Cult Australian skincare brand Go-To is the brainchild of Zoe Foster Blake - author, former beauty editor and all ‘round hilarious human.
Go-To boasts some of the best packaging and product copy I’ve ever witnessed. And they’ve become known for ZFB’s (I can call her that cause we’re besties, she just doesn’t know it yet *muahaha*) signature humour.
Alright, now that my fangirling is outta the way it’s time to get real.
I had super high expectations for the Go-To Skincare homepage. Did it live up to my almost impossible standards? Let’s find out...
First impressions: It’s off to a shaky start
When you first hit the Go-To Skincare hompage, you’d better hope you already know what the brand sells...
Because the entire above the fold section (what you see without scrolling) is devoted to The Face Case (a silk pillowcase with “HI, CUTE FACE.” embroidered on it).
It’s like landing on the McDonalds website only to be met with a giant picture of Grimace. You're left confused, a little creeped out and you sure as hell don't want to head to Maccas anytime soon.
The logo doesn’t mention skincare either, so if you did somehow stumble your way onto the site without knowing what Go-To does, well… you might be a smidge confused.
Although I’m super chuffed that there isn’t a moving carousel in this section (PRAISE BE!), the complete lack of a value proposition headline here could easily leave a visitor confused. And confused visitors bounce, rather than buy.
Of course, the majority of Go-To’s target audience already know this is Zoe’s brand well before landing here. But with that in mind, I’d recommend leading with a reminder of why they’re here and why they should take a look around.
Scrolling for a glimmer of hope
Scroll down and you’re met with a product carousel. Cool cool cool… but still no mention of what makes Go-To my, uh, go to choice for skincare.
After the products comes “DOIN OUR BIT”, in which the reign of the undisclosed image links begins. Links that aren’t obviously links (as in they’re not buttons or clear text links) are asking for trouble. It’s like using a public bathroom and not locking the door - you’re risking someone walking in and not being impressed by what they see next.
So avoid the awkward situation and always make clickable elements super obvious (And lock the toilet door next time, weirdo!) A line or two of copy below the subheading, along with a button link would easily help users avoid an embarrassing situation.
The real reviews by real people are promising (yay for social proof! The magic trust building bullet!), but the section includes so many testimonials that it has a scroll bar. And scrolling is sooooo 1997.
The body copy is too small to comfortably read. And sure I could just put my glasses back on, but that’s not the point. Font sizes under 16pt make users have to work harder to read, and we all know how the human brain feels about working harder…
We’re then presented with 2 more secret links via the “Gifts & Sets” section and the untitled image of a girl cleaning her face. Clicking it takes you to the exfoliating swipeys pages, so I guess she’s more of a girl exfoliating her face. My bad.
The standard Insta feed plugin brings a glimmer of that signature ZFB wit (“Scrolley moley” indeed!)
Won’t somebody think of the footer?!
The footer includes a rather shamefully discreet opt in box - it feels like it’s guiltily hiding away down there, hoping not to be noticed.
The copy is slightly better than most mailing list sign ups, but still lacks any motivation to hand over your email. Bonus points for “firstname.lastname@example.org” in the input field and a button that doesn’t scare people off with the word “submit”...
Apart from that, the footer feels scattered. The emoji drawings are cute but add visual clutter. It makes me feel like I *should* be spending more time here than I really needed to.
Also thumbs down for the postage & handling link only being in the footer - this is a common trend in ecommerce websites, but shipping info needs to be easily accessible in order to overcome potential roadblocks. With 28% of users abandoning their cart due to unexpected shipping costs… why would you hide that info away?
But the real gold is in the FREE TRIP TO BALI link <--- I’ve recreated that link here. Click those words. Go on… I’ll wait.
Now that you’re back, let’s recap:
Solid, clean design that’s easy to navigate
The menu is relatively easy to use
Calls to Action throughout
Social proof in the form of reviews
Hints of the witty copy ZFB is known for! (“Scrolly Moley do we love Instagram”)
The Free Bali Trip link in the footer
The email sign up - "Get our (non-annoying) emails in your inbow" (Y THO? Especially when they don't even send a confirmation email #FAIL)
Body copy is on the small side, increasing reader fatigue
And The Ugly
The above the fold is dedicated solely to the face case product, with no mention of skincare at all
The dedicated testimonials page - no one wants to click through to a page dedicated to praising your brand, and even if they do, it will limit the subconscious trust building effect. Reviews on product pages and throughout the website are more likely to positively impact sales.
The links hiding in plain sight - for the love of all things holy, please make your links obvious!
The Postage & handling link is only accessible via the footer
The footer is screaming for attention (pipe down pipsqueak!)
So there you have it… even popular, successful cult skincare brands owned by super awesome humans don’t always get it right.
And sure chances are ZFB could chuck up a bigcartel site and we’d all still flock to buy her range. But a cohesive, simple to use website could increase conversions and reduce customer churn.
Over to you
What did you learn from the Go-To website? And how could you use those lessons to improve yours?
Or if you’d rather leave the thinking/obsessing/nitpicking to me, book in a Tough Love Website Audit and make your website do it’s damn job already!