How we help our clients sell their products the right way.
As planet and people conscious Shopify experts, our work goes beyond just building Shopify stores. We challenge our client partners to lessen their digital footprint because we know that lots of small changes can lead to a big impact. So, as your agency partner, expect us to facilitate the conversations needed to get you where you (and our planet) need to be.
This desire to question why and how things are done is what sets us apart from every other ecommerce agency. Sure, the finished product might look similar to (although we’d argue way better than) what another agency might deliver but for us, it’s what’s under the hood that matters. Low-impact, strategically designed and built stores for conscious brands. That’s what sets us apart.
Our ultimate goal is to be conscious in how we bring your store to life whilst your commercial goals and to keep ourselves on that track, we’ve created our Conscious Development™ Framework — a set of low-impact best practices to guide how we work with and for you.
This is our single truth.
Design and user experience (UX) play a huge part when it comes to the environmental impact and carbon footprint of an ecommerce store; from its physical drain on consumer devices to the content and user journey that guide the design. There are a number of ways design can be conscious. For us, we focus on;
Streamlining user journey
Using best UX practice to limit the amount of data and energy consumed by each user by keeping them on your website for the shortest amount of time.
Optimising website design for mobile
Crafting unique, lightweight and intuitive experiences for the majority of web users who now use mobile devices as their primary method of exploring the web.
Prioritising dark mode and reduced colour palettes
Focusing on darker colour palettes that result in less power consumption and increased battery life on mobile devices, alongside improved text readability for those who suffer from dyslexia and better sleep for those who view their screens late at night.
Avoiding ‘Dark Patterns’
Making deliberate design decisions around required user actions to keep them obvious and easy to complete. This means no intrusive pop-ups, suddenly shifting content or any hidden surprises along the way.
The core code of your Shopify store needs to be as efficient as possible in order to have minimal impact on the planet by using less energy to run. It also has the advantage of being easier and quicker to develop, debug and maintain.
Including things like compressing downloads, setting lazy loading, setting appropriate caching times and only requesting the required information needed at that time.
Considering the average page weight budget on every page of your store. Keeping it low results in a faster load performance which requires less energy to run.
Only including front-end features that have minimal impact on code.
How easily people can use your Shopify store is just as important as its impact on the planet. We work to WCAG AA guidelines to ensure that our stores are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. At a basic level this means tagging key imagery with descriptions and including screen reader-friendly content but includes much more;
Image alt tags
Providing alternative ways users can access your content is vital to ensuring your site is accessible. This can include captions on videos and images. Alt tags allow users to access descriptions of what that content shows (and is incidentally, also great for SEO!)
Much like a 'hover' state (e.g when you hover on a button and the text under lines or background colour changes), focus indicators highlight that a user can perform an action on a specific element. They’re very useful for users with assistive technologies and also allow users to easily spot and keep track of where they are on a page when navigating through your content.
Making sure that every navigation element (e.g header and footer) can be used and accessed easily via keyboard controls. Not all users are comfortable with a mouse or touch screen so it's important to ensure your site is built to allow them to use whichever technologies they wish to get around your site.
We use semantic HTML elements on each page so that users with assistive technologies can more clearly understand the different elements of your site such as navigation menus, lists or the site footer.
Making sure each page has a properly descending heading structure helps users with assistive technologies such as screen readers to clearly navigate their way down through your content.
Buttons and touch targets for things like social media icons and drop down menus need to hit a certain minimum size so that they can be easily pressed.
Using tools to check that the colour schemes on your site are clearly visible regardless of colour blindness. Clashing colours on key elements like buttons can make them difficult to use.
A lot of the time we work with partners who share our values and work in a similar manner but when that’s not the case, we are here to help and are always happy to explain our ways. Here’s what we do in our own business and would recommend you consider for yours;
Choose a supplier with green credentials such as Shopify or Krystal can help lower your digital carbon footprint thanks to their use of renewable energy to power their energy-intensive data centres.
Partner with an offsetting partner. We use Greenspark to reduce the impact of our digital projects through ocean plastic clearing, carbon offsetting and tree planting. Take a look at our dashboard to see what we’ve done so far.
Build your Conscious Network by striving to work with and proactively engage with tech partners that share your values.
Apps, plugins and widgets add weight to a site which means it uses more energy to load so consider streamlining the number of additional elements you add. Are they all necessary?
We also recommend carbon neutral or carbon negative shipping options. Whilst this isn’t something we do ourselves (we have nothing to ship!), we can recommend apps and partners to help.
Content is one of the biggest factors when considering the impact of your Shopify store. Contrary to older advice to pump your site full of text and images, we believe its key to only include what's absolutely necessary. Whatsmore, what is included should be as efficient as possible. Whilst we don’t create content as a service, we can provide guidance on how to maintain a content conscious site once we hand over projects.
The more complex things a website needs to load, the more carbon it uses. Video takes up more energy than a static image so consider switching.
Reducing the size of your image without overly impacting the quality is a quick and easy way of reducing your overall page weight and allowing your store to run more efficiently.
We ensure your new store is set up to succeed by providing recommendations to help your store maximise its search engine ranking potential, including guidance for text hierarchy, overall content structure and best-practice for writing regular blog articles.