How to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Shopify Website

How to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Shopify Website

In order to build a successful brand in today’s e-commerce landscape —merchants need to possess empathy, hospitality, service design, anticipation and know their audience. The best way to improve your conversion rate is to listen to your customers needs. Research, measure, and experiment.

The first step is to simply talk to your site visitors.

If you want to get started with conversion rate optimization, you don't need to setup elaborate tests. Talk to your customers. It's that simple. You don't have to be in the data or run tests. The challenge with AB tests is you can't figure out what to test or how to test. Simplify. Talk to consumers. Call up customers personally and ask them 1. Why did you decide to buy from us today? 2. Were there any challenges in the purchasing process? Even with those two questions, you will learn so much and start a conversation. If you are using Klaviyo, you can set up an auto follow-up email after a purchase, wait two weeks, so that customers have a chance to use the product and engage with it, and send them an email as a founder, and I want to know if you recall having any challenges with your purchase, and any questions unanswered on the website. Just by doing this, you will learn so much without having to rely on the complexity of data or analytics. Most consumers want to do their purchase and get on with their day, but they do expect order confirmation emails. If you include your question in the order confirmation email, it can get lost in the inbox. 

Another important component of optimization is delivering the product. You want to ensure that the promises of the website are fulfilled, so waiting to ask them after they receive the product is best. You can also get some insightful responses by contacting customers who abandoned their cart. Were there any issues that prevented them from ordering? Focus on issues that you can attack first. Example from a customer: "I tried to put a discount code in, and the cart wouldn't allow it". You have to investigate things that are preventing purchase first. Then, answer questions that consumers have. What prevented them from buying? What made them uneasy about the purchase? Important information should not be buried in a FAQ page - they should be on the Product detail page. 

After feedback is received and data is gathered, you should start looking at your numbers (like conversion rate, average order value, time spent on site, bounce rate) and it should be improving month over month, not on a daily basis. Optimization takes time. Focus on trends, not on specific time periods. If something's not working for your store, learn why it didn't work, and turn it into experience. Optimization is an iterative process. Try things and pay attention to what happens, and ask consumers what they want, and you will improve over time.

Another approach is to evaluate user needs is to conduct a heuristic evaluation of your Shopify store. Ask yourself. What ARE the customers objections? Do we have a clear sense of them? If not, run a survey and ask them what held them back from purchasing. Where can we address their issues and objections? Issues and objections can be squashed through strategic placement of copy throughout the site. Examples of placement include the announcement bar above the header, on the product detail page, and in the mini cart / or cart page. 

Heuristic evaluations are checklists that involve running through a series of criteria for a properly-working website and assessing whether yours meets them – or what you can do to improve. As a merchant selling online with a strong Shopify web design strategy,  its important to create an e-commerce experience customers won’t forget with the quickest path to purchase. When performing a heuristic evaluation on your site, you’ll need a series of heuristics to go by. Here’s a good list that we use for our clients, that you can use for your site, all focused on keeping the customer moving towards conversion.


Do you need help with your Conversion Rate Optimization?

Here are some agencies and CRO experts that we have vetted and recommend. If you can't afford their services, you can learn a lot by signing up for their newsletters or following them on twitter:


1. Oddit 
Oddit offers simple solutions for direct-to-consumer brands looking to boost conversion & strengthen brand loyalty. They offer affordable reports of your website with actionable insights that can help improve your customer journey and brand experience. We love them!

2. Draft
Draft helps merchants by teaching them the fundamentals of running AB tests and make informed design decisions. They have books, courses and products and have been in the CRO space for over 10 years.

3. Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma is a thoughtleader in the D2C space, full of energy and passion for eCommerce, and helps brands grow and scale revenue across digital platforms.

4. The Good
The good offers CRO audits and expert analysis of your eCommerce website. They help brands convert more of their website visitors into buyers through our A/B testing and data-driven redesign services.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

1. Does checkout work the same on every browser and on every kind of device?
2. Are there rendering errors? Check google analytics to check which browsers have a lower conversion rate - there may be a lurking bug with that specific browser.
3. Does layout work well across a variety of screen sizes? Try resizing the homepage, product page and collection page windows from large to small while watching every detail of the page, or use Google chrome inspector to mimic different device widths.
4. Is the site equally fast on every browser and on every platform?
5. Have you minimized the number of form fields necessary to complete a transaction? For instance, we always eliminate the company form field, and unless it's necessary for the merchant to collect a phone number or they partake in SMS marketing, we suggest that they don't. Another one that merchants think they need, but actually don't, are order notes. Unless you are selling heavy items or items that include lots of gifts, remove this field.

eCommerce Shopify Mobile Checklist

1. If there is hover on desktop, is there a fallback for touch screen? Animation and motion are trendy for desktop, but if it's slowing down the mobile experience, then we recommend eliminating.

Evaluate Your Shopify Web Design

1. Does your value proposition match your business goals? Is this communicated to the customer? For instance, if you have sustainability practices, do you communicate this on the product page?
2. Do you speak directly to the customer? Use "you" instead of "I"
3. Do you allude to the customers pains, and offer your product as a solution to those pains?
4. Do you have custom landing pages to pitch to alternate market segments?

5. Do you have lifecycle emails (we prefer to use Klaviyo), or automatic emails, configured to upset people to other products? Do you have the bare minimum of automatic emails set up - for most merchants, we recommend:
A. Welcome Email.
B. Abandoned Cart Email
C. Browse Abandonment
D. Post-Purchase Email
E.Thank You Email.
F. Back in Stock notification email
G. Is the popup email asking for the email address actually providing them with value? There needs to be creative copy and a compelling call to action. Try swapping the word "Subscribe" with "Unlock Discount".

Emails can help with CRO if people are unsure about product setup. Brands can provide an email that helps them, timed to arrive the day before delivery.

Are people unsure whether the product will create value for them? Help them get solid results in the receipt or delivery emails.  If you have a high AOV, are in a luxury market, or have complex setup or configuration needs, or customers have many objections, you might want to create an educational sequence or provide a free informational carrot to prospective customers.

Gather eCommerce Research Insights

1. What is the bounce rate? How can u improve this number?
2. Are people clicking and scrolling where u want them to?
3. In user testing, did any issues come up with the navigability of the site? Or ability for people to successfully complete their transaction?

Special thanks to one of my teachers and foremost eCommerce experts, Nick Disabato at Draft.

Looking to learn about more about eCommerce, Shopify Plus and to improve your conversion rate today? Check out the Exhibea blog

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