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How to Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate

  • 13 min read

Although there have never been more eCommerce platforms on the market, there are still a lot of reasons to love Shopify.

The platform is extremely popular for being extremely user-friendly.

That popularity means that there is also a massive network of developers constantly creating plugins, extensions, and apps that make Shopify even more effective.

However, one of the biggest reasons Shopify has remained so popular since its launch in 2006 is that it’s fantastic for conversions. If you want to see how you can increase your Shopify store’s conversion rate even further, I’ll show you the seven best ways I know about.

Conversion Rate

What Is a Good Shopify Conversion Rate?

But first, let’s talk about what a good conversion rate would be for your Shopify store.

According to VWO, the average eCommerce conversion rate across all devices and every country is 2.58%.

Given Shopify’s many conversion-friendly features, there’s no reason yours shouldn’t be even higher, though.

That said, conversion rates differ greatly by industry. VWO reports the following averages:

  • Agricultural Supplies: 1.41%
  • Arts and Crafts: 4.01%
  • Baby and Child: 0.71%
  • Cars and Motorcycling: 1.36%
  • Electrical and Commercial Equipment: 2.7%
  • Fashion Clothing and Accessories: 1.41%
  • Food and Drink: 0.90%
  • Health and Wellbeing: 2.02%
  • Home Accessories and Giftware: 1.46%
  • Kitchen and Home Appliances: 1.61%
  • Pet Care: 2.51%

And it also depends on which devices your visitors tend to prefer for visiting your Shopify site. VWO notes that the average conversion rate for desktop users is closer to 4.14%, whereas it drops to around 1.82% for users on mobile devices.

So, if your Shopify site regularly attracts more mobile users than those on computers, your conversion rate may fall below the average of 2.58%.

How to Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate

Alright, you have created your Shopify store, and by now, you know the importance of increasing your Shopify conversion rate for maximizing your sales.

How do you go about doing that?

Here are seven of the best tips I’ve picked up over the years for quickly increasing your Shopify conversion rate.

They work for our clients.

They're going to work for you, too.

1. Find the Pages Where You Lose the Most Customers

Right off the bat, I want to focus on one of the biggest mistakes I see companies make when they try to improve a low conversion rate: assuming each page of their site is equally responsible for it. 

As such, they come up with a very general solution, the kind they can apply across as much of their site as possible.

Unfortunately, these kinds of expansive solutions usually result in little – or even no – increase in conversions.

Don’t get me wrong.

Sometimes, you may need to apply basic changes across your entire site.

I’m going to cover a prime example of this next.

For now, one of the most important tips I can give for increasing your conversion rate on Shopify is to take a look at how customers are currently interacting with each page of your store. You can easily do this by tracking user flow through Google Analytics.

If you haven’t already set it up before, Shopify has a great feature for enabling Google Analytics and adding Enhanced eCommerce tracking to your store.  

You can customize your results, so they show your site’s abandonment rates at different stages from visiting a landing page to checkout. You can also track other important visitor shopping behaviors, like how many add or remove products from their carts and much more.

In short, you can track everything that matters where your customers are concerned. This makes it easy to figure out where you’re losing them and, thus, where you should be focusing the most to turn your Shopify store’s conversion rate around.

Reconsider How Specific Marketing Channels Could Be Hurting Your Conversion Rate

As I mentioned earlier, all of that tracking may show you that it’s really just a few pages that are actually hurting your Shopify site’s conversion rate the most.

Or it could be a larger problem across the entire site.

However, you should also consider that the way you’re bringing traffic to your Shopify site may be responsible for some of these problems, too.

For example, using Google Analytics, you may discover that you have a sizable bounce rate coming from your organic traffic. That bounce rate, in turn, is killing your conversion rate. Sounds like you need to rethink your SEO efforts. Though your sessions may look good, that traffic doesn’t seem to be doing much for your bottom line.

One of these things is not like the others…

No matter how well-designed your Shopify site is or how great your products are, your conversion rate is always going to suffer if you’re bringing it large amounts of unqualified traffic. At some point, you’ll need to address any lackluster traffic sources.

2. Convert More of the Shoppers Who Put Products Their Carts

As I mentioned a moment ago, sometimes, the reason your Shopify site's conversion rate is so low really is because of a problem that touches every page.

Site speed is a good example. If your site is slow, traffic to every will suffer. And many of the people who do show up won’t stick around to convert if your site’s speed makes it difficult to get around.

However, a far more common example of a sitewide problem is if you’re seeing a high shopping cart abandonment rate. I say it’s a sitewide problem because, no matter where someone enters your site or what product brings them there, they have to go through your checkout page before they can make a purchase.

This is why shopping cart abandonment is such a serious problem. You can spend countless hours and dollars improving your site a million different ways and securing plenty of traffic for it. Ultimately, if your checkout page drops the ball, your Shopify site’s conversion rate is going to fall, too.

Recently, I went through 20 ways to reduce cart abandonment. I think you'll find it helpful, but, for now, let’s tackle some common culprits that lead to unimpressive conversion rates.

The first is simply writing better product descriptions.

