Ecommerce Design / Ecommerce Success Stories / How to Sell Online

3 valuable lessons your store can learn from Tortoise Supply’s amazing About Us page

Chris Apollo Lynn / 4 min read

Have you ever walked into a store, looked around, and immediately left? Maybe you saw a roach crawling across the floor. Perhaps you asked a salesperson a question about a product and didn’t like the way he responded. Or maybe you just didn’t like the vibe. Whatever it was, something set off a trigger in your head that made you feel like it wasn’t a store you wanted to shop at.

These kind of quick decisions happen every day on the Internet—and they happen at the speed of a click. While it might take a few minutes in a brick and mortar store, web visitors make the same decisions in a matter of seconds. As e-commerce store owners, you can help alleviate this by quickly gaining trust and building a relationship with your customers. One way to do this is through an About Us page.

The About Us page is more than just a boring biography. It establishes you and your store as trustworthy. It sets you up as a knowledgeable authority, someone who makes the right decisions about products. And it builds a relationship with your customer through your story.

Today we’ll take a look at some of the elements of a good About Us page using Bigcommerce client Tortoise Supply as an example.

Show your good side

Tortoise Supply - Tyler and Sarah Stewart

The person who said a picture paints a thousand words obviously didn’t see the photo on Tortoise Supply’s About Us page. It paints a million. As a shopper, I’m instantly drawn to Tyler and Sarah, the owners of the store. They have a few crazy kids. There’s a tortoise in the kitchen. This comedic peek into their lives helps form a connection, humanizes the store and builds trust.

A strong lead photo like this one is crucial. If used properly, it visually tells the story of your brand. It also communicates values that are important to you and your audience. In the case of Tortoise Supply, we see that family is important to Tyler and Sarah. The tortoise appears to be a part of the family. As a visitor to the site, this also eases any concern about animal cruelty by making me feel like Tyler and Sarah would treat the tortoises I’m buying with the same love and care they’d give to their own family. Plus, the humor in the photo instantly disarms me, making any hesitation melt away.

Your photo doesn’t have to be funny or raw. It just needs to humanize the store and convey the values that resonate with your audience. If a customer was to meet you in real life, what would you want them to walk away thinking about you. Brainstorm a list of 3-5 key attributes that describe your business and incorporate them into your photo.

Tell your story

The first part of Tortoise Supply’s About Us copy focuses on establishing the Stewarts as experts in the field. Check out these excerpts:

After growing up chasing lizards in the deserts through the late ’80s and early ’90s, I started keeping and breeding jacksons, veiled and “blue” panther chameleons in 2001 on a small scale as “Bluebeast Reptile.” Things slowly expanded through 2003, and by 2004, I was producing a surprising amount of chameleons monthly in a few different species.

…in 2010, we slowly transitioned over to “Tortoise Supply.” Tortoises have been much easier for us to handle being in the desert of Las Vegas, and it offers us more time to spend afternoons together as a family, and to be able to get out of town when we need a vacation. Since nothing in the tortoise world happens very fast, we are young and patient, so we should be just fine.

This helps customers feel like the store and the vendor are legitimate. In this case, Tyler’s many years of raising reptiles validate him as someone who knows what he’s doing. He also does a great job of explaining why he jumped from chameleons to tortoises. This helps ease any concern potential buyers might have about the different needs between the two types of reptiles.

The second part of the copy takes the story into more personal realm. Here’s an excerpt:

Sarah and I were both born and raised in Northwest Las Vegas, and live here still. We have known eachother since we were kids, but didn’t date until a few years after college. We both come from large families, and spend much of our free time with them both here in Vegas and in parts of Utah, California and Idaho. Sarah is a hairdresser part time, tortoise caretaker part time, and full time mom with our 4 wild boys.

This section continues to create a personal connection between the store and the customer. It plays up the values that are important to the Stewarts and continues to build trust.

The copy you write doesn’t have to be as personal as Tortoise Supply’s—but it does need to take the place of that in-person connection that happens at a brick and mortar store. It doesn’t matter if you sell clothes, tortoises, or office supplies, your potential customers need to know what makes you a retailer that deserves their money. It’s crucial that you use this space to tell your story in a way that comes across as authentic and trustworthy.

To get started, take a moment and think about yourself and your qualifications. How long have you been in the industry? Do you have any special skills, degree, or experience that is relevant to what your store sells? What got you interested in the space? Make a list of things that qualify you as an expert in the industry and then write those into a paragraph.

For the second part, think about the personal side of you and your store. What are some core attributes of your personality or life that help you connect with people? What would you audience find valuable? Are there any character traits that they’d be looking for? Since it’s often hard to talk about ourselves, it might help to ask a few friends for what makes you unique. After you’ve made a list of 3-5 traits, write them into your story.

Put on your director’s hat

Nothing warms your heart like baby tortoises munching on lettuce or crawling slowly to a fresh carrot. Check out Tortoise Supply’s video to see what I’m talking about:

This video does a great job of showcasing the product, tortoises, and addressing any concerns customers might have. In the video, you see happy, healthy tortoises. You also see their clean pens and the loving environment they’re raised in. This helps the customer know that their future pet was treated humanely.

The video also shows Sarah live and in motion. She answers questions about the tortoises, how they’re fed, and how to use the site. These concise answers, and the pictures that go with them, explain things in a more engaging way than just reading a lot of text. And the moving pictures add an emotional element that only propels the buyer forward.

While you might think that video is a bonus feature to an About Us page, keep in mind that nothing helps boost conversion like video. In fact, Kissmetrics reports that customers are 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video. This might be due to the fact that a video is the closest thing to  a physical in-store sales person. Use this space to answer any potential questions or concerns your customer might have. Show a setting and weave your products into the story of your store. And again, be authentic.

Have you created an About Us page? What were some obstacles you encountered? What are some tips you’d share? Let us know in the comments.




Chris Apollo Lynn

Chris Apollo Lynn

By day, Chris Apollo Lynn is a Content Marketer at Bigcommerce. By night, he runs Republic of Austin, an award-winning blog on life, music, and people in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining Bigcommerce, Chris worked at Razorfish, building e-commerce platforms for Fortune 100 companies. He also loves urban farming, cycling, and snow peas.

View all posts by Chris Apollo Lynn
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