It might seem like just another standard link in the navigation menu, but an online store’s 'Contact Us' page is often one of the most under-optimized locations on the entire site.
While you’ve probably put a lot of thought into making your homepage represent your brand and personality, basic pages tend to get a lot less love. But by making your contact page more personable, more inviting and more unique, you’ll be giving customers who need to talk to you a better experience.
Why have a Contact Us page?
Trust is the most important currency ecommerce stores have. New visitors are more likely to purchase when they trust your brand, and existing customers are more likely to recommend you and make repeat purchases when they trust you.
Being approachable and easy to talk to is a simple way of building trust with your website visitors. Just like when you meet someone at a party, it’s way easier to trust someone who seems friendly right from the start. Brands are no different. When customers are reminded that there’s a real person (or a team of people!) powering your ecommerce store, they are much more likely to trust you compared to a faceless logo.
Trust is the most important currency ecommerce stores have.
Contact forms also helps reassure customers that there’s someone listening to complaints and feedback. Making it easy for customers to contact you if something goes wrong can save a sale (and a customer) who’s had a bad experience through a missing shipment or damaged product. Mistakes happen, and customers want to know that you’ll be there to help when it does.
Finally, being available to answer questions can help convert a curious website visitor to a customer. When a customer delays a purchase, many times it’s because they still have lingering questions or they just come to a decision on a final important detail. Unfortunately, that sometimes means they’ll decide to leave empty handed. If you’re easy to contact, customers can get the answers they need and add that item to their shopping basket right away.
Choosing the goals of your Contact Us page
Not every Contact Us page serves the same purpose! Deciding the potential audience of your Contact Us page helps determine what features or fields to include.
Here are a few common purposes for Contact Us Pages:
- Support. Help resolve the concerns of existing customers who are having issues with their order, want to return or exchange a product, or having trouble completing an order.
- Sales. Help potential customers make a decision, convert prospects into customers and offer a channel for bulk or warehouse orders.
- Press or PR. Help media get in touch with the right people to talk to about your story.
- Human Resources. Help potential employees apply for a job or ask questions about your company.
Glossier does a great job of speaking to every type of visitor on their Contact Us page. Whether you’re a customer, a potential partner or the media, it’s very clear how to get in touch.
Your contact page should help as many types of visitors as possible find exactly where they need to go. Understanding what kind of visitors you want to help will guide the content of your Contact Us page.
Encouraging the right kind of contacts
One of the biggest concerns merchants have when adding a Contact Us page is that they will be inundated with customer emails and phone calls. This is rarely the reality, but there are a few proactive steps you can take to help customers help themselves before they contact you.
First, link to your FAQs or Help Center at the top of the page. Suggest that finding an answer via the FAQs might be faster than waiting for a human response. Frank Body makes it easy for customers to look for their own answers or contact them - whichever the customer prefers.
You can also offer customers a way to check their order status without emailing you. Shopify includes Order Status pages as the last page of your checkout by default. And finally, you can include a CAPTCHA or “I’m not a robot” checkbox to prevent spam
Help customers help themselves before they have to contact you.
Most customers would prefer to answer their own questions or not run into problems in the first place. By making it easy for customers to help themselves, you can massively reduce the number of unnecessary contacts you receive through your contact form.
5 traits of effective Contact Us pages
If you’re using Shopify as your ecommerce platform, there’s a really simple to use Contact Us page built into every theme (learn how to add it here). Including these five traits will help you make the most of your contact page to convert prospects into customers, and unhappy customers into advocates.
1. Make your contact page easy to find
If no one can find your Contact Us page, there’s no point in having one. Being accessible means that customers can easily navigate to your contact page when they need to talk to you. There’s two places that work really well: your main navigation bar, or the footer at the bottom of every page.
Example from Pink House Natural Products, who features their contact page in their site’s main navigation.
Example from Ban.do, who also includes their page in the site footer.
2. Create a contact page that’s welcoming
Once visitors find your Contact Us page, do they get the impression that you actually welcome emails, phone calls, and feedback? Or does your contact page resemble a series of hurdles designed to keep trespassers out? It sounds obvious, but depending on what your page actually says, your customers might not actually follow through with contacting you.
At the top of the default Shopify contact page, it’s possible to add some copy to provide additional information and help customers complete the form. Including a genuine request for customers to let you know if they need anything makes your brand feel a lot more approachable. Here’s a few examples you can adapt to suit your needs:
- “We read and respond to every customer inquiry. We really do want to hear from you!”
- “Our customers mean the world to us, and we love hearing from you.”
- “We get lonely when we don’t hear from you. Get in touch today!”