Your customers may be getting cold feet just before they convert, which is why you want to write product descriptions that excite them about the prospect of purchasing your products. They shouldn’t have time for nagging second thoughts once they’ve read over your store’s descriptions.

A similar problem can happen with images. I’m all for leveraging the power of good product descriptions, but, as the saying goes, “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” If your product images aren’t good, those 1,000 words your customers think of won’t be, either. Just like with effective product descriptions, use images – or even videos – that arouse excitement in your customers.

Finally, check your pricing. Do you:

  • Offer competitive prices?
  • Free shipping?
  • Some type of guarantee?

I know it’s not always realistic to check all three of these boxes, but the truth is that customers have come to expect these accommodations where prices are concerned (thanks, Amazon). So, I’d recommend making as much of an effort as possible in order to boost conversions.

And, if you’re already doing these, maybe your Shopify site needs to do a better job of advertising it. Put “Free Shipping” right in your Title Tags, so people see it in organic search results. At the very least, put that in the meta descriptions. Draw attention to that perk and your guarantees on every page.

Lastly, be clear and upfront about your prices, so customers don’t find out right before they buy that there are hidden costs. Something as simple as surprising customers with shipping costs is enough to convince 56% of shoppers to leave a site.

3. Prove to Your Customers That They’re About to Make the Right Choice

I already touched on this a bit when I talked about taking the time to create really high-quality product descriptions, but I want to expand on that concept a bit and give it its own section.

That’s because really proving to your customers that they’re going to love whatever they buy from your site is always going to be worth the extra effort.

To get you started, I’ll give you a handful of examples that I know have worked for our clients.

Allow for Product Reviews

Nothing instills confidence in customers as much as seeing that other customers who bought a product absolutely loved it. An amazing 91% of shoppers read online reviews and – maybe even more astounding – 84% trust them as much as they would the words from an actual friend.

If you’re looking for inspiration, you don’t need to look any further than the largest retailer in the world:

A good eCommerce rule-of-thumb is, “Do what Amazon does.”

Designate Your Shopify Site’s “Best Sellers”

Amazon actually takes things a step further, too.

They tell customers when a product is one of their best sellers. This is just one more way the world’s largest retailer manages to keep shoppers on their site and, of course, converting at impressive rates.

Consider doing the same on your Shopify site. You could even add just how many shoppers have purchased a product to further convince them that they’ll be happy with their decision.

I’ve always found it really interesting that eBay actually does a version of this with their listings.

The reason why I find this so interesting is that, because of the temporary nature of eBay’s product listings, the number sold doesn’t necessarily correspond to the number of satisfied customers.

In the example above, eBay isn’t saying, “31 customers bought this product and loved it.” They’re just saying, “This product listing provided enough information for 31 people to feel comfortable making a purchase.”

Nonetheless, providing this extra detail will help your Shopify site keep customers from leaving. If they think, “I need to do more research”, this information tells them, “No. You don’t. Plenty of other people didn’t.”

Combine that with customer reviews and watch your conversions explode.

Show Your Product in Action

Do you sell a unique product, one that isn’t like anything else on the market?

If so, one of the best investments you can make to increase your Shopify store’s conversions is to use videos to show your product in action. This way, your customers know exactly what to expect after they decide to order.

Sphero’s marketing department does a great job of this. Take a look at the product page for the Sphero BOLT, a product that helps children learn “STEM at home.”

Have you ever heard of a product like that?

Probably not, which is why Sphero includes a number of videos to help parents better understand what makes this unique toy so cool.

Don't rely on your customers' imaginations. If you think it's possible they'll misunderstand what makes your product so great, don' tell them. Show them

4. Leverage Retargeting to Convert Customers Who Left Your Site

If you zero in on the pages that are losing you the most customers and overhaul your entire checkout process so that every step encourages customers to complete their purchase…

Well, unfortunately, some of them are still going to leave.

Sorry.

You can literally lead a horse INTO water, but you still can’t make it drink

But don’t worry!

There are still two great ways you can convert those visitors into customers, even after they’ve left your Shopify site.

Bring People Back to Your Shopify Site with Cart Retargeting

The first option is to use retargeting to bring cart abandoners back to your Shopify site to convert.

“Cart retargeting”, as it’s often called, is a strategy whereby a cookie is generated once a visitor takes a specific action. If you’re looking to improve your conversion rate, that action is usually going to be that the visitor placed something in their cart.

Thanks to that cookie, you can now run ads to remind that shopper of the fantastic product of yours that they left behind.

The great thing about cart retargeting is that your ad spend is going solely to people who have already shown so much interest in a product that they actually put it in their carts. These potential customers are as qualified as they come.

If you’re new to cart retargeting, let me assure you that it’s worth learning the ropes (or just hiring an expert – hint, hint). Check out these retargeting case studies if you need more convincing. As just one example, Total Wine increased its revenue by 20.7% year-over-year just from investing in cart retargeting.

Furthermore, it’s never been easier to retarget your Shopify customers thanks to Shopify-specific retargeting apps.

