Shopify CRO: 10 Best Practices To Improve Conversions
Conversion Rate OptimizationJul 20, 2021

Shopify CRO: 10 Best Practices To Improve Conversions

Need to work on your Shopify conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

More than a million successful brands have used this popular eCommerce platform to set up their online stores, manage shipping, and process payments all over the world. 

Unfortunately, even though Shopify’s tools make it easy to create an online business, using them doesn’t automatically guarantee success. As recent research shows, the average Shopify conversion rate is around 2% [*].

Since no business can stay alive on a conversion rate that low, we’ll share a few simple tips and best practices for Shopify CRO in this guide. 

And we’ll start with:

Why Shopify CRO Matters for eCommerce Brands

Your eCommerce brand’s conversion rate ranks high on the list of key performance indicators (KPIs) you should be tracking. It can give you a pretty accurate view of your store’s health at a quick glance.

A conversion occurs when a shopper makes a purchase from your store. Your conversion rate measures how many visitors actually make a purchase.

To find your store’s conversion rate, you take your total number of purchases in a specific time and divide it by the total number of unique sessions in your Shopify store. 

For example, let’s say you had 20 conversions from 200 visitors in one month. That’s 20 divided by 200, which equals 0.1. 

To get a percentage (i.e., how many conversions you can expect from 100 visitors), just multiply that number by 100. In this case, 0.1 multiplied by 100 equals 10%.

Lucky for you, Shopify automatically calculates your store’s conversion rate, so you don’t have to do the math. Just open your Analytics Dashboard to see it for yourself.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) helps increase your brand’s chances of making a sale. It tackles all the potential issues that may be holding your visitors back from completing the checkout process, as you’ll learn today.

Depending on your current conversion rate, you may need to make minor optimizations or major tweaks to get your sales in a happy place.

But there’s one thing you can count on: boosting your conversion rate is the best way to drive revenue.

After all, there’s no use spending more money on ads or marketing if the traffic you get doesn’t convert when it reaches your store. 

So let’s talk about how to nudge your shoppers into purchasing.

Shopify CRO: 10 Best Practices and Tips

Tackle your Shopify CRO the easy way with these simple tips and best practices:

1. Use Your Data To Uncover Your Store’s Strengths and Weaknesses

You can use Shopify’s built-in dashboard or Google Analytics to track your visitors’ actions in your online store. Once you have this data available, you’ll be able to see what’s working well and what needs work.

The best way to see where you should begin optimizing your shopping experience is to look for pages with high bounce rates.

These pages don’t capture your shoppers’ attention long enough to encourage a purchase. Reasons for this may include long page load times, poor product descriptions, low-quality images, and more.

Pages with low bounce rates should be emulated. How do these pages differ from your pages with high bounce rates? Do they have more pictures or videos? Do they use a different call to action (CTA)?

Take note of these pages, and if you see obvious differences, make your weak pages more like your strong ones.

2. Optimize Your Product Descriptions, Images, and Videos

If shoppers check out your product pages, but don’t purchase, they may not have enough information to convince them to buy. Here’s where your product descriptions, images, and videos may highly influence their decision.

To optimize these pages and drive more conversions: 

Write compelling, keyword-driven product descriptions. Your product copy drives traffic to your pages via organic search. It must also answer questions shoppers have. So ask yourself:

  • Is my product copy easy to understand?
  • Is it detailed and informative? If not, what’s missing?
  • Did I include product measurements?
  • Have I made my shipping/delivery information clear and transparent?
  • Did I list the materials/sources for each product?

Add a comparison chart, so shoppers can see what makes your product different from your competitors’ items. A quick comparison chart will allow them to compare features, specifications, measurements, and more side-by-side. 

Your shoppers are going to do this anyway, but now they don’t have to leave your store to do the research themselves. 

Add more high-quality images. You want stunning photos from every angle to give your shoppers a complete picture of what they’ll be getting. However, be careful of using images that slow your page load times.

Add more videos. Product videos give your items more depth, providing your shoppers with all the intel they need to decide if they’re right for them. These can offer a different perspective on the look and feel of each item. And they can be used for product size comparisons too.

You can also show shoppers a behind-the-scenes peek to let them know what it takes for artisans to turn raw materials into the product they see on their screens. You can even give them an inside look at the team behind your brand.

3. Tell Shoppers About Your Brand and Mission

Millennial and Gen Z shoppers especially care about which companies they give their hard-earned dollars to. These shoppers prioritize brands that believe in the same causes and values they share. 

So do your shoppers know what your brand stands for?

Consider beefing up your About Us page with information that touches on answers to questions like:

  • What sets my brand apart from our competitors?
  • What is my brand’s mission?
  • How does my brand give back?
  • What value does my brand bring to my customer’s life and the rest of the world?
  • Why should people feel proud to buy from my brand?
  • What will shoppers be most excited to tell their friends, family, etc., about my brand?

You can use your mission and values to tell your brand story and connect with shoppers on a personal level. Once visitors have a better understanding, they’ll feel more comfortable and eager to support your cause (with a purchase).

