Origins #26 — Practicality
Lead with the product
In this series we are documenting the journey of building DULO, starting from Day 1. Every week we publish a new chapter that takes you behind the scenes of our process. With every article, we want to provide value to you, the reader. We share the success and failures, the opportunities and the challenges that we face while executing our vision.
If you are new, check out our previous post.
After ten months of product development and a few months of sharing what we’re up to on a daily basis, while building this business, we finally decided that it’s time to invest time into creating one of the most vital pieces of this puzzle, our e-commerce website.
We may, or may not have delayed this project, given that we are programmers by day and that creating a website is a lot more native to us, compared to talking about fashion collections, collar stays, gingham or ribeye weaving (getting there though ;) etc.
Even though, we’re still not ready to start selling, we are shortly approaching that time and it made sense to start creating a central hub that can showcase our products, provide more information about us, our vision and the product, as well as point people to the platforms that we are most active on.
You can see the current version of our website over at weardulo.com
We also added the option to sign up for our newsletter, as we’ve had some interest from people asking when we are going to start selling. In this way, once people sign up for our newsletter and the shop is ready, we can send an email to those early enthusiasts and let them know that DULO is live! Not to mention all the other benefits of building a strong mailing list, when it comes to creating a community around the brand!
For the design of the website, we are taking the practical approach and choosing a theme that closely fits our vision for the online shop, saving time from developing it ourselves, giving us the ability to invest it somewhere else.
You can find the theme we selected here.
We are using it pretty much out of the box, with only a few customisations. If, however, a need arises to develop further custom functionality, Shopify gives us that ability to get our hands dirty under the hood.
The danger of overestimating story telling abilities
In my personal experience, when it comes to branding and storytelling, most marketing/UX folks, overestimate their ability to tell a story and therefore convert someone into a client, taking them on a so called “user journey”. The belief that you would engage someone and provide enough value in return for the time, through a few pages of nice visuals, hoping that at the end he or she lands on the product page, fails short more often than not, unless you have strong branding/UX understanding and abilities, or a strong established brand.
Even though we trust and work towards becoming good at storytelling, at this point, the thing that we can invest more trust in, is the product. We have developed it, we have tested it, we have worn it, we can touch it, we can see that it provides value. Therefore, we want to put the product front and center on the website, given that it is the more stable attention anchor at this point.
The positioning of the product on the homepage, also ties in with our overarching theme of saving time and providing convenience. We’d love for people to go through the website and look at our story, but we want them to be able to do that on their own terms. If they are there to get a shirt, we want to provide that straight upon landing on the website.
Good storytelling on all other platforms, that tie together into the product page at the end will not hurt of course, but brand building is a long term game and in order for us to reach that long term goal, we need to be financially successful and practical in the short term.