Are you considering starting your very own Shopify store?
Or perhaps you’re already a savvy online merchant looking for ways to optimize your current store to elevate your conversion rate.
Regardless, there’s no point stumbling blindly in the dark hoping for clues. Luckily, however, you did stumble upon this blog.
Sometimes the best way to learn and grow is through observing those who have came and conquered before. Much like we need to look to the past to predict the future, looking at systems and techniques other merchants used for their successful Shopify stores can help you create better content, design and capture more sales.
- Hardgraft Review: Homepage impressions
- Homepage verdict
- Product page impressions
- Product page verdict
- Cart & Checkout Page Impressions
- About Us page impressions
- Is Hardgraft mobile optimized?
- Conclusion & Recap
Yet, it’s not about simply copying someone else's work. It's about planting the seed of inspiration in your mind that will blossom into original and creative concepts for your own brand.
If you missed last week’s in-depth Shopify cosmetics store review, click here.
Either way, there will be huge value in applying the tips and tricks below by integrating them into your eCommerce efforts.
Hardgraft Fashion Shopify Store Review by Team PageFly
In terms of design, there’s a lot to love about this site as a whole. It’s minimal, clean, but more importantly, it’s congruent with their brand message.
Luxury and Down to Earth as values are reflected in the neutral tones with brown and grey being the dominant colors.
The homepage is long-form (I mean long), and seems to never end as you scroll through a mass of products. Luckily you’re met with an email pop-up before you get too far.
The copy used is original, although I can’t help but feel the cooking analogies would be better suited to a food-related store.
Either way, email marketing is far from dead.
A great email campaign can shift the tides of sales and turn a broke store profitable again.
If you hover over a product you see some quick buy options. There’s also some text that gives you a rough estimate of the price in USD and GBP, delivered in a super casual tone.
Small details can go a long way.
Check out the subtle shadows cast against the background by each product. You might not register it consciously, but it signals somebody behind the brand cares deeply about the user experience.
This is a great example of a chatbox done right. First order of business is easing the customer's mind by answering some common questions. Shipping times, refund policy etc.
If you sell high-ticket items like these and want to increase your conversion rate, your site visitor will need some reassurance. If any questions aren’t answered, the option to reach out to a team member is here too, seen in the top right of the chatbox under “Ask”.
Hardgraft gets rid of the traditional approach to navigation, opting for their own style of drop-down menu with an aesthetic color gradient.
It’s eye-catching, and the font pops nicely from each gradient.
The homepage showcases every product in their store, with the rest of the site categorized into pretty standard segments.
Page speeds are woeful across the board, with mobile at 20% and desktop at 40%. For a homepage that’s so image rich, it’s expected but it seems more can be done.
As suggested by Google, there’s opportunity to speed things up by compressing images into smaller file sizes.
This can be easily done using tinypng with no risk of losing quality.
But do page speeds really matter?
Absolutely. Google favors fast loading sites in search engine results pages (SERPs), so you’re likely to rank higher and have better Domain Authority.
But also consider that the average online shopper will navigate to a competitors store if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Selling Clothes Online: An In-depth Tutorial
It’s clean, it’s innovative, it’s unique. The homepage exudes a professional feel throughout, from the helpful FAQs to the smallest details in photography. The product images are sharp and crisp, with high levels of detail.
The congruency in the color scheme and even the minimal copy used strengthens the branding. A strong brand invites more trust.
Page speed is less than desirable, but considering the product page is more important for conversions, let’s check it out next.
Product page impressions
Another image-rich page by Hardgraft. The product can be seen from multiple angles and with a human model to showcase real dimensions.
Images like this are the lifeblood of your product page, especially because your customers can’t physically go into your store and hold it in their hands. Images reassure the buyer that they’re making the right choice - include as many high-quality images as possible.
Let’s look further into the other elements that make this a high-converting product page.
- The dots represent a carousel of images that seems to never end. But, you can never have too many high-quality product photographies on the product page.
- “Our designs are made in very limited runs. Be one of a few in the world to own one.” This is a great unique selling proposition and really sets them apart from competitors. We all want to be unique. After all, there’s nothing more devastating than passing a stranger on the street with the same fruity shirt on.
- Headings expand as you click to give detailed information about the product, materials, and shipping. Having content laid out like this is a great conversion tactic, as your site visitor doesn't have to leave the product page to get relevant information.
You can easily achieve this with the Accordion Element if you use PageFly to build out your Shopify store. A typical Accordion looks like this.
But does the content within actually help with conversions?
Without a doubt. This is some fine copywriting.
Before they talk about features, they talk about benefits. In their own words, it was designed for “pure pleasure and leisure”. The copy used is descriptive and paints a clear picture in your head of how the bag can be used to make your life easier.