4. Organize Your Products To Make Them Easier To Find

If you don’t categorize your products into collections based on their type, use case, etc., shoppers will have a difficult time finding what they came for and browsing for items they didn’t even know they needed.

The faster your shoppers reach the right product, the more likely they are to convert.

So stop asking your visitors to scroll through hundreds of products they aren’t interested in just to find their needle in a haystack. Include a Search and Filter option, so shoppers can find what they’re looking for ASAP.

Consider a new way to organize products. You might have categories like Men’s Watches or Women’s Shoes, and further refine by specific types. But you may also want to consider creating mini collections, such as Bestsellers, Most Loved On Instagram, New Releases, Back In Stock, etc.

These should be a quick way for you to gather high-converting items for new visitors to snatch up.

5. Add Product Reviews from Customers

Customer reviews are one of the most powerful ways brands can build trust with shoppers. And let’s face it: everyone checks customer reviews before they purchase anything these days.

Prominently displaying your customer reviews shows your brand has nothing to hide. First-time shoppers will feel confident that your product descriptions match the items they’ll receive. And when they see how happy customers are with their purchases, they’ll be eager to do the same.

Check out these 10 Awesome Examples of Social Proof to see this strategy in action next!

6. Collect and Incorporate More UGC

User generated content (UGC) includes pictures and videos created by your customers. They may submit this content along with a product review or feature it on their social media channels and tag your brand.

Either way, UGC is like having your customers sell for you

Instead of hoping your shoppers believe your product copy and images, UGC shows them how your customers are using (and loving!) your products in the real world. They add another layer of social proof and credibility, both boosting your chances of a conversion.  

Is Your Business Ready For a UGC Marketing Strategy? Take This Quiz to Find Out!

7. Upgrade Your Pop-Ups Game

There’s a thin line between pop-ups that convert well and those that just annoy shoppers and lead to high bounce rates.

So make sure your pop-ups aren’t just compelling, but appear at the right time in the buying process. Timing is everything here!

Your copy needs to catch shoppers’ attention at the right time to show what’s in it for them. To do this, think about what shoppers are interested in at that time.

If they’re a first-time buyer, would a discount help sway them toward a purchase or signing up for your emails? If they add a bunch of items to their cart, but hesitate before checkout, would free shipping seal the deal?

Play around with your pop-ups to see what works with your audience. Stick to one CTA per pop-up and one pop-up per shopping session. You want to give your shoppers clear directions, not confuse them with multiple offers or decisions. 

8. Simplify the Checkout Process

Long, complicated checkout processes remain a top reason shoppers abandon their carts without making a purchase (more on this next!).

Shoppers don’t have the time or the patience to go through multiple checkout pages with complicated or hard-to-use forms.

Your checkout process should be short and sweet. This limits the chances of second-guessing their purchase and creates a beeline for conversions.

To simplify your checkout process, try to:

  • Reduce the number of steps it takes to complete a purchase
  • Decrease the number of form fields and prioritize only the most important
  • Offer an option to use social logins (like Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.)
  • Give shoppers the chance to create an account and autofill forms for them
  • Allow shoppers to check out as a guest
  • Add a progress bar to show shoppers where they are in the process/how much more they have to go

You can tweak some of these options in your Shopify Store Settings.

9. Create an Abandoned Cart Strategy

Cart abandonment refers to a situation where shoppers add items to their shopping cart, but never complete the purchase. This is like leaving money on the table for eCommerce brands.

But as we dished in this guide on How To Create an Abandoned Cart Flow, the right workflow can help your brand “recover” sales it may otherwise have missed out on.

Since we outlined the process in depth there, we encourage you to check out that guide when you’re done here. You’ll find a step-by-step process to automate your workflow and capture the estimated 70% to 86% of shoppers who abandon their carts.

10. Establish a Loyalty Program 

A Loyalty Program allows customers to earn points and redeem rewards every time they purchase from your brand. And loyalty programs are a surefire way to boost conversions, incentivize customer spending, and trigger repeat purchases.

Plus, the right customer loyalty software will let your brand reward and recognize your best customers with an exclusive VIP program. You can create exciting VIP tiers and perks to increase brand loyalty. 

You’ll motivate first-time shoppers to buy and start collecting points while encouraging your best customers to keep coming back.

Read all about How to Start a Loyalty Program for Shopify next!

Now It’s Time To Put These Shopify CRO Tips To Work

You now have 10 ideas to help optimize your Shopify conversion rates and drive more sales. 

While you should follow through on all these best practices, it’s smart to experiment with one tip at a time. Make one change, track and measure the results, and see how it affects your KPIs before experimenting with another change. 

Testing one thing at a time makes it easy to see what works for your audience and what doesn’t. Testing multiple changes at once means you’ll never know what was responsible for the uptick in conversions, making it impossible to replicate.

Tackle all these tips, and your Shopify store will be swimming in conversions and repeat purchases in no time!

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