Must-Haves for Your Boutique's 404 Page!

Have you ever typed in a web address and gotten a message saying “page not found” or something like that? That, my friends, is a 404 error! It’s basically the internet’s way of saying, “Uh oh, we looked everywhere for that webpage but came up empty-handed.”

A lost visitor is a frustrated visitor - and frustrated visitors bounce. We don’t want that. 

Now, as a savvy online boutique owner, you know a thing or two about customer experience. And that should include the occasional hiccup, like a customer landing on a 404 page. You just don’t know when you might have links that no longer go to live products or a broken page for whatever reason, but you don’t want someone to bounce when they hit a boring 404 page - you’ve seen them all before - “the page you are looking for no longer exists” or “page not found.” 

Don’t freak out, it happens! Even the best websites have broken links sometimes. Maybe a product sold out, or you changed the category name. A custom 404 page shows you care and helps lost visitors find their way.

What you really want to be doing with your 404 page, your goal, is entertaining visitors long enough to stick around. 

These are a few tips from our designers on how to turn that dead end into a delightful detour:

Be Clear and Helpful. Let them know they hit a dead end, but in a friendly, on-brand way. A fun message or eye-catching graphic or image can lighten the mood! Just keep in mind that your 404 page shouldn’t be a mini billboard. Keep it clean and uncluttered to avoid overwhelming visitors who just want to find what they’re looking for - quickly.

Keep it On-Brand. Your 404 page is still part of your website! Use your brand colors, fonts, voice, and a generous dash of your boutique’s unique personality! 

Get Visitors Back on Track ASAP. Offer a clear path back to your fabulous boutique. Here are some ideas:

  • Search Bar: Let them try searching for what they were looking for.
  • Navigation Menu: Make it easy to jump to your main categories.
  • Featured Products: Showcase some of your best sellers to spark their shopping spree.
  • New Arrivals: Highlight your latest finds to create a sense of discovery.

Don’t forget to check on mobile too! These days, most browsing happens on phones. Make sure your 404 page is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate on a smaller screen.

404’s are going to happen, but if you’re smart, you can use this page to turn a frustrating error into a positive experience that keeps customers engaged, shopping, and even smiling! 

When I posted about this earlier this week, someone commented, saying that they saw a 404 page that STOOD out so much that they emailed the business to tell them. Imagine that? Imagine someone appreciating the work of your 404 page so much that they take the time to let you know - that’s amazing! Now look, that won’t happen every day, but it’s just another example of how you can use branding and design to make every nook and cranny of your website engaging and fun!

Need help with your Shopify store? That’s our jam! Let’s chat about making it the hottest place to shop!

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