Are you getting traffic to your Shopify store but struggling to get sales?
If so, then you need to work on improving your store’s conversion rate but first off, congratulations on getting traffic as that is something that most store’s really struggle with!
But back to the problem at hand, converting traffic into paying customers. Fortunately, there are quite a few different things, sometimes just small adjustments that can lead to more paying customers and hopefully better than the 1.4% conversion rate, which is the average for Shopify stores.
For this guide, we are going to follow the flow through your sales funnel, from customers landing on your site to going through your checkout to hopefully give you some ideas of things that you can change.
- 1. Run Targeted Ad Campaigns
- 2. Expand Your Social Media Presence
- 3. Improve Your Stores SEO
- 4. Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
- 5. Use High Quality Images
- 6. Add Product Videos
- 7. Write a Good Description
- 8. Add Product Reviews
- 9. Optimize Your Checkout
- 10. Offer Free Delivery
- 11. Offer Multiple Payment Options
- 12. Contact Options
- 13. Have Clear Policies
- 14. Build an Email List
Take An Analytical Approach
Before we get into the things that you can do, you want to take an analytical approach to optimizing your conversion rate as just trying everything at once and hoping something works isn’t helpful.
Instead, you want to try a single change and compare it to a control period, say for example you are running an ad campaign for two weeks:
- Run week 1 with your existing set-up
- Implement 1 change for week 2
- Compare the analytics for the two weeks of the campaign
By doing this, you will see if the change made any difference and repeat this process to find out what works and what doesn’t for your site and this will allow you to optimize your sales funnel.
You can adapt this for whichever marketing strategies you are using for your Shopify store and you want this to be an ongoing part of running your store as customer behavior changes over time and what worked last year, might not be as effective this year.
Step 1. Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
This one is very important as faster loading pages can lead to a 17% increase in conversion rates as the quicker the page loads, the better the experience for the customer (as we all know how frustrating a slow loading site can be!) and the better the experience, the more likely they are to become a paying customer.
But as Shopify is a fully hosted ecommerce platform, you are limited as to the amount of optimization you can do when it comes to performance but you can:
- Optimize Your Images – so that they are the right size and in a web-optimized format
- Minimize The Number of Apps – apps are great on Shopify but the more you have, especially ones that load elements on the front end of your site can slow it down, so keep them to a minimum
- Use a Fast Theme – not all themes are built the same, so where possible, use a theme that has proven performance credentials
Once again, don’t go doing this blindly, get a benchmark for your store using a tool like Uptrends and for conversion rates, you want to focus on your product pages speed for both desktop and mobile, so test the page, make your changes and then test again to see if there have been any improvements.
Step 2. Optimize Your Product Page
It can be useful to think of your product page as a landing page and the main goal of this page is to convince people to click on the buy button.
When it comes to optimizing your product page for conversions, there are a number of things you can do:
1. Use High Quality Product Images
In most cases, the first thing that the visitor will see on your product page is the main product image because they are prominently placed and one of the largest elements on the page.
So you want to make the best use of this first impression of your product and to do this, you should:
- Use high-quality images – make sure that the image can be clearly seen and if you have zoom over hover active, then the magnified image will also look good
- Create original product images – many stores use stock manufacturer images, so make your page stand out by using your own product images
- Use multiple images – show the product from multiple angles, show it being held/used/worn so that people can begin to visualize the product
You can also include information in your images such as dimensions, different colors etc and by making this information easy to access, people are more likely to process it, which helps them make a more informed buying decision.
2. Add a Product Video
Another form of visual content that you can add to your page is a product video and even though they take more work to produce than your images, they can be hugely beneficial to improving your conversion rates as there is more information that you can put in a video, such as
- Giving a brief explanation of the benefits of the product
- Showing how the product can be used/worn
You can also do some research around common questions or queries about the product and you can address these in the video.
For the video itself, it doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production but you still want it to have good production quality so that it looks professional and one of the great things with Shopify is that it is very easy to add a video to your product page, whether in your media gallery or as part of your product description.
3. Write a Good Description
While there are some people who won’t read your description, there are also those who will and you want to write a good one!
Writing a good product description that doesn’t come across as a sales pitch is a skill in itself but it is something that is worthwhile doing and there are some general tips, such as:
One big thing to avoid is just copying and pasting the manufacturers or suppliers description as there are going to be numerous other sites doing that, instead, take the important information from that description and then craft your own unique one.
Not only can this improve your conversion rate but it can also have a positive impact on your Shopify store’s SEO.
Step 3: Build Trust
Something that many sites don’t talk about when it comes to increasing conversion rates is building trust with your potential customers as you can have the best, most conversion optimized product page in the world but if the potential customer doesn’t trust your site, then they won’t become a paying customer, so what are some things you can do to begin building trust?
