The Perspective #24
Welcome to the 24th 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 brands in the world!
In this edition 🗞:
Brand-first breakdown with Art of Tea
5 questions with Founder Catherine Baxter
Homepage Header Guide - Part 2
New brands we discovered this month
If you missed our last editions, you can read them here!
Brand-First Breakdown: Art of Tea
Art of Tea is a tea importer and wholesaler based in Los Angeles, California, founded and run by Steve Schwartz — Who is known by many authoritative figures in the tea industry as a Master Tea Blender.
Steve and the team hand blend and custom craft the world’s finest organic teas and botanicals — Talk about delicious.
Their teas are carefully selected directly from growers, each one offering a unique story — As unique as their client list which incorporates creating custom teas for the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Vera Wang, Hinoki & the Bird and a host of luxury hotels and restaurants!
What a communiTEA to boast!
So sit back and sip your beverage as we're breaking down various parts of the Art of Tea website 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 some brand voice to the empty cart to make it feel more cohesive with the overall site experience.
Suggestion 2: There’s nothing to checkout with here yet so remove the checkout button to avoid confusing your users.
Suggestion 3: Surface some of your top product collections; add in imagery and the collection title to each to help guide users into the shopping journey.
Suggestion 4: Pull out a full-width primary action and a secondary action, and place these at the bottom of the fold. These could lead to your “Shop All Teas” and “Take The Quiz” pages.
Suggestions To Test:
Suggestion 1: Test a new lifestyle image and dial down the size to give space for the new content below.
Suggestion 2: Test a new a headline copy that includes a benefit to grab users’ attention and to help sell your products.
Suggestion 3: Surface the key traits of your products horizontally and in a scannable way. Customers want to be part of something that helps the planet and does good! This helps set yourself apart from your competition.
Suggestion 4: Test a new Call To Action (CTA) that directs your users to a collection page and helps increase conversions. Ensure this is full-width to make taking action on mobile easier. Layer your free shipping offer below to break down any purchase barriers.
Suggestions To Test:
Suggestion 1: Convert this section into a carousel featuring the tagged Instagram posts of happy customers, and use the headline to communicate additional trust building factors (number of followers, verified account, etc.).
Suggestion 2: Make your UGC images swipeable, allowing users to swipe through multiple. Keep the number of images here restricted. No more than 10 to avoid this impacting the speed of your store.
Suggestion 3: Include short review snippets and add the username of the user providing the review to bring authenticity to your brand and make your brand more trustworthy.
Suggestion 4: Add an action link to shop the product shown in the UGC.
Suggestion 5: Use carousel indicators to let users know it’s swipeable.
Suggestions To Test:
Suggestion 1: Pull in a UGC (User-Generated Content) image of a customer brewing tea from Art of Tea!
Suggestion 2: Add an infographic image and annotate all the key benefits of your product.
Suggestion 3: Ensure you are constantly building trust throughout your site. Utilize the product gallery to show a review snippet.
Tea Club Subscription
Suggestions To Test:
Suggestion 1: Remove the image selectors and use the image here instead as a scroll stopper.
Suggestion 2: Positive reviews are a great way to build trust with users new to your brand — make sure review numbers and stars are included in your subscription offer.
Suggestion 3: Add a description about the subscription as bullet points and ensure it’s easy to scan.
Suggestion 4: Utilize dropdown selectors for the tea selection and the frequency of the subscription. Add the price directly beside the frequency dropdown, as well as the savings. This will help entice users!
Suggestion 5: Surface an "Add To Cart" (ATC) button and add the total within your CTA to avoid users scrolling up and down to view the price. Also, surface your alternative payment information below to entice users into purchasing.
Suggestions To Test:
Suggestion 1: Pull up the headline higher on the page as they act as a signpost for users to help figure out what the section is about.
Suggestion 2: Move the blog categories into toggle tabs to make them more accessible and to avoid pushing down the blog cards lower on the page.
Suggestion 3: Redesign your search field by adding a bounding box and ensuring it’s full-width above the blog cards so users won’t miss it.
Suggestion 4: Move the blog cards into a x2 column layout and surface how many minutes it will take to read the blog post for complete transparency.
If you want loads of fresh insights like this for your site, check out our Quick Win 10-Pack and Full Reports!