- “Make our day and fill our inbox with comments, questions and concerns.”
3. Include all relevant contact information
All Shopify themes include a Contact Us page. The default includes a form that will email you submissions from customers.
If there are ways your customers can contact you other than email, it’s important to include them on the page as well. For example, if you have a business phone number, a physical location, or a Twitter account, list them here.
There might be other information you need to convey to customers on your contact page:
- A map of where you’re physically located
- Email addresses for wholesale orders
- Business hours and expected response times
4. Feature a relevant Call to Action
Inevitably, someone will land on your Contact Us page and not fill out the form to contact you. This is a great opportunity to invite them to do something else! Sign up to your newsletter, check out your sale products or follow you on social media.
The bottom of a Contact Us page is the perfect place for an inviting CTA.
5. Proudly represent your brand
If your brand is friendly and quirky, don’t shy away from bringing that personality into important touch points on your site—nothing creates a disconnect quite like whimsical marketing copy paired with dry, corporate salutations on your contact page.
The more approachable your Contact Us page is, the easier it will be for customers to surface concerns and ask questions. After all, you can’t resolve problems you don’t know about!
Updating form fields
The built-in Shopify contact form includes four fields: Name, Email,and Message. This might be enough for you if you’re just starting out because it easily captures enough information for you to respond to the customer and have a productive conversation.
However, if you’re looking to route contact requests to different departments or capture more information, you might want to customize your form fields.
For example, if you use a help desk to keep track of your incoming customer requests, embedding their ticket form on your contact page can automatically tag and route incoming emails to the right department.
Ride Snowboards does this by asking customers to choose a department they want to talk to from a drop down menu. The email is then routed to the right team, which saves time for the customer and the company.
You have a few options available for customizing the Contact Us form. While the default Shopify form fields require some basic code editing to update fields, you can also embed the ticket forms from your help desk directly into a page, or use a Shopify App to design a more full featured contact form. Here’s a few of our favorite apps:
These apps allow you to add as many fields as you’d like to your forms, so you can ask for order details and other information so you can respond to customers more effectively. But beware: make your forms too long and you end up creating a barrier for customers to contact you. No one wants to answer 20 potentially irrelevant questions before getting to talk to a human. Find a balance between asking for the information you need (like an email address) and making it easy for customers to get in touch.
Contact Us pages that combine form and function
Combining all the traits listed above into a beautiful, on brand, contact page can seem daunting. But it’s easier than you think. By using the pages already included in their Shopify themes (or going even just a little out of the box), the stores below have transformed the simple Contact Us form into a valuable resource for their customers.
The best thing about these pages is how unique they are to each brand. It just shows that you can take the basic traits of a Contact Us page and make it something special for your store to better serve your customers.
This contact page manages to fit a lot of information into a simple, clean layout. KeySmart provides a ton of options for different contact methods depending on your question. They also set clear expectations on response times (a very reasonable 1 business day turnaround on emails!).
It’s just a simple form, but ban.do does a great job of encouraging their customers to get in touch if there’s anything they need. Their copy is very on brand - fun, light hearted and welcoming.
This is one of my favorite header images from a contact page. The headline “We love hearing from all our customers” is so inviting, it makes me want to message their support team just to say hello. MindJournal also features their FAQs front and center to help customers get answers even quicker.
Kettle & Fire
An online seller of specialty bone broth, Kettle & Fire can get questions about everything from shipping to the nutrition of their product. To help customers find the right team to contact (and potentially find an answer themselves along the way) Kettle & Fire suggests four topics on their Contact Us page.
Customers can find their way to online documentation or contact information alongside a beautiful product image.
By embedding their Zendesk contact form and offering live chat directly on their Contact Us page, Tommy John makes it really easy for customers to talk to them. They also set clear expectations of when their team is working, so customers know when to expect responses.
Finally, for specific questions like wholesale inquiries, Tommy John provides links and further information to make sure every visitor gets exactly what they need.
Feedback is how you learn and improve
The idea that feedback is a gift rings especially true in customer service. Your customers are field-testing your overall shopping experience at every stage, and they surface problems and opportunities you’d never encounter on your own. Customers are where all of your assumptions meet reality; if you don’t hear what they have to say, how can you be sure you’re getting things right?
Making it easy for customers to get in touch is therefore essential to building trust and learning how to create a better customer experience.
A boring or confusing contact page will only weigh you down, whereas a great page will put customers at ease and help them find solutions or provide better feedback when they have something to say. Because your contact page is often the first place people go to for help, this first impression also sets the tone for the rest of your conversations. Make it count!