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This is how the Club Brugge webshop was nominated for world's best sports website.

Discover in this case 3 tips from psychology
And how a miscalculation at launch initially halved sales.
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A top e-commerce website, nothing more or less!

That was Club Brugge's ambition.

But where to start?

They opted for a brand-new platform: Shopify. That was already a good step, but certainly not everything. Because how do you ensure that you maximize conversions?

There will be high development costs soon, everyone expects a lot from the new webshop, and what if it doesn't pay off???

Club Brugge didn't want to take any risks, so they didn't just rely on their gut feelings or best practices.

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"What you brought us is the elimination of gut feelings and bringing certainty. It's based on science and the feedback from our target audience."

Gauthier Vervaeke, E-commerce manager @Club Brugge

Designing based on science?

How do you do that?

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It doesn't make sense to just start designing and creating nice designs.

In order to have designs backed up by science, we need these 3 steps:

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1. Strategy

First, we investigate what the problem is, why someone buys or doesn't buy. Based on that, we build a strategy for the new shop.

2. Design & Copywriting

We combine the insights from the research with the knowledge of how people make decisions. With this, we work on designing better sales flows. Not only the structure of pages, but also copywriting is crucial here, as much of the power of your pages lies in how you tell your story.

3. Validation

At the end, we check if the solution is really well-developed and will lead to good results.

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The psychology of behavior

Throughout this process, understanding how people behave - behavioral psychology - enables us to make all our choices based on science. Because ultimately, every conversion is 'someone doing something,' a behavior of a person.

Once you understand that, you can create much more effective designs and copy. Because you simply know what works and what doesn't.

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"It was a valuable addition to the development team. Thanks to the collaboration with HumanEyes, everything was well-founded, and there are many clever features in the new shop. It has opened my eyes to how important this aspect is and shown that when you rely solely on gut feeling, there's a lot of untapped growth potential."

Gauthier Vervaeke, E-commerce manager @ Club Brugge

3 problems from the research that we solved with science

1. Help grandma choose

A grandmother who wants to buy something for her grandson from his favorite club. Lovely, isn't it?

You might be a football club fan yourself and not realize, but it's damn hard to buy something as a 'fan of the fan'.

They don't know the club and don't know, for example, what the official shirt or scarf of the club is. Or what the fan might like. It was found in the research that this target group was not being helped enough to make a purchase.

That's why we found these solutions:

1. A gift finder: A simple tool to quickly find a gift.
2. Entrance in the menu to 'official match jerseys', so it's clear which jerseys have the official colors.

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The psychology of choice overload

Choice overload is one of the biggest conversion killers. When there's too much choice and no good decision-making aid available, we become paralyzed and end up not buying anything.

Offering decision-making aid is therefore a way to truly help your potential customer.

Win-win

2. Throw out the 3D-configurator

How cool is it to have a personalized shirt? One with your name on it or that of your favorite player.

And even better: you can see online in 3D immediately how it will look.

Right?

Club Brugge invested in a very nice-looking 3D configurator for their personalized shirts. But when we investigated it, it turned out to be unclear, took too long to load, and the mobile version was not user-friendly at all.

How cool that they dare to remove a 'cool' tool from their website in favor of usability and clarity.

We managed to completely redesign it into a simpler 2D version and integrate it better into the shop. This resulted in a 25% increase in sales!

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The psychology of uncertainty

Clarity and usability are more important than how cool something looks.

Because when we're uncertain, we stop.

Images and animations make it mentally very easy to understand something. Provided, of course, that they are clear. So always check if your images and animations don't leave your visitors uncertain, because then they'll drop off.

3. Perception is everything

A signed shirt is something you cherish. Your favorite player personally signed a shirt for you.

And it's even framed for you. So it can shine on your wall.

It makes sense that it costs more than a regular shirt.

But the way it was presented in the old shop didn't convey how exclusive and valuable it was. A simple photo of the shirt and some explanation was all you had.

To truly see how beautifully it was finished and also feel how personal it was made for you, we redesigned the entire page and created a much more exclusive feel.

Including a personal message from the player himself.

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The psychology of value perception

It's not about how much something is worth, but how much people perceive it to be worth. Perception determines everything.

When someone says, "That's too expensive," you shouldn't immediately lower your price. This is a clear sign that the value perception isn't right.

To ensure that people truly feel the value of something, it helps when you show that you've put a lot of effort into it.

Does this all pay off?

Being nominated as the best sports website worldwide was a great honor! Standing alongside the websites of FC Barcelona and ESPN was quite a moment.

But awards aren't the most important thing. Because ultimately, it's all about the conversions.

And fortunately, those didn't disappoint!

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But there's also something that changed within the team,
Something that has even more long-term impact.

No more internal discussions

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"We involved all internal partners in these sessions. This ensured that from the beginning, the internal team was on board, as they are often the most critical.

Now, everyone on the team is aligned and understands why we're doing this, so we don't have any discussion afterward! It was truly embraced by the business team of Club Brugge, not just e-commerce! I would recommend this to everyone."

Gauthier Vervaeke, E-commerce manager @Club Brugge

The team becomes smarter

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"We also loved how you learn so much during the sessions. You get a lot of explanation, but it's never boring. Very practical. In the end, we've become much smarter, and that motivates the whole team!"

Gauthier Vervaeke, E-commerce manager @ Club Brugge

And a collaboration can be enjoyable, even with the necessary seriousness.

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"The people at HumanEyes are also simply great to work with. It was a pleasant collaboration, but also serious; they challenge us based on what has been proven effective in research and on scientific grounds."

Gauthier Vervaeke, E-commerce manager @ Club Brugge

The perfect journey? Not quite...

Just after the launch, there was a moment of tension because an important problem arose:

Many people were still abandoning their shopping carts.

What was causing this?

We delved back into the screens and found the answer:

Some of our recommendations were not fully implemented. They seemed like small details, but from a behavioral design point of view, we know how crucial they were.

Despite the launch, everything was still adjusted, and the result was almost a doubling of the conversion rate in the shopping cart.

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Before

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2

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3

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After

These 4 factors caused people to drop off:

1. Motivational elements were omitted

Free shipping is available for orders over 100 euros. That's why we planned a progress bar that appears when someone is close to reaching that amount. We know how motivating free shipping can be.

2. Shipping costs were not clearly stated

Shipping costs for Belgium or abroad were different. To avoid explaining this here, the shipping cost was completely omitted. But this creates uncertainty and ultimately leads to buyers abandoning their carts.

3. The payment icons were grayed out

While it may look nice, it makes them less recognizable. It's important information that people want to see here without having to make too much effort.

4. The CTA was too forceful

The text on a button is crucial. It can determine whether someone proceeds or not. The button said 'buy.' We know that this is a forceful CTA, which immediately demands a big step from the customer. To gently guide people to the next step, we changed it to 'Proceed to checkout.'

Next time, Club Brugge will definitely make sure that everything is done 'by the book'.

All's well that ends well!

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"We feel that HumanEyes is a true partner. They don't let us down. It's great that they think along with us."

Gauthier Vervaeke, E-commerce manager @Club Brugge

Do you also want a success story?

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Would you like to know more about this collaboration first? 

You can always contact Gauthier via https://www.linkedin.com/in/gauthiervervaeke/

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