Josh is the Senior Growth and Ecommerce Manager at MOJU Drinks. This brand creates fresh, vitamin-packed shots to power your immunity, your vitality and your gut health.
Their products were originally sold in major UK supermarkets and health stores. However, the COVID-19 pandemic (that started in 2020) saw people shopping more online which forced MOJU to change strategy. It was time to adapt their retail products for a direct-to-consumer (DTC) market.
In our podcast, Ecommerce Marketing 101: How to Scale Your DTC Brand, I spoke with Josh about the steps he and his team took to adapt their retail-based brand for DTC.
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7 ways to get your online channels optimised for DTC
Josh says that for drinks brands it’s particularly challenging to sell online. You need to encourage supermarket shoppers to buy a DTC product that they’d usually pick up during their weekly shop. Despite this, MOJU has been really successful in pivoting their retail offering for ecommerce. Here are Josh’s 7 tips for optimising your channels for DTC. 👇
1. Analyse your website’s customer journey
To improve your DTC offering, you need to optimise your website. And the first place Josh looked was the customer journey. He wanted to see how customers were getting from the homepage or landing pages to the final checkout.
What he saw was a long and complex journey. There were multiple steps that a customer had to take before they reached checkout and it was ruining the experience. Here are some steps he took to improve the process:
- Analysed other DTC brands: Josh looked at hundreds of DTC websites to see what was working for them. He used the platform 1-800-D2C and made notes on what elements were showing across all their pages. He outlined a framework using common components like hero images, text sections, reviews, founder stories, pages for stockists, and FAQs.
- Created a new framework: This research served as a benchmark for MOJU's website, allowing Josh to cross-reference and identify areas for improvement. He compared each element with MOJU's existing website to make sure they aligned with industry best practices and user expectations.
- Simplified the customer journey: Finally, with a clear understanding of what they needed to improve, Josh simplified the customer journey. He condensed the initial multistep process which involved navigating from the homepage to collections, product pages, and a separate cart page. Now, when users can click "shop" on the homepage, they’ll go directly to the best-selling product page. From there, they can easily select items, add them to a cart and quickly proceed to checkout. 🛒
Key takeaway: Analyse your customer journey from their first touchpoint to the final checkout page. You can use websites like 1800-D2C to see what’s working for other brands.
2. Make your homepage irresistible
With lots of research and a new framework under his belt, it was time for Josh to optimise the home page. This might sound obvious, but your home page is literally your digital storefront. So whether you’re a retail brand or solely DTC, this page needs to be spot-on. And MOJU is certainly a brand you can learn from. Here are some stand-out elements from the homepage that you can use for inspiration:
Above the fold: First up is the section above-the-fold.
This is the first headline and image you see when you land on MOJU’s website. Josh says that many consumers know MOJU for their ginger shots. Whilst this is a great entry point, he was keen for the homepage to showcase their entire product range. So the team added a moving image that has the ginger shot sitting front and centre for instant recognition. After a second, the image expands to reveal all the other MOJU flavours. 🪄(Head over to MOJU’s homepage to see this moving image in action).
Calls-to-action: Throughout the homepage, there are consistent CTAs that encourage visitors to head through to the product pages.
“A really quick win is adding CTAs at key points throughout the home page. It's great to have a nice looking page with lots of imagery and information. But if people then have to find the buttons which take them through to different menus or multiple different pages, it's just going to stunt their experience. So we've always got buttons that take you directly to the product pages so you can purchase straight away.”
Customer reviews: Social proof is incredibly important. On MOJU’s homepage, they’ve picked customer reviews that not only offer glowing comments about their products, they also highlight key benefits. For example, one customer explains how it’s kept their “cold at bay” and another says goodbye to “creaky joints.”
Message from the founders: MOJU is an independent challenger brand. They encourage people to use plant-based products rather than caffeine and pills to get energy back in their lives. So having a direct quote from the founders helps reinforce the idea that MOJU is a brand for the people. 💪
Key takeaway: Your homepage is your storefront, so make sure it’s capturing all the information your customers need to make a purchase decision. Josh also recommends using tools like Hotjar to see where people are (and aren’t) clicking on your website.
