Picture an evening of speed dating if you will. Some participants might have been dragged along by a friend for support and some might see it as simply a good way to have some fun without any serious objectives. However, anyone who is serious will find themselves on a mission, a mission to sell. An evening of speed dating offers the perfect forum to sell product ‘me’. It’s ultimately the start of a major transaction.
But ‘selling’ in the industry sense of the word sounds like a fast-track to turn-off when in actual fact clever selling is all about the subtleties of building likeability. It’s a delicate balance of being authentic and talking about yourself favourably whilst simultaneously taking immediate cues from your opposite about what ignites them so you can tailor your conversation and tone to better connect. It sounds cliché but the listening is as important as the talking.
You should think of ecommerce in the same way. The repercussions of a bad purchase are not nearly the same as a bad relationship but the way in which you quickly warm to someone and feel good about them, understand them and what their motivations are, gain trust and confidence, are not too dissimilar to the forces at play when landing in an online shop, especially on a new website where you have no previous brand exposure, and are deciding whether to make a purchase. This is where the about us page can have a significant effect and can greatly assist visitors to transact with your company.
The about us page is typically a high traffic area within a website or online store because naturally customers want to know who and where they are buying from and why they should pick your shop over another. So it is something that should be well considered.
Trust, Credibility and Authenticity
Like a personal relationship, a high degree of trust is critical for things to progress. It’s better not to state you are trustworthy but try and create that feeling. Having a slick, professional-looking shop and clear contact information sends immediate signals that you are a trustworthy business but you can use the about us section to add more layers of credibility. Even if you only include some basic content with simple insights into your business this will help enormously compared to having nothing at all.
There are other ways in which to build a stronger sense of trust. Testimonials or customer case studies can provide additional assurance. If you have been trading for a while then you can provide comfort to visitors that you are established and not some shaky, fly-by-night enterprise. Adding more personal information about your journey, philosophy or mission can add a greater human dimension to your shop, increase authenticity and emotional connections. Think also about your returns policies and remove any perceived risks associated with buying online by clearly stating these. If you have a huge social fan base then you may wish to draw some attention to this.
Strawberry Jam do a simple job of building authenticity and likeability by telling their story and ticking a few other credibility boxes at the same time.
‘About Us’ or ‘About You’?
Even though it’s good to talk a bit about ‘your’ story, always be mindful of your audience’s needs and to include customer centric benefits to develop an immediate synergy between what you’re doing and what your prospective customers want. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself ‘why would someone buy from my website?’ and work this into your text in a succinct way.
Simon Sinek delivers a great TED Talk presentation about how consumers respond well to businesses that start with why, so even if you didn’t start out with a clear point of difference it’s really helpful to try and establish one. Wilshi – The Proposal Ring uses their ‘about’ section to clearly express the reasons why a proposal ring is a much better idea than an engagement ring.
More Than Words
Including imagery or videos can add to your story and provide a way to establish more immediate emotional connections. CSA Surfboards use images and video content in their about page to invite us into their world. If the content is poorly produced it can work against you so make sure you maintain some quality control when you include other media.
If you’re serious about building your online presence and selling online, then think seriously about your about us and info sections. It’s something people look for and it’s a real opportunity to quickly mitigate any perceived risks and to sell yourself, your enterprise and your product range. Who knows, you might even end up with some lifelong customers.