I have never played the card game, but the Cards Against Humanity e-store is one of the best e-commerce websites around.
Your website or e-store is a chance to build your brand by setting your business apart and giving your customers a memorable experience. The company behind the hugely popular Cards Against Humanity card game created a special shopping experience that brings the game and brand into the e-store.
It also succeeds in several key metrics. It makes you want to buy the game, it’s so easy to use that a three-year old could place an order, and it entertains.
For business owners and web masters, the company makes a strong case for skipping template e-commerce builders like Shopify and building your own custom website from the ground up. Here are a few things we can learn from their web-store. .
Add useful features that make money
Just the fact that I can “Add one of everything to my cart” with one button is hilarious. But it’s also smart. There are 35 items you can buy so it would be pretty excessive to order “one of everything”, and that’s part of the genius. People will push that button because they can. Among those people, there will be customers who reach checkout and buy everything, again, just because they can.
That’s a 292 Euro purchase with the click of a button, making for a 1000% up-sell. Pretty damn good considering the main product cost 25 Euros.
Destroy unnecessary barriers to payment like your life depends on it
On their e-store, the shopping cart is always displayed in front of you, just like pushing a cart at the supermarket. It’s there as a banner that hovers on the bottom of the shop screen. This means you don’t need to click a shopping cart icon in the corner and wait for it to load to see what you’re buying and how much you’re paying. The cart is updated in real time as you keep browsing.
An integrated shopping cart is one less hoop towards checkout, and when building online shopping experiences, you want to remove as many hoops as possible before the customer changes his mind and spends his money on something reasonable.
Write copy that makes your website easier to use
Does copy still matter to make the experience better? We’d like to think the two should live and work together. Heck, some companies were built on effective copy alone. Just ask David Ogilvy.
Use copy to inspire purchasing decisions as below. “Pay Now” is better than “Go to checkout” because I don’t want to go to checkout. I just want to pay for my stuff. Checkout is a dark place where I have to stand in line next to crying babies while the cashier waits for a store manager to come over to do a price check on a bag of avocados. But Pay Now gives me power. Money for goods sold means I can get the thing I want, not sit in checkout purgatory.
Heck, write better copy everywhere!
Cards Against Humanity are a group of comedy writers. It’s clear they wrote the website copy and made it funny when they could have made it straightforward and boring. This makes it fun to browse around the website and read their product descriptions.
The English language is fluid like water. Shape it to control people’s willingness to buy. See how they do it here, and from now on write product descriptions that people want to read.
Make your header menu ridiculously simple
Reduce menu items like About Us, Home, and anything that’s not essential. Why add a home button if the home icon can take you Home? Why add About Us if the user can learn about the company through text and images displayed on the home page.
Cards Against Humanity has a menu with just two links: Contact us and FAQ. It doesn’t even want you to use the Contact Us link because there’s no reason to contact them unless you’ve read the FAQ. The lack of a menu means customers can stay focused on the products and purchasing. That’s why you made the e-store in the first place. Customer’s shouldn’t be “navigating” the website like a ship’s mate holding a map in the rain during rough seas. They should be buying stuff.
Add fun icons
With all the notifications, pop ups, and distractions on the screen at any given moment, helping the user find what she needs fast is crucial. Icons give customers a reason to skip reading and find what they’re looking for even faster. So while you’re at it, choose icons that are fun and original.
This may not be suitable for certain industries, but you can get creative when adding icons to your website or e-store. Flaticon.com has thousands of free and paid icons you can add to your website to represent almost anything.
Final thoughts: Custom web design can grow your brand
Web design used to be an art form. After all the word “design” is in there. My team and I may be labeled as grumpy old traditionalists for encouraging the old way of building websites instead of Shopify and WordPress. But there are real benefits to your business when you can control every aspect of your website with custom web design.
Make your website uniquely yours. Build it the way you want. Then let the website grow with your brand. Add features as your business grows or remove them as the market evolves. Build a website that exactly fits your brand and product’s needs. Make it specifically for your quirky customer rather than taking shortcuts. Delight your customers by making web design an extension of your brand, even if you have to hire a group of comedy writers to do it.