12 July 2023 |

Funnel Hacking!

By Ari Murray

Twitter might call this ~funnel hacking~. 

In reality, there’s no better way to study a brand or a business than to behave like a customer. 

With that, let’s funnel hack our little hearts out! We Norwegians, you’re up next. And, before we get started, I need you to know that I think I may be 1 of your biggest fans. In fact, I’m currently wearing this with this over it (I’m in Aspen right now, it’s ~70 degrees but cloudy. So not that cold but cold enough to wear my new outfit and suffer a little bit but smile through it and tell everyone that “no! I’m not warm at all!”)

We Norwegians, I love you now (so much). But, believe it or not, we had a slow start. I’ll explain…

STEP 1: THE MARKETPLACE

One thing about me is I spend a disgusting amount of time perusing Net-a-Porter. I have the app on my phone and I check it 1x a day. Not on purpose. It just happens. Anywho, it’s a big catalog. There’s a lot to see, and I GET OVERWHELMED. So, I usually sort by Designer. In doing so, I typically hunt for my usuals. But, when I see a designer I don’t know, I won’t lie to you – I usually scroll on past them. However,We Norwegians struck me. Maybe it’s the name (what a name, right?). Maybe it’s the fact that I have idealized Scandinavia (you know how I feel about Matilda Djerf). Maybe it was fate. IDK. 

But, I stopped.  

STEP 2: THE CONSIDERATION PHASE

That is just the beginning. I clicked into the We Norwegians collections page and I liked what I saw. So much so that I added a few striped tops and a couple of sweaters to my Net-a-Porter in-app wish list. And then I checked out. NO, NOT AT ALL. 

You see, I wasn’t ready. A cool name and a nice top isn’t enough to get me to pull trig. I’m deeply, and I mean this, skeptical. I’ve been burned before buying from new-to-me brands on Net-a-Porter. Not burned by their returns policy (it’s the best ever and they will literally send you a new size before you even ship back your item if you want to do an exchange). 

When I say I’ve been burned, I mean that usually my risks don’t pay off and I have to go through the pain of shipping them back and I have to drive to FedEx and that’s not how I prefer to spend my time. So, I stick with what I know, until I know enough. A lot of shoppers are like me, I assume. We need to know that what we’re going to buy is not going to be something we’ll want to return. 

So, the tops sat on my wishlist for a couple of months.

STEP 3: RESEARCH

Because the items from We Norwegians sat on my wishlist, I saw them often. Often enough for me to look the brand up on Instagram. For me to hit the brand’s website

This sounds shallow and stupid but I’m going to tell you anyways: when I hit the Instagram, nobody I follow followed them. That made me a little nervous. 

We were lacking social proof in many ways: Net-a-Porter doesn’t have reviews on site, so I couldn’t hear any customers tell me that the wool wasn’t itchy. And then, nobody I knew or follow followed the brand online. My research lead me to a dead end: no proof, no purchase. 

STEP 4: SPOTTED

At this point, I was over it. No more research. No more thought. I had moved on (it’s also Summer at this point – not exactly Merino wool season). 

Anywho, I forgot about the brand (as happens when you see 0 ads, 0 people posting about it, and when it’s no longer on your wish list). I was a goner. 

But then, I went to my family reunion in Park City, Utah in the middle of June. And, it was REALLY COLD…

(Attaching the weather below so that you believe me). 

And, I was window shopping on Main Street in Park City, and out of the corner of my eye, I see it. 

A WE NORWEGIANS STOREFRONT. Prime location. Middle of a cute ski town.

I was caught off guard. This is a NORWEGIAN brand. But, there it was: their very own store for me to feel the wool for myself to see if was in fact itchy.  

STEP 5: THE 1ST PURCHASE 

I came across the store at 5:52pm. I remember that because they were about to close and I was told that right as I skipped in. I said no worries, I will be ready to checkout in the next 5 minutes. 

1 quick lap around the store and the speediest dressing room tryo n of my life, and I was ready to Apple Pay. A big pile of clothes ready to be rung up. My online stalking shopping had prepared me for this moment. I even wore an entire We Norwegians outfit out of the store. It was better than the outfit I had picked for dinner, and so we cut the tags off and at 6:05pm I rocked up to dinner with 15 of my family members and received, and I shit you not, 15 compliments.

Eureka. 🏆

STEP 6: SUBSEQUENT PURCHASES (WORD OF MOUTH)

Over the course of my family reunion, I wore my new clothes often. Each time, I got more compliments than I knew what to do with. Each time, I told my family about the brand. I told them where on Main Street the store was. I told them all about the designer (Tove Grane). If I had to guess, ~20 women in my family went to the store that weekend. We’re shoppers, so I assume a high conversion rate. 

STEP 7: SHOPPING DIRECT

My life’s work is in Ecommerce. Meaning, I know that if I want to support the brand and see it grow, I need to give them margin on my order. So, when I can, I’m going to checkout on https://wenorwegians.us/

For now, I think I bought the entire store so no future orders for a minute. But, when I’m ready, you’ll see me there. Buying directly from their Ecom and NOT from Net-a-Porter. It’s the least I can do, We Norwegians got me so many compliments. I owe them. 

STEP 8: JUDGING THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE

This is a funnel hack, after all. Sure, it’s an omnichannel one. However, I can’t hit a website or a brand’s Instagram page and not have a few gentle improvements that I’d like to humbly suggest: 

1️⃣. When you 1st land on the brand account, there’s no way of knowing of the Park City, UT, USA or the Voss, Norway storefronts. This should be mentioned in the bio. For the credibility alone. Had I landed on the Instagram from Net-a-Porter and seen that there were 2 stores, I would have instantly trusted the brand more. Brands that have good products can afford storefronts. This is proof.

2️⃣. The US storefront: https://wenorwegians.us has this in the promobar: FREE SHIPPING OVER $500. EASY RETURNS. 

That’s a bit of a problem because Net-a-Porter and other retailers that carry the brand stateside have lower free shipping thresholds. This doesn’t mean that the brand needs to change their threshold. Obviously, that would be great. I’d love to see them undercut the marketplaces that carry their products. That would help them win the customer directly. 

However, I know that’s not always possible (and that the $500 threshold was set for a reason). So, my recommendation is to de-emphasize it. $500 FREE SHIPPING is a scary thing to see when you 1st land on a website.

That immediately makes me think I am about to spend $500. In reality, many of their SKUs are ~$100 – ~$200. Don’t scare fresh site visitors away by hitting them with the news about shipping. Keep that detail in checkout. Show them once they’ve fallen in love. 

3️⃣. The homepage hero carousel has the CTA below the fold on desktop in a few of the banners. Adjust this and keep the CTA clearly above the fold, clearly contrasted, and in the same spot as the carousel moves. 

🌌 🌌 🌌 🌌

In summary, I love the brand. We can learn a lot from We Norwegians. Their omnichannel approach killed it here. It worked like a charm, even if my buying journey was a bit long winded. 

I wear the brand proudly. IT IS NOT ITCHY. And, as mentioned, it’s extremely complimented. Excellent compliment per wear ratio. 🙇‍♀️