3. Optimise your product pages
Your product pages are equally as important to your homepage. So ensuring they’re optimised for conversions is going to be key for ecommerce growth.
For starters, Josh says that it’s crucial these pages are easy to navigate. This means the most important information and imagery needs to be above the fold.
“You've got to have everything that you can above the fold, which has been a big challenge for us. For example, you’ve got to have a clear image and it needs to be obvious what the product is, what it's for and how you use it.”
Here are some clever ways MOJU keep as much information above the fold as possible:
- Bold product imagery: Clear, bold product imagery that shows you the primary ingredient in the drink (like ginger or raspberry).
- Clear product names: Unambiguous product names to avoid confusion. For example, a ginger shot does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Moving elements: Scrolling, horizontal elements highlight product benefits as well as add intrigue to the page.
- Social proof: A star rating and a customer quote underneath the product name reinforces MOJU’s social proof.
- Buttons to flick between products: Whilst ginger is the most popular product, not everyone likes this flavour. The image buttons make it really easy for costumes to view the other products on offer (and to dissuade them from leaving the page).
- An easy way to subscribe: Subscriptions are a big deal for many DTC brands. For MOJU, it's vital for helping customers progress from one-time retail purchases to regular, online repeat purchases. So on their product page they’ve created a button that shows you how much money you’ll save if you sign up.This is a key way to encourage repeat revenue opportunities. Make it really easy for people to subscribe
Key takeaway: If you can, try and keep the most important product information above the fold. This includes a clear product image, primary ingredients (if you’re a beverage brand), the option to subscribe and social proof.
4. Balance brand story with product benefits
Moving into the DTC space gave MOJU more opportunity to promote their brand mission which is about encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Whilst your brand story and goals are super important for building brand awareness, they don’t necessarily help towards conversions right away.
“With a website it’s particularly challenging to get a good balance. For example, what is objectively a “branded image” might not sell a product, particularly to someone that doesn't know what the product is.”
Josh says that they tackled this by making sure there was a good mix of brand and transactional messaging and assets across all marketing touch points.
MOJU does a great job of promoting brand and product messaging across their channels. In fact, they do it all within one image:
- Bright, bold and modern images articulate who they are as a brand
- Messaging that evokes that feeling of energy that MOJU want their customers to feel
Ingredients that highlight the natural health benefits in the productsAnd the good news? Josh says that their brand awareness has been increasing. 🙌 This is due to a mix of their online campaigns and an increase in the number of stockists selling their products— meaning more people are finding them in store.
This, in turn, prompted a decision to cut their ad spend.
“We dropped our ad spend by 50-60%. In the past 2-3 months we’ve seen an increase in efficiency, which has been amazing. We don’t know how long that will last—but it’s been positive so far.”
Key takeaway: Make sure to balance your brand story with your product benefits across all touchpoints in your prospects journey. If you can increase brand awareness, you might find you can spend less on acquisition because people will be searching for your brand organically.
5. Prioritise your creative assets
For marketing campaigns, Josh says that it’s important for brands to prioritise creating stand out creative assets—especially for social media.
“We've done a lot in terms of looking at audience segments and testing different campaign types. But what it really comes down to is that our creative is the only thing that makes a difference for us.”
One of the biggest video campaigns that Josh worked on was the video agency, with Nusa Films. It was designed specifically for their paid channels and to stop people scrolling on social media.
As we learned in our podcast episode with Toby Hart—Co-Founder of Nusa Films—more and more brands are taking this social-first approach to their content. This is, after all, where a majority of your audience is likely to hang out.
Here's Toby explaining the video he made with MOJU.
Learn Toby’s tips for creating scroll-stopping video ads on social media by listening to his episode of the Ecommerce Marketing 101 podcast.