Use Abandoned Cart Remarketing to Power High-Converting Email Campaigns

Cart remarketing is a similar tactic. The difference is that you approach your customers directly via email. So, instead of using cookies, you use their email address. Obviously, this means you need to already have that address on file for cart remarketing to work – one more reason to add lead magnets to your blog posts.

However, any time you have a cart abandoner’s email address, it is always a good idea to email them a reminder that they haven’t completed their purchase yet. Worst-case scenario, they still don’t buy, but you also didn’t spend a penny on the reminder.

5. Use Shopify Apps Designed to Boost Conversions  

As I touched on at the beginning, one of the many reasons I love Shopify is that its popularity as a platform means there is no lack of apps designed with it in mind.

Specifically, there are a lot of great apps that will help you increase your site's conversions. Here are a handful worth exploring:

  • Yotpo – Aside from being a fantastic product-review app that offers a lot of versatility, Yotpo is also “an official Shopify Plus Technology Partner” and has even “helped the fastest-growing Shopify stores increase sales with customer content.” So, you know. It’s not bad.
  • InstantSearch+ – If your Shopify store has a large inventory, this is a great app for ensuring customers can easily search through it. You only have 15 seconds to show visitors what they want before they bounce, so an effective search bar is essential to keeping your bounce rate low and your conversions high.
  • Privy – You can leverage this user-friendly popup software to help convert shoppers who are leaving your site emptyhanded and to grow your email list, too – something you can use to boost conversions even further.
  • Our Shopify Product Review App – Alright, I’m a little biased here, but I really like our product review app for Shopify. We drew on years of experience working one-on-one with eCommerce companies when we developed this app. And, best of all, it’s 100% free!

One final word about using apps like these.

It might be tempting to just download all of them, so you can start seeing as many conversions as possible right away.

I’ve seen other companies try to do the same thing, but here’s the problem: as great as they are, each app will slow your site speed down. That’s not just bad for user experience. A slow site will hurt your organic traffic (and if you can’t attract visitors, you can’t convert them).

So, run a few pages from your site through Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool to see where you currently stand and then add one app at a time and run the tests again to see what kind of effect they have.

6. Add Exit Popups to Stop Customers Before They Leave

Here it is.

The BIG one.

If all you do is implement this one idea, your Shopify site’s conversion rate could literally QUADRUPLE.

Arguably, the best way to improve your Shopify site’s conversion rate is by using exit popup ads that are only triggered when someone is about to leave your site.

I love this approach because – just like cart retargeting and remarketing – you don’t really stand to lose anything. 

There’s just no real downside. As with those other two tactics, the worst-case scenario is that you still don’t make the sale.

I know “popup ads” tend to be a four-letter word in our industry, but, again, what’s the worst that can happen here?

Someone who has already decided to leave your Shopify site sticks with that decision.

That's it.

On the other hand, what’s the best that could happen?

Someone who was going to leave your Shopify site without giving you a dime decides to become a paying customer.

That’s an easy decision for me.

Plus, when Sumo studied the effectiveness of popup ads, they found that the average conversion rate was 3.09%.

Is that a mind-blowing amount?

No, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down an extra 3% in sales, especially if it means I can keep selling to some of those customers for years to come.

In any case, that was just the average. When Sumo looked at the top 10% of popups, they discovered that their average conversion rate was a whopping 9.28%

Considering that some estimates put the average website abandonment rate at about 97.5%, converting just 3% of those people who try to leave could nearly double your entire site’s conversion rate.

If you then refined those popup ads so that they were in the top 10% converting 9.28% of site abandoners, you’d see your overall site’s conversion rate improve by 4x .

Think about that four a moment. Without spending more money on SEO or PPC ads or even email campaigns, you could quadruple your Shopify site’s conversion rate just by adding popup ads that only deploy when someone has already decided not to make a purchase.

Wow.

These kinds of popups don’t have to be overly complicated, either. The example below from Leesa is a very common version. If successful, your company will get a new subscriber to your newsletter and a customer.

Exit Popup Ad Example

And again, if the visitor doesn’t go for it, who cares? You weren’t going to convert them anyway.

7. A/B Test Everything

Last but not least, I can’t recommend enough that you A/B test any changes you’re considering to your Shopify site before making them permanent. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) can be fickle. What seems like an obvious improvement that will increase conversions can sometimes have the exact opposite effect.

So, even though my experience tells me the six tips above will definitely improve your conversion rate, I still recommend  that you employ A/B testing to make sure.

Fortunately, Shopify actually has a great guide on A/B testing that explains the entire concept and will make it easy to get started.

The Right Approach to Improving Your Shopify Conversion Rate

Now that you know the seven best ways to improve your Shopify store’s conversion rate, the only thing left to do is to actually get started.

Even though I tried to keep my list of steps short and sweet, I know taking that first step can be easier said than done. So, just begin by looking over Google Analytics and finding any pages that may be turning away large amounts of  shoppers. Fixing those pages will improve your conversions considerably and should give you confidence in continuing with the rest of these tips.

That said, if there’s any way our team of Shopify developers can help – even if you just have a question about one of these steps – feel free to comment below or contact us for answers.

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