If you see low conversion rates after you’ve set up a store on Shopify, don’t worry. This is common. Launching your online shop is one thing; optimizing it for conversions is completely different. Fortunately, you are on Shopify, one of the best e-commerce platforms online. There are plenty of ways to tackle the conversion rate challenge and improve your results across the board.
In this mini-guide, we will help you understand everything you need to know about conversion. More importantly, we will provide you with actionable tips that you can follow to see those conversion rates and sales go up.
Understanding the concept of conversion
Conversion is a rather broad term, and it is frequently used in digital marketing and e-commerce guides. Conversion refers to the action you want your website visitors to take. It can range from subscribing to the newsletter to making a purchase.
Since we are talking about Shopify and your online store, conversion, in your case, is the action of purchasing an item on your webshop.
This brings us to conversion rates. The conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who take the desired action, i.e., making a purchase.
Finally, we come to what interests you the most – conversion rate optimization, or simply, CRO. The approaches you can take to improve the Shopify conversion rate is, in fact, a CRO effort. It encompasses marketing strategies and ongoing site improvements with one goal – get your visitors to click that Purchase button.
Shopify and the options it offers
Shopify is an excellent platform for both beginners and experienced online retailers. It offers everything you need to create a store from scratch. But you already know that.
What you probably don’t know is that Shopify offers a variety of opportunities to run an ongoing conversion rate optimization campaign and boost those conversions.
You have complete control over how you want to list your products. You can add multiple images. There is even support for GIF and video. There are numerous ways to organize and publish your product descriptions. With complete control over how your online shop looks and feels, you can experiment and find the one that attracts more customers and offers the best shopping experience.
Shopify doesn’t disappoint on the technical side of things. It supports complete Google Analytics integration, which you can use to run powerful A/B testing to identify the best-performing pages in terms of conversion rate.
You can also add customer reviews, personal testimonials, and live chat to further optimize the experience and capture more sales. On top of that, Shopify has support for real-time purchases, coupon codes, intelligent product searches, and more.
Once your operation outgrows the features of Shopify’s basic and advanced plans, you can always consider switching to Shopify Plus to get access to additional perks to help boost conversion rates.
Practical steps you can take to improve conversion
If you are brand new to conversion rate optimization, the chances are that you don’t know where to start. To help you out, we have compiled a list of 10 practical steps to take your online shop to the next level.
1. Ensure optimal website performance
The most common reason for a declining or poor conversion rate is low website loading speed. It can significantly affect the shopping experience, especially during rush hour. Google did an extensive study about it and found that the chance of visitors abandoning a site increases for every additional second it takes to load.
There are things you can do to ensure lightning-fast loading speeds for your online shop pages. The rule of the thumb is to declutter your website, especially the home and landing pages. For instance, Hero slides are trendy on home pages. You can significantly improve the loading speed if you reduce the number of images on a slide. Ultimately you can go with only one hero image and replace the slide altogether.
Finally, if your brand starts to grow exponentially, you can consider switching to the enterprise version of Shopify – Shopify Plus. It offers more features to optimize your online shop performance further.
2. Refine your CTAs
Call To Action or CTA is that one, short sentence that should make your visitor convert. CTAs are often the main obstacle that stands between you and high conversion rates. The Shopify app store comes with a number of CTA buttons that you can quickly implement.
First thing’s first, your CTA should be short and clear. It should tell what your visitors need to do. Since the CTA is the most important aspect of your storefront, you should always test different CTAs to find the one that delivers the results you want.
There are a few CTA practices that you can test to see which one resonates the best with your target market:
- Create a sense of urgency with “Shop now – 50% discount today”;
- Make CTA button prominent, use colors to make it stands out, and leverage white space to make it easily clickable;
- Make the CTA immediately visible to website visitors;
- Ensure the CTA remains prominent across devices of all screen sizes;
- Don’t add additional elements to your page as they can distract visitors;
3. Build a reputation on genuine reviews and testimonials
Modern online shoppers are not impulsive shoppers. The sheer amount of information online enables them to do research and make informed purchasing decisions. Most online shoppers will look for reviews and testimonials before buying a product online.
Providing your website visitors with genuine reviews and testimonials can help you boost conversion rates. You’ll be giving them exactly what they need to make the decisions. While this works great on visitors that come directly to your online shop, it can help you improve your ranking in search engine result pages, generate new leads, and capitalize on them.
There are several places where you can embed them. The most common one for reviews and product-specific testimonials is on product pages. Testimonials based on the experience with your services and brand should go to the homepage and landing pages.
