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Laser Tweets creates "Artisan wooden tweets, made with lasers and love", and allows users to choose tweets to be etched (such as their own, or those of a friend) instead of picking from the existing selection.
This shop is an example of how easy it is to come up with an idea for something to sell and to bring it to market using services and tools that are affordable and available to everyone.
With a little bit of branding and style, you can take a simple idea and make it into something really unique.
They have an online shop at https://shop.lasertweets.co/, built on Shopify.
About Laser Tweets
Laser Tweets was created by Josh Pigford, a serial maker of things, who has come up with numerous successful businesses, perhaps the most successful being Baremetrics, which he sold for $4MM. As far as I can tell, Laser Tweets looks like a solo operation. Laser Tweets also has another sales channel on Etsy - but that's not what I'm looking at today - let's look at his Shopify implementation!
This is a small store with only around 20 products and is probably a passion project rather than a real revenue generator. They likely aren't using a fulfillment partner for these products. I imagine someone has a laser etching machine in their workroom where these can be created and packed. A laser etcher can be purchased on Amazon for a few hundred dollars.
The first thing I notice is that this shop doesn't immediately scream "SHOPIFY THEME." They're using a custom theme (called "LOL") and the design is just unique enough to make it feel that they spent time on it. There is a definite color scheme and a fun, chunky feel to the buttons and boxes with their 8-bit dropshadows.
The navigation is very simple and customer-focused. In addition to the Cart and Search links, there are only two main collections (Coasters and Signs) and a link to Build Your Own. It's not clear why there needs to be a Search in the nav on this site, as there are few enough products that they can all be viewed on a single collection page with no pagination.
There are also no non-shopping links in the nav, such as to an About page or a Blog. In fact, there is no About page, which I don't think is a good move. It takes little effort to write a paragraph or two about the person (or people) behind the site, or a brief backstory (seriously, where in the world did they get the idea to laser etch tweets?). A basic "About" page could help build just that much more trust and tip prospective buyers who are sitting on the fence into buying.
One refreshing thing about this Shopify store is that there is no newsletter pop-up anywhere to be found. Intrusive sign-up modals ("Sign up now and SAVE 10%!") have become so commonplace, one can almost feel a sense of anxiety wondering just when and where their browsing experience is going to get interrupted.
Shopify apps we could determine were installed include:
- Infinite Options - Lets shoppers select the product options for items using all sorts of custom field options like dropdown menus, image swatches, text, number inputs, checkboxes, calendars, and radio buttons
- Fomo Social Proof - Fomo displays recent orders, product reviews, and any other customer behaviors on your storefront. Helps build trust in prospective buyers, as they can see purchases completed by others while they browse.
If those are accurate, then the best case monthly cost of apps on top of the Shopify monthly fee is around $9. Most of the installed apps have a free tier, and would be free if this site has modest traffic.
The product pages are simple, and well done. The product photography is clear, colorful, and includes lifestyle shots (and hand models!).
The copy manages to be fun and informative at the same time. ("Made in the freaking US of A") There is definitely a tongue-in-cheekiness here that keeps things light and fun:
There may be nothing on earth that your body needs more than a set of wooden laser etched tweets of your choosing.
A starred review tally is displayed just beneath the title of the product. This can be good or bad - if there are too many products with no ratings, it can feel like nothing is being sold. It might make sense to hide this if there are no ratings. Clicking the rating brings the user to a list of product reviews at the bottom of the page. The odd thing about the reviews is that it looks like anyone can just leave a review. Perhaps those get moderated before being posted. I wouldn't want to see reviews from anyone that wasn't a verified purchase.
On products where the user gets to pick the content of the tweets, there are text boxes to enter links to specific tweets (courtesy of the Infinite Options app).
There is a subtle message right below to the Add to Cart button stating that US shipping is free, which is a nice incentive to placing an order.
Toward the bottom of the product page there is a related items section, again in the fun tone of voice ("You may also deeply love...") but I do wonder how often these show truly relevant products, particularly on sites that have many more products than this one, where surfacing relevant products could be very useful to the shopper.
There are few products, so there aren't many collections, and those pages are straightforward. The SEO on the collections pages could better. For example, the Coasters Collection page has no meta description. For that matter, the SEO could be improved everywhere - there is no meta description on the homepage, there are no Twitter tags, and some of the OG tags are missing.
Another way they could organize their products (and link to them) would be via celebrity collections, grouping all the Elon Musk or Kanye West products into collections, for example. Collections are easy to automate via product tags or other criteria, so this would not be a big effort.
Cart and Checkout
They took the time to brand the checkout screen with a background color and their logo, which isn't totally necessary but is easy to do, and small touches like that go a long way toward instilling trust in the buyer. Laser Tweets offers free shipping in the US (7-10 days), but do have options to upgrade to if I need the products faster (USPS Priority Mail, USPS Priority Mail Express).
Marketing and Social
Laser Tweets has three social accounts: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The twitter feed is the most active, where they mostly retweet customer tweets that often include photos (nothing like having your customers do your marketing for you!), and the other two accounts look largely untouched. It's one thing to have a bunch of social accounts, but if they aren't updated at least somewhat regularly, users can get the "crickets" vibe and second guess their idea about purchasing your products.
I couldn't find that Laser Tweets was running Facebook or Google ads - so again, this is likely a fun side hustle. They don't appear to have a newsletter at all, so I'm assuming they don't often add new products or run sales.
Laser Tweets is a basic Shopify build with a fun theme, great copy and photography, and certainly a unique product you're not likely to find anywhere else. Some of the apps in use are optional as far as having a functional store. So this site is a solid example of coming up with a niche product and being able to sell it yourself online for a pretty minimal monthly cost. I suspect they are doing a respectable enough number of sales to warrant having optional paid Shopify apps installed.
If you have a side hustle or a creative idea you'd like to grow through online sales, Shopify is a great option if you're looking to own your audience, or want more control that you can get from a marketplace like Etsy. If you need help, contact us today.