Key takeaway: If you’re looking to invest more in your paid social, consider investing in a really good piece of video content. You can hire an agency like Nusa Films, or spend time creating videos in-house. As Toby told us, the barrier to entry for quality content is getting lower with the help of affordable camera equipment and platforms like TikTok and Meta.
6. Find creative ways to reuse assets
If you’ve not quite got the budget for a professional video shoot, don’t worry. Josh says that you could have one really great image and reuse it in lots of different ways— like adding animated text, callouts and stickers. Or, you could have a single video and chop it up to create gifs and shorts for social. This is particularly useful for beverage brands in particular, as they often have limited options in terms of the context they can place the products in.
“If you're in a beverage brand, there's only so much you can do that makes sense. If it's a product that you eat or drink at home during a specific occasion like breakfast or lunch, you can't then take a picture of that in a concert hall for example. Instead you can call out different benefits or play around with the music you play over the top. Each time you test it you’ll see what resonates with your audience.”
Here’s an example of a reused asset from MOJU’s Instagram page. They’ve picked a background using the brands colours, and created a simple gif of someone pouring out a ginger shot.
Key takeaway: Your creative assets are super important, but you don’t necessarily have to spend loads of money and time on them. Start by creating one really great image or video and reuse it in multiple ways.
7. Learn from your mistakes
Finally, Josh is a huge advocate for learning from your mistakes. It can be incredibly disheartening when a campaign flops, for example. But it’s really important to understand that mistakes do happen and they can actually be beneficial to your strategy.
As an example, Josh walks us through one of the brand’s early campaigns. The goal was to encourage more people to buy packs of MOJU online.
“One objection our audience had against buying our products online was having to pay a big chunk of money upfront. So we decided to launch an online taster pack which included 5 of our smaller shots. The shots were free and all shoppers had to pay was £3.95 for shipping. The forecast looked great—we believed we’d get tens of thousands of redemptions. But the reality was…nobody wanted it.”
Josh and his team quickly realised they needed to take a new approach. So instead of offering free products with paid-for shipping—they focused on free shipping, instead.
“We ended up making some messaging clearer on the website with the goal of convincing people to spend more on the bigger packs. We created a starter pack that included all of our larger format drinks for £35 and free shipping. Surprisingly, this gave us some really good results. In fact, it’s still our best-selling product!”
Key takeaway: It’s okay to make mistakes. Just make sure you’re continuously monitoring your campaigns and you’re prepared to pull the plug if needed. Even a failed campaign will teach you something new and help you create something better in the future.
Josh’s top takeaways for optimising your channels for DTC
Here’s a summary of Josh’s top tips that you can take with you into your brand right away.
- Analyse your customer’s journey on your website: Analyse your customer journey from their first touchpoint to the final checkout page. You can use websites like 1800-D2C to see what’s working for other brands and to make sure your website meets industry standards and customer expectations.
- Make your homepage irresistible: Your homepage is your storefront, so make sure it’s capturing all the information your customers need to make a purchase decision. Tools like Hotjar help you see where people are (and aren’t) clicking on your website.
- Optimise your product pages: Try and keep the most important product information above the fold of your product pages. This includes a clear product image, ingredients or materials, the option to subscribe and social proof.
- Balance story and product benefits: Make sure you’ve got a mixture of product images and brand creative across different touch points in your prospects journey. If you can increase brand awareness, you might find you can spend less on acquisition because people will be searching for your brand organically.
- Prioritise your creative assets: If you’re looking to invest more in your paid social, consider investing in a really good piece of video content. You can hire an agency or spend time creating videos in-house.
- Find creative ways to reuse your assets: If you don't have a massive budget, consider reusing your assets by adding new text, stickers, call outs and gifs.
- Learn from your mistakes: It’s okay to make mistakes. Just make sure you’re continuously monitoring your campaigns and you’re prepared to pull the plug if needed. Even a failed campaign will teach you something new and help you create something better in the future.
If you’d like to listen to Josh’s full episode, make sure to subscribe to our podcast: Ecommerce Marketing 101: How to Grow Your DTC Brand.