1. Add Product Reviews
User-generated product reviews can be great for improving your conversion rates as people trust other people’s opinions.
It is known as social proofing and recent research found that 98% of online shoppers say reviews are an essential part of making a purchasing decision, 98%!!
So having customer reviews can make a big impact on your conversion rate and you should also be prepared to embrace negative reviews as people are less trusting of products that have perfect 5-star reviews, instead preferring products with a 4.2-4.5 rating.
To add user-generated product reviews to Shopify, you will need to install an app but there are some really good options available.
2. Information Rich Product Page
We covered the product page in step 2 but an important part of building trust comes from providing customers with information so that they don’t have to go searching for it and you can go beyond just having a well written product description by adding tabs to your product page.
To do this does require an additional app but it gives you additional space to add content to your product page and you can create tabs for:
- Delivery information
- Product Reviews
By adding these content rich sections, you can start removing the objections that people may have about buying from you, such as:
- How much do they charge for delivery?
- Does the product do this?
- Can it be used for this?
Basically, you want your product page to be a complete information hub for that product and also some things in relation to buying from your business, you can even go a step further and add your returns policy to a tab or your FAQ so customers don’t have to go looking for this information.
This is because the less reason you give a customer to leave your sales funnel, the more likely they are to go to the next stage and hopefully all the way through to the order completion page.
3. Contact Options
A big element when it comes to trust is showing customers that it is very easy to contact you and that you have many different options available as different people have different preferences, so you want to offer:
- Contact Phone Number
- Contact Form
- Email Address
- Live Chat
- Social Accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc)
And for the contact number and email address, you want these to be professional, so no Gmail email addresses or cell phone numbers, instead use a domain linked email address and a landline number, you can use VoIP for this and turn your cell into a business phone.
Not only do you want to offer these options but also make them very easy to find, so put your contact information in your footer, so they can just scroll to the bottom of the page and see how they can contact you.
Listing your customer service times can also be helpful so that they know when you are available should they have a query.
4. Have Clear Policies
Having clear and easily accessible policies on your site can also help get your more sales and it provides potential customers with important information, which all help build trust as your customers know exactly where they stand when it comes to dealing your business.
But what kind of policies are helpful?
Mostly ones to do with the transaction, so Payment, Shipping and Returns policies can be very helpful and you will probably be surprised at how many views these pages get.
And as you are looking to build trust, clearly lay out your policies, explain what you offer and what the processes are for things like returns and avoid burying important information in your T&C’s as most people won’t read through them.
Step 4: Optimize Your Checkout
When it comes to your checkout, you want to Keep It Simple so that you can get the customer from clicking the add to cart button to the order confirmation page as quickly as possible by removing distractions.
Now there are differing theories as to whether you should try upsells in the checkout but a good example to follow is Amazon as they kind of know what they are doing and their focus is on getting the order completed efficiently.
This involves keeping the number of pages you need to go through to a minimum and really you want no more than three stages:
- Cart Page
- Checkout Page
- Payment Page
This is a checkout flow that most people are accustomed to and it just works, it can also be worthwhile removing things like discount code boxes if you don’t offer them on your store to help streamline the process.
Offer Free Delivery
One of the main reasons for abandoned carts is unexpected costs, with shipping being one that is most commonly mentioned and many online shoppers now expect free shipping as part of their shopping experience.
You can avoid this by offering free shipping for your products as it removes another obstacle from your checkout process and is something that you can promote across your site to encourage visitors to become paying customers.
But don’t worry about losing money, most online retailers factor shipping costs into the sale price of the item and can potentially lead to a better bottom line when people purchase multiple products.
If you do need to charge for your shipping, then make sure this information is easily accessible on your site in the form of a shipping policy or even include this information on your product page, basically, you are trying to stop people having a nasty surprise when they get to the checkout page.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
Every customer has their preferred way to pay and you want to try and accommodate for this by offering multiple payment options, such as:
You may also want to consider a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option which allows customers to pay at a later date or split payments over a chosen period.
You don’t want to go overboard though and offer 10+ different payment options as this will be off-putting for customers but by offering the main options, you are providing enough choice to accommodate a large percentage of your potential customer base.
As we mentioned at the start, optimizing your Shopify store’s conversion rate is an ongoing process and will involve trying different things to see what works and what doesn’t.
But at it’s core, you are building a sales funnel for your customer and there are four main steps to this:
- Getting them on to your site
- Optimizing your product page so that they want to buy the product
- Showing them that your site is trustworthy
- Making it easy for them to go from clicking the buy button to the order confirmation page
You may find that there is something at one of these steps that is stopping customers from progressing through your funnel and as a on-going thing, you want to ask customers for feedback on buying from your site as there may be a something that you have overlooked.