times in the last decade of doing this.

One of the most recent and most painful (that I’ve spoken about on my podcast in some small detail, too) was relying too much upon a trusted creditor who pulled the rug without any notice after 7 years of working together. Their own internal financial concerns left us and a handful of other ecommerce brand owners (I’ve come to learn) in an incredibly sticky situation when overnight accounts were frozen to protect the creditors’ interests. Our payment terms went from 54 days to 0 overnight right before Q4.

I can’t even begin to tell you how painful that was. We’ve since had to get lawyers involved, and it’s gotten way more ugly than it ever needed to be.

Really the lesson and what I hope others might take away from it – so many of us are making this up as we go along.

We don’t have it all figured out.

DTC Twitter does a great job of making ecommerce sound easy and almost as though it’s rare for things to go wrong.

I promise it goes wrong more often than you think. Daily. You’re firefighting constantly. There’s a ridiculous amount of self-doubt involved at times. But if we sat and dwelled on those problems, on everything that could and will go wrong – most of us would have never done it.

Getting through it and coming out the other side, you’ll be 1000x stronger for it.

Plus, half of what you imagine *could* go wrong is usually wrong in itself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined a scenario worse than it actually was. I just needed the perspective & to be able to step back, look at it objectively and move forward. That’s often the hardest part – to remove the emotion from it.

“If someone else has already figured this out, I can too.” – It’s something I repeat to myself often.

Oddit: What’s one Shopify app DTC brands are underutilizing?

Tom: Bounty! I freaking love those guys and what they’re building.

Oddit: Someone offers you $5 million seed money to start your next CPG brand. Do you take it or bootstrap it again?

Tom: At this stage, I’d take the $5M seed money because I think I have a clear sense of how to deploy it effectively.

Having grown my own CPG brands and consulted with hundreds/if not thousands more, every time I get involved, I realize how much faster I can go given my prior experience.

It feels somewhat ridiculous to say, but those learnings truly have compounded. And the folks I’ve met and built relationships with along the way – who are WAY more talented than me – I bring along to the next project.

While bootstrapping forces you to be insanely capital efficient and find ways to “hack” growth wherever you can, you typically have to use more of your time, because time is the most abundant potential resource you have available.

$5M seed money allows you (I believe) to buy back some of that time to go ever-faster by bringing in people far more talented and specialized than you can be.

Provided there’s still a sane head ensuring you’re profitable along the way, of course.

Formatting Review Badges

Classifieds 🔎

🎯 TEST THIS: add a secondary action to shop the product shown in your header. Check out this example

😎 How DTC founders have changed their playbooks in 2022

💪 How to properly structure reviews on your website

🔵 New brands we discovered this month: Hiya Health, Rux, Long Wknd, Golden Ratio 

Want your own brand-first breakdown? 🚨

Check out the essential and premium reports!

If you don’t find any value you’ll get all your $$ back. No questions asked.

The Perspective is written by Shaun Brandt, Taylor Davies, and Thomas Schreiber

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