In this episode of Coffee + Commerce, we break down Allbirds’ e-commerce site with Faisal Masud and Ryan Bartley. Faisal is our CEO here at Fabric and was previously the director of AmazonBasics and the CTO at Staples. Ryan is our co-founder and was previously the director of mobile at Staples and product manager at eBay.
In this episode, they identify opportunities for optimizations on allbirds.com that sells sustainably-made shoes. Allbirds closed a Series E funding round of $100 million in 2020 to expand its mission of making better things in a better way. By implementing the changes recommended in this episode, Albirds can further expand its mission through digital and omnichannel.
[0:08] Ryan – For a footwear and apparel company like Allbirds, breaking down categories by Men and Women on the homepage is the simplest path you can take to move site visitors down the purchase funnel.
[0:19] Faisal – Sustainability is an important decision-making factor for Gen-Z shoppers. Surfacing sustainable practices on the homepage like Allbirds does is a good idea as Gen-Z shoppers will pay more for products that are sustainably made.
[1:06] Ryan – To tell a better story of sustainable practices, don’t just cite data and best practices for content. Show photos and videos of the material being sourced; show the product being made on the factory floor; show the product being shipped in recycled packaging.
[1:34] Faisal – There’s no search functionality on the site, which is fine because their product line is focused. Not every e-commerce site needs search functionality. Designing for browse-only is a good idea for a business with a product catalog similar in size to Allbirds’.
[1:57] Faisal / Ryan – When shoe sizes are not in stock there is no backorder capability. There is also no cross-sell. The biggest failure in any e-commerce experience is a dead end. A visitor that hits a product page with no backorder capability or cross-sell will leave.
[3:19] Ryan / Faisal – On category pages, move filtering from the left-nav to the top of the page to free up space and better showcase products. Have filtering options be persistent (i.e. follow visitors as they scroll down the page).
[4:10] Faisal / Ryan – Allbirds uses the same Shopify treatment as Buck Mason for checkout, and it fails in many ways. There’s no shipping calculation in the cart. (What you want in the cart is fully landed costs.) There is also no Apple Pay feature that lets you purchase in one click. Instead there is Shop Pay which requires a phone number and separate account creation.
[5:29] Ryan / Faisal – Allbirds has physical stores, but there is no omnichannel feature that make products available for in-store or curbside pickup. There is also no widget that shows if a store is near someone based on their (device) location.
[5:48] Faisal – Appointment booking for stores takes you out of the branded shopping experience.
[5:55] Faisal – Shoe fitment is difficult. Having a true fit description (i.e. our shoe fits like this shoe) can give shoppers more buying confidence.
[6:31] Ryan – Fitment tools can increase conversions. For instance, some shoe brands let you buy a right and left shoe in different sizes (quarter sizes and half sizes).
To make changes based on these recommendations and upgrade your e-commerce site, a headless commerce setup is vital. This makes it easy to add new e-commerce functionality and features while maintaining full control over site experience. To learn more about this modern approach to e-commerce, check out Fabric.