Drive Conversions By Sharing Your Brand Values

Sharing your brand values the right way can increase your conversion rate the same way a well-designed product page or website navigation can.
Kanban Board Planning

Contributed by Jon MacDonald

Drive Conversions By Sharing Your Brand Values

Sharing your brand values the right way can increase your conversion rate the same way a well-designed product page or website navigation can.

Now more than ever, customers are ‘voting’ with their dollar. They show support for the causes and values they care about, by purchasing from brands that share their ethos.

According to a study, 87% of customers will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about and 76% will refuse to purchase a company’s products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.

We know that your shoppers care, so how exactly can you deliver the messaging in a way that not only reaches them but also pushes them to make a purchase?

Let's find out.

What do your shoppers care about?

Especially for younger shoppers, brand values and social responsibility are an important part of the purchasing decision. They’re curious about things like:

  • The company’s origin story
  • The founder and team behind the brand
  • The products and their manufacturing process
  • Any environmental or social causes they support

We’ve even seen session recordings of shoppers adding products to their cart and then going back to an about page to learn about the organization they are supporting before completing their purchase.

This coupled with a recent study by Baymard Institute pushed me to start talking about how to share your brand values rather than just why you should.

Turns out that on direct-to-consumer or small product catalog sites, about 62% of users engaged with non-commercial content on pages like About Us, Our Story, Our Mission, etc. Alternatively, when testing larger retail sites, Baymard found that only 37% of users explored similar pages.

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as ‘add more pages to your site about your values.’ In over a decade of optimizing ecommerce websites, one of our most frequent pieces of advice is to remove non-commercial links from your primary navigation and tell your story through other strategies. I say this because simplifying the website navigation is a proven method for increasing conversions.

So how do we tackle this? I have three steps to help you share your brand values in a way that drives conversions, creates a better customer experience, and builds a stronger connection between your brand and shoppers.

1. Weave your brand values and social impact throughout your website

If a customer approached you and asked “why should I buy from you?” you would probably answer with an elevator pitch about what the product or service is and how it is better than the competition. Really, you should be focusing on the benefits the product provides to the customer and how your brand can make their life better.

The same is true on your website. Every step in the customer journey should be emphasizing how your product or service benefits the customer, not just displaying marketing jargon that your team deemed relevant. Presenting information through a customer-centric lens drives conversions.

The good news is customers care about your values and social impact. When they feel good about who they are purchasing from, or what they are buying, it does make their life a bit better. So you want to tell your brand story, but through a customer-centric lens.

The most successful brands I’ve encountered address this by taking all of that great material from their About Us or Our Process pages and sprinkling it throughout their site. They weave it into their headlines, body copy, product descriptions, and calls to action so that their brand story and values feels like part of the customer experience from start to finish.

We know your shoppers care about your values, so share them in a way that makes their buying journey more pleasant. Don’t make them navigate to a new page just to understand something so important to them.

Here are a handful of places where this can be extremely powerful:

Homepage: Hero Section

You only get one chance at a first impression, which is why it’s so frustrating to see so many brands treat this area like an afterthought. Within the first five seconds of visiting, users should know who you are and how you are going to make their life better. This one site element can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to sharing your brand values.

Homepage: About Us Lock-up

Removing your About Us content from your navigation doesn’t mean you have to remove it from your homepage. A headline and 2-3 sentence descriptor somewhere mid-stream can help customers develop a greater understanding of your social impact or sustainability efforts. Even better, embed a 2-minute video with your brand story, focusing on values, impact, and product details throughout.

Homepage: Product Lock-ups

It’s pretty common to see a section of the homepage dedicated to “Best Sellers” or “Featured Products,” but those lock-ups almost always miss the mark when it comes to storytelling. This is a great opportunity to include a single, punchy line describing what the product is and how it benefits the customers. Adding text like ‘ethically sourced’ or ‘sustainable material’ helps customers understand the values you share with them. Don’t forget to include a call to action here!

Product Page: Product Details

One of the best places to tell the story of your company and your product is on the product detail page in areas like the product description, product specifications, materials, sizing, or ingredients. This is your opportunity to bring value and personality. Consider revisiting things like:

  • The Product Description – This isn’t an image caption. Tell a story!
  • Process Overview – Share what makes your production process different/better.
  • Specifications & Requirements – Answer “so what?” Why should I care that you use premium steel or a certain type of fabric for this piece?
  • Ingredients – Don’t just tell me what’s in the product. Tell me how it improves my experience.
  • Usage Directions – Help me understand how to get the most out of this product, and reassure me that you’re there to help if I need it.

Product Page: Video

When it comes to communication, the most effective method is usually face-to-face. The next best option is video. Simply propping up your smartphone and recording a two-minute video is enough to make a difference, I promise. There are two video formats that I’ve seen work really well here – the “Product Origin Story” and the “How-To Video.”

2. Keep the About Us and other pages, but move them to the footer

“About Us” style content can absolutely be a differentiating factor for your business. Consumers are increasingly likely to choose a smaller brand over a “soulless conglomerate” when they are presented with the right information.

What is that information, exactly? Here’s what our decade plus of research tells us consumers want to know about you:

  • Who do you serve? What problem(s) do you solve?
  • What makes your products/company different?
  • Who is behind the company? (Founder & Team)
  • How did your company get started?
  • What do you stand for? What mission/causes do you support?
  • Shoppers want answers to these questions, and you probably enjoy telling your brand story, so you should absolutely consider putting together a dedicated page to address them.

However, I would still tell you that in most cases the dedicated pages that cover your backstory, your mission, and your values should not exist in your primary navigation. That prime real estate is best used for commercial links – product categories, seasonals, new arrivals, accessories, and so on.

In fact, much of our user testing shows that website visitors are actually checking the footer for a column dedicated to “Company Links” when looking for this kind of information.

Keep all of this material on your values, but instead of having it occupy valuable space in your navigation, sprinkle it throughout your website and move dedicated pages to the footer.

3. Test and iterate your changes

At this point, we’ve established that details about your company, your brand, and your products can make the difference between a purchase and an abandoned cart.

We’ve also argued that the dedicated pages that communicate those details don’t belong in your primary navigation.

We’ve shared different areas throughout your site that could be perfect for sharing brand values.

Remember, these suggestions are all based on conveying your values PRE-purchase as an effort to convert visitors into customers, but there are also plenty of opportunities to tell your brand story post-purchase, through channels like email, unboxing experience, SMS, customer support, etc.

Beyond that, the best piece of advice I can share is that you should never stop optimizing how you share your brand values. Run tests on different copy, product images, or other website features to gather data on what works for your site and shoppers. Then, iterate!

Continue testing and iterating. Optimization is not a one-and-done process, and the best conversion rate is always improving.

Convert more visitors into buyers with The Good

Figuring out how to share your brand story the right way is crucial to delivering a good customer experience, building an authentic relationship with shoppers, and driving conversions. But it can be tough to figure out the right way to do it. And it can be even tougher to prioritize testing and iterating your optimization efforts when you have a long list of to-dos.

That’s where we come in to help!

If you’re ready to begin increasing your conversion rate and sharing your brand values the right way, you can reach out to our team at The Good. We work with ecommerce brands big and small to convert more website visitors into buyers, delivering an average of 9:1 ROI for our clients. As a B Corp, we’re constantly on the lookout for partners who share our values and commitment to making sure our business does good in the world.

Social impact + a higher conversion rate… what could be better?

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