4. Free shipping options
One of the most attractive perks that you can offer to your potential buyers to boost conversions is free shipping. According to Statista, more than half of online shoppers cancel their orders if they find shipping costs too expensive. However, you have to take into account the cost of free shipping. If you are just starting, free shipping on all your products is borderline impossible if you want to see any profits.
So what options do you have? Free shipping doesn’t necessarily have to apply to one product. You can get creative with it and put together item bundles that come with free shipping. The most common strategy online shops use is free shipping for a specific cart size. For instance, you can advertise free shipping for orders above $50.
The number we used is just an example. You will have to factor in the shipping costs and the desired profit margin to determine the perfect cart size eligible for free shipping.
5. AI-powered personalization
The custom-tailored online shopping experience is the next thing on our list. Fortunately, using cutting-edge technologies, such as AI, is as simple as installing an app from the Shopify’s app market. We are talking about AI-power personalization and recommendations.
Make your online shop smart and enable people to discover products that might interest them. AI can learn from their searches and previously viewed products to deliver relevant product offers. It will keep your visitors longer in your shop and improve conversion rates.
Many online shops use AI-powered personalization. You should consider adding it to your Shopify online store to make your shop more competitive.
6. Product copy
Your product pages are where your visitors will spend most of their time. If you want to convert them into customers, you need to optimize your product copy with your customers in mind. A good product copy should be able to do three things:
- Attract visitors attention
- Make a positive first impression
- Showcase your shop as a trustworthy one
Remember that you are not writing product descriptions and showcasing product specifics for you; you are doing it for your customers. The product copy should be compelling. It should provide all the information visitors need to make an informed decision.
Forget about stacking keywords and writing sentences that have no sense whatsoever. Keep it concise and list all the features of your products that can potentially solve your customers’ problems, meet their needs, and improve their quality of life.
7. Product photography
Online shopping falls short in terms of enabling customers to inspect the products in person. The next best thing that you can offer to them is product images. Yes, we said that you should use smaller and optimized thumbnails to achieve better loading speeds, but it doesn’t mean that the thumbnail is the only image you should offer.
Great product photos can help your potential customers find that last bit of information they needed to make a purchasing decision. Add additional high-quality product images for each product in your listings. If you are drop-shipping, you can get high-quality photos from the manufacturers. If you run a classic e-commerce operation, you should consider investing in professional product photography.
Once your operation scales up, you can go with Shopify Plus, which offers some quite interesting features such as augmented reality and 3D product photos.
8. Mobile optimization
With more and more online shoppers going mobile, you have to make sure that your online shop is both desktop- and mobile-ready. If your website is loading slow, if the layout of the pages is weird, and the copy is too long for small screens, the chances are that you will lose a lot of potential mobile shoppers.
Mobile optimization refers to your entire site – home page, product pages, blog (if you have one), FAQ section, and checkout page.
Make sure to test each of those pages on your smartphone and make the necessary changes to provide a consistent shopping experience across platforms.
9. Unify digital marketing efforts
To get even better results, you need to spice up your conversion rate optimization with digital marketing. This field is very big. We won’t dive into the specifics, but we’ll touch on every viable strategy you can implement.
Keep in mind that, no matter how diversified your digital marketing efforts are, they all should contribute to one goal – improved conversions. SEO is, of course, a must-have ongoing digital marketing strategy. Still, since you are trying to boost conversion in a limited time frame, you should consider pay per click marketing on search engines and social media.
You can even kickstart a blog section on your website to provide comparison product reviews, benefits of using specific products, or any other relevant content to your target customers.
10. Simplify the UI
Finally, we arrive at the user interface or UI. Complex site menus, search features, and layouts will potentially increase bounce rates. To improve the conversion rates, you need to make sure that people stay as long as possible on your e-commerce website. If you want to do it, your online store website must be intuitive and easy to use.
Organize products by product categories, introduce simple menus, and revisit your website structure. Your goal is to make the site so simple that even people that are shopping online for the first time can find their way around it. The rule of the thumb to follow is the fewer actions the visitor has to take to complete the purchase, the better. This goes for both desktop and mobile versions of your website.
If there is one thing that underlines all of the tips mentioned above, it is customer experience. To boost conversion rates, you have to deliver the most optimal experience to your target customers. Following through these tips is not a once-in-a-lifetime action. Add these processes to your ongoing conversion rate optimization strategy to futureproof your online shop and ensure high conversion rates throughout the year.