E-commerce Website: Sell the Feeling, Before the Product

Case Study | Designing a website for the online retailer Maya Swimwear


elieve it or not but people buy feelings, not things. Several studies have shown that emotional responses to an ad have far a greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy compared to the actual content of the ad. Not only that, but emotional attachment can create loyal customers.

There are several Emotional selling methods in Marketing, but all of them stem from knowing your customers intensely and focusing on the deep benefit of your product. Understand – not the features of your product, but the end benefit of it.

Here’s how we did it with Maya Swimwear.

The Story of Maya Swimwear

Maya Swimwear is run by Sarah Jayne, and is based on the Sunshine Coast. Sarah is a huge beach/summer fan, and while she works in a job, her happy place is on the beach, in the sun.

She had this idea to sell her favourite swimwear pieces to other Aussie women. What was interesting about working with Maya was that she started by building her social presence and had already sold some of her stock before we even launched her website. Maya chose Visual Targets because she had seen the work we’d done previously with her partner and loved the results. Naturally, she came to us to design her logo and website.

MAYA Swimwear logo

The Challenges And Opportunities

1 – How to sell the feeling

Of course, the product needs to meet quality expectations, but once you have that, the goal is to make it memorable and to remove any objections in the buying process. That’s when appealing to the customer’s emotions proves effective.

  • Understand the customer. When talking to women about swimwear and wearing them at the beach, there’s always an underlying feeling of nervousness and lack of confidence to be half naked in front of others. Not surprising when we see the high expectations put on women’s bodies by the media and society. What our potential customers want is to feel empowered by their choice of swimwear, so they can feel confident at the beach and enjoy their day
  • Focus on the benefit. Everyone knows swimwear – you put it on at the beach to be able to tan, go in the water and cover the essential parts that are inappropriate to show in our society. But from what we know about our target customer, this piece of fabric is the difference between spending a lousy day worrying about their looks and a great day with a worry-free mind, simply enjoying a sublime moment at the beach
  • Use the right copy. With an e-commerce website, we always try to find effective solutions with only a few words. The copy needs to be value-based, the tone needs to appeal to the client’s target audience, and be instantly understandable. We created 3 ranges of products: Dazzler, Glamour and Sassy. The copy is voluntarily feminine and instantaneously brings something to the mind of our potential customer.

“appeal to the client’s target audience, and be instantly understandable”

Dazzler – the feeling of dazzling that will probably bring attention to oneself.

Glamour – sounds more classy and timeless. We’re definitely in the sophistication zone.

Sassy – sounds fun, bright and outgoing.

The names are quick to understand, to bring an emotion, and with the picture, it’s even clearer. We gave substance to the pieces, almost a story or a personality.

About the website

Woo Commerce

WordPress is our favourite tool to successfully build a smooth, running, and slick-looking website. We have lots of experience working with WooCommerce, so it was a no-brainer to create Maya Swimwear through this tool. This also allowed us to create a nifty inventory page on the back end that will help Maya with stock management and updating the website. We also devised a neat formula to calculate delivery on multiple items.

Copy vs Pictures

The nature of a start-up makes for a very lean website, but this is not necessarily a downside for an E-commerce website. Here, we privileged short but strategic copy, good pictures (of the swimwear and the beach to keep consistent with branding), icons for important information, an attractive price, an in-depth sizing guide in the product descriptions, and SEO.

About us page

For a small-scale start-up, we always ensure the about us page appears on the website. This shows that the website is authentic and not one of the many scams we can see on social media. And since it is a one-woman side hustle, we keep it authentic and in no way make the company look bigger than it is. People want to buy from other people. The copy is written from Maya’s point of view, and we kept the smiley face – this gives the feeling that it’s written by a real person, almost a friend. It is more trustworthy than insensitive corporate words.

“keep it authentic”

The Results

Maya’s reaction was really positive, and we launched the website last week! Have a look at how it turned out in this video:

You can find Maya Swimwear here:

For some, their e-commerce website is their only medium to show their brand identity and connect with their customers. So, take good care to build it in a way that is easy for customers to experience, make their purchases with confidence, and it is visually consistent all over. There is so much to consider when creating an online store, and if this is not part of your specific skills, consider outsourcing to professionals like us.


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