Benefits > Features.
They’ve also made it easy to scan with keywords underlined and bold. They’ve even used a different font for these words, but it works.
A simple upsell strategy like this can keep you profitable by increasing the average order value on your store. If you’re planning to stay in eCommerce long term, upsell strategies are a must. The Frequently Bought Together app is a good way to achieve this.
Product page verdict
There are a lot of high-converting elements here, including vast amounts of product images, and content geared towards benefits rather than features.
The unique selling proposition becomes clear when you reach the product page, and it’s strong. The promise of being one of a few in the entire universe to own these items justifies the price tag.
If I had to speculate on what’s missing? Product video.
Cart & Checkout Page Impressions
The quickest way to purchase is actually from the collection pages as you hover over the product.
After adding to cart, a pop-up shows you the total amount and options to either checkout or view cart. The Checkout button is emphasized to help guide the buyer further down the funnel.
The Cart page is minimal as expected, with the PayPal button removed. This helps with the overall aesthetic (yellow rarely fits the theme), but a lot of merchants actually decide to remove it to make the checkout process more streamlined.
Of course we know by now there isn’t much room for checkout page customization, but little touches go a long way. Like making the background color congruent with the rest of your site as Hardgrat has done.
Even using two different shades of grey offers a better user experience and hopefully, less abandoned carts.
About Us page impressions
Stories are an integral part of human culture, and they have been for thousands of years.
The “About Us” is actually split into two pages - The Founders and The Brand. About Us pages are a chance to connect with your audience and tell your unique story.
It’s clear that Hardgraft have some great copywriters in house. The tone is honest, witty and easy to understand.
A strong brand promise can also massively affect your conversion rate. Even though the brand promise is about you, try to relay the information to make the customer feel as though it’s about them, just as hardgraft do.
This promise is written with an over-arching tone of honesty but also exclusivity.
If you’re good with words, write your own content and be truthful with your audience. If you’re not a wordsmith, Fiverr is a great place to get cheap copywriting gigs done on the fly.
Tip: It’s important to establish the tone you want to convey for your brand before you make any content. Will it be educational, casual, funny or more formal?
Either way, stay consistent in tone across all your content, and if you're hiring content creators, keep them informed about that vision.
About Us page verdict
Informative but also funny and entertaining to read. Despite the mysterious nature of the brand from the homepage, I feel I understand their motives and values a lot better since reading their story.
The “Hardgraft story” is more than a few words thrown down in an About Us section. In fact, it’s so rich that they’ve segmented it up into 4 pages - The Founders, The Brand, The Materials, The Production.
Don’t be afraid to be innovative when naming sections of your site, as long as it fits the tone of your brand. In a lot of cases “Who We Are” or “Our Brand Journey” is more inviting than About Us.
Here’s a great example from Refinery29.
Either way, your About Us page can be a strong tool for conversions. Don’t neglect it.
Is Hardgraft mobile optimized?
Again, now that Google rolled out it's mobile-first indexing, it will be scouring your sites mobile content to decide your ranking and Domain Authority.
This means if your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you could suffer serious penalties from Google. Additionally, mobile content consumption is on the rise, with roughly 50% of all web traffic taking place on handheld devices.
We are now in a mobile-first era, and your first priority as an eCommerce merchant must be user experience on smart devices.
Surprisingly, this already stunning website looks even better on mobile, perhaps due to the HD images condensed into fewer pixels on a mobile screen.
And despite the slow page speed results, going from homepage to checkout with a product only takes 20 seconds as seen below.
By default, all Shopify themes are mobile responsive, meaning they will switch to an optimized mobile layout if the user is on their phone or tablet.
However, most themes are basic, and if you want to create unique pages like Hardgraft that are mobile responsive you’ll need an app like PageFly Advanced Page Builder.
Conclusion & Recap
What we love:
- Minimal & innovative design
- Attention to detail
- Design consistent with brand values
- Strong brand identity & message
- Engaging copywriting
- Product image heavy
- Streamlined checkout experience
Areas of opportunity:
- Faster page speeds by reducing image size
- Product videos on About Us & product pages
- More relevant copy used for email pop-up
Above all, the Hardgraft shopping experience is just downright enjoyable. Their promise of “one of a kind” accessories is backed up by a completely unique store and web design. As a prospective buyer, it gives me confidence in this promise of exclusivity.
Two of the most important things you must capture in eCommerce are:
These are the most precious commodities for creating a long term brand that consistently converts.
Hardgraft manages to successfully gain both. Not through flashy sale banners, countdown timers or excessive trust badges.
They did it through knowing exactly who they are, who they serve and conveying this across every aspect of site design and content.