Internal data showed that there was a correlation between overall merchant success and merchants whose stores have a custom URL. While we could only speculate on the reasoning for this, we do know that custom URLs are perceived by customers as being more trustworthy, and that there are positive implications in search rankings for stores who drop the myshopify.com domain in favour of alternate extension like .com (or fun ones like .pizza).
As a part of a larger re-work of many pages within the Shopify admin, I was the sole content designer working with a product designer and project manager to focus specifically on the domain area. Our ultimate goal was to encourage new merchants to take the step of adding a custom domain to their site by connecting something they may already have purchased, or by buying a new domain from Shopify directly.
While the existing page does technically have everything a new merchant needs to accomplish the task of connecting or purchasing a custom domain, there were a some key issues identified:
- Inaccurate header The header, as is, indicates this is only for connecting something existing when that is not true.
- Jargon-heavy content Out of context jargon including domains, registrars, custom domain vs. not.. a lot is going on here
- Competing CTAs Both the Buy and Connect CTAs are equally weighted, and it may not be clear what the difference is.
- Not compelling The 'reason why' feels very sterile and unconvincing.
The final version of the domain start guide that was deployed solved some of the key issues with the original version. The heading is now true to the capability of the page, the body copy provides some much-needed context, and the CTAs help direct users to the domain purchase flow.
After rolling out the new version to a subset of users, we quickly saw a positive change in the number of users purchasing domains and connecting them as their stores' primary URLs. The decision was made to roll out this version to all Shopify merchants.