Founders Five 🖐
It all started when Catherine saw her boyfriend’s parents create a makeshift pickleball court in their New York City apartment during quarantine. Watching their love of the game (over zoom and then in person), made her realize that this sport — and the people who play — are special.
And the rest is history as they say as Catherine set about creating Nettie to bring premium products into the market with great designs and meaningful stories. She worked to embed a retro, colorful, nostalgic personality into everything they’re doing.
Alongside this Catherine sought to create something in the spirit of those long summer days in 1965 when Bill Bell, Joel Pritchard, and Barney McCallum created pickleball for their kids with old sports equipment lying around. Equal parts creativity + quirk + competitiveness!
After two+ years of isolation, technology dependence, and societal divisiveness in the world, I think we can all agree we need more ways to get outside and just have fun together, while sparking connections, joy, and meaningful relationships.
Oddit: You’ve got an impressive list of press features — What’s your secret to getting your product into all the right hands?
Catherine: I think there are a few key things. One is timing — we launched right before pickleball really started to boom, and knew pretty quickly that there would be public interest in products in the category that were well designed + fun + good quality.
Secondly, at the outset, we wanted to make Nettie both high quality and visually appealing, which we really think has benefited us in the long run. Our paddles photograph really well and convey that joy and lightness that I love about pickleball. Because they’re so aesthetically appealing, they’ve really become a media favorite.
In terms of our in-the-weeds process, our PR team identified the publications we knew we wanted to work with and worked backwards, finding the right reporters, offering them the opportunity to try the product themselves, and telling our unique story in conjunction with our product usually makes for solid PR interest.
Lastly, we have a unique appeal across sports, fashion and wellness, which has meant we’ve been able to tap into a lot of different media audiences.
Oddit: What’s the most recent site adjustment you’ve made that had the greatest impact on revenue?
Catherine: We noticed an uptick when we put our reviews more front and center — on the homepage, product pages, etc. We rearranged our pages to highlight reviews and make them more visible. Luckily our reviews across all our retail platforms are incredibly positive, but we especially noticed their impact on our own homepage.
Oddit: What’s one of the hardest or unexpected challenges you’ve faced creating and manufacturing your quirky and colorful paddles?
Catherine: Because we’ve been focused on operating in a lean, capital-efficient manner, it’s been a challenge to ensure we have enough inventory while also not have *too* much inventory. We don’t have endless venture capital dollars, and so we’ve had to learn to be really strategic about how we allocate our inventory dollars.
As we have expanded into major retail with stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, we’ve had to get creative with working-capital, planning, and operations so we can fulfill all of the demand. While this is a challenge for most consumer products brands, this is the first CPG company that I have started, and so there’s been a learning curve for me.
Oddit: With pickleball being the fastest growing sport in the United States with international growth gaining steam, what’s next for Nettie? Have you got any more complementary products in the pipeline?
Catherine: We’ve always said that we’re pickleball first, not pickleball only. We are aiming to expand into other offerings that still have the same feel of the Nettie brand, but could be used outside of the pickleball court.
In the pickleball vein, we are really excited to offer variations on our best-selling sets, and we are excited to release more info on this soon. We are also excited about continuing to offer products that our community can graduate up to as they become more into pickleball — we’ve done with our USAPA approved performance paddles and will continue to do this.
Oddit: In your opinion, what’s the most underrated skill when building a business?
Catherine: I’m not sure if it is underrated or appropriately rated, but I would say storytelling. It is incredibly powerful when brands / founders / employees can speak beyond the features or benefits of their product — and instead get to a shared emotion of the end consumer. I cut my teeth in this while working at a social venture called The OpEd Project, and have taken these lessons into building Nettie.
And while not an underrated skill, I think an underrated action is to start a business in a city with a lower cost of living. (I moved from Brooklyn to my hometown of Cincinnati, OH to launch Nettie). This has allowed me to be more efficient with capital, as I don’t need to allocate as many resources to general operating expenses, and allowed me to take the risk of going all in on the business as I could live off of my savings for longer before needing to pay myself!
Mobile Menu Tip!
Mobile Menu Tip: add in your primary action to reinforce your offering and make it accessible at the bottom of the page
Bonus: Include your shipping offer right below the action.
— Oddit 👀 (@itsOddit)
Mar 27, 2023
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🚨 Make sure your site has ALL of these elements
💪 Saving vertical space is key for product pages - check out this example
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