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9 Proven Tactics to Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate

23 March, 2024
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9 Proven Tactics to Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate


Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization is turning your Shopify store’s casual visitors into customers, creating more value from your existing users than wasting precious time, effort, and money over acquiring new users.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and proven optimization tactics to grow sales and improve your conversion rate. 

How To Increase Your Conversion Rate on Shopify

Here's the story: your business is getting many visitors, better than you ever expected. The high you feel when seeing that massive number in your analytics is strong enough to get you excited for the rest of the workweek. Then, you look at your sales - the numbers are not that good. Your visitors aren't completing purchases - what you want them to do. The high did not last long. 

It can be frustrating, especially if you know that yone who buys your product raves about how great it is. Why is this happening? 

If this story sounds familiar, you probably have a conversion rate optimization problem. In simplest terms, your conversion rate is how many of your store visitors complete the action you want them to, which is probably a purchase. 

The most common desired action is a purchase, but desired actions could be other things too: signing up for a service, social media interaction, subscribing to a newsletter, booking a demo, or clicking on a link.

To calculate your conversion rate, take your total number of conversions (the desired action you decide) and divide that by the total number of visitors.

conversion-rate-optimization-formula
Conversion Rate Formula

 

After setting your conversion rate target, ideally you would want to create reports that let you know what’s workings vs what’s not, so you can iterate and optimize as you go forward. 

 Ideally, the next steps look something like this: 

  1. Make sure you have an accurate attribute system setup. You want to track the different sources your website visitors are coming from and which channels are performing better than others in order to optimize and move forwards.
  2. Track user behavior and understand how your customers are interacting with your website - tools like HotJar are great with this because you can examine where visitors click, where they spend their time the longest, and where they drop off. 
  3. Collect customer feedback and find out what’s going wrong. This may be challenging for some Shopify merchants, but a quick pop-up survey or even a social media poll should be enough. 

Now that you know exactly where you stand, it’s time to decide where you want to go. Setting a goal for your CRO isn’t just a “step” - but rather a crucial tactic to be able to test and iterate effectively. 

Typically, you can set your own goals based on what you want to achieve and your store’s history. It can also be helpful to know the average conversion rate for stores similar to yours. According to Shopify, the average conversion rate is set somewhere between 2.5% and 3%. After you have a number, it’s important to define what that means. 

So let’s say you’re currently at a 2% conversion rate and want to be at 4% by the end of the year. Does that mean doubling purchase frequency per existing customer? Or bringing in twice as many new customers? 

If I were looking forward to doubling my purchase frequency per existing customer in six months, I’d probably:

  1. Invest in customer loyalty - this means more personalized marketing, loyalty programs, and exceptional customer service to increase repeat purchases.
  2. Focus on email marketing: through targeted email campaigns based on customer behavior alongside remarketing ads. I’d need a killer marketing automation tool to make sure I’m sending the right message at the right time to the right customer as well. 

If, however, I was looking to double my customer base from say, 2000 customers per month to 4000 customers per month, then I’d do things a bit differently: 

  1. SEO and Content Marketing: Investing in my content strategy alongside SEO to double website traffic from organic search. 
  2. Partnerships and Referrals: Collaborate with influencers and implement referral programs to increase brand awareness and therefore, acquire new customers. 

So while both goals may seem kind of similar from the outside, their activities are actually totally different. While it may seem like a lot of work, this means that you can do both simultaneously  - they don’t cancel each other out. 

The key here is to consider your budget, competition, existing customer base, and market trends in order to strategically define your goal and how to get there.

9 Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics

1. Create Product Pages That Stand Out

This is where the decision is made. You want to make sure that your product page has everything the customer needs to know, and you want to convince them why it's the right product for them. 

The experience here should be as seamless, effortless, and intuitive as possible. You're not forcing the customer to make a purchase, you're just leading the way. 

Some factors to look out for on your product page are: 

  • Descriptive product titles
  • Thorough and detailed descriptions of the product
  • A variety of product images that clearly show the product
  • A clear CTA
  • Pricing details (including any additional costs such as shipping or taxes)
  • Social proof
  • Product ratings
  • Filters

An illustrative example of a great  product page is Holstee - a playful brand that makes sure its product pages match the vibe .

The most noticeable thing about the product page is how effective the color elements are at drawing the users attention: the product,  the CTA button (Add To Cart), and the highlighted text promoting discounted prices if you’re part of the Holstee Loyalty Program.

holstee product page
Holstee's Product Page

Takeaway: your product page is where your customer makes a final decision, so you want to prioritize a seamless, compelling, and intuitive experience on your product pages. 

 2. Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates

Earning sales are important, but not losing sales is just as - if not more - important. Window Shopper Syndrome is real, and studies show that only 2% of website visitors actually complete their purchase on their visit.

To increase that number, you need to re-engage your customers and give them reasons to complete their purchase. 

The most common way to achieve this is to use cart abandonment emails and notifications.

If your website users have already registered accounts, abandoned cart emails are a great way to get them to convert. These emails serve as immediate reminders of the products they've viewed and why they should buy them, and you can add a special discount or free shipping in there to increase the chances of them actually buying your products.

Below is a great example of a playful, yet effective cart abandonment email from Casper. With the subject line “Did you forget something?”, this email definitely captures customers' attention, with a clear CTA button that easily directs them back to the checkout page (plus, a little social proof never really hurt anyone 👀).

cart abandonment example casper
Casper's Cart Abandonment

Takeaway: Utilize cart abandonment emails to remind customers of their interest and incentivize them to complete their purchase, and make sure to incorporate creative elements like playful subject lines and clear calls-to-action 

3. Use a Loyalty Program to Fast-track Conversion 

The key to getting website visitors to actually convert is to give them a reason to - and what better reason than a reward? 

By offering rewards, discounts, and exclusive offers, customers will want to come back again to your store, naturally (and effortlessly) increasing your conversion rate, and encouraging more spending from customers. 

The Shopify app store has several loyalty programs to choose from, including Gameball, which has a free plan you can start out with to explore exactly how loyalty can help optimize your Shopify conversion rate. 

For example, Mary MacLeod is a Canada-based shortbread store that uses their loyalty program to create buzz, encouraging customers to: 

  • Leave reviews
  • Engage on Social Media, including separate challenges for Facebook and Instagram
  • Refer their friends

And it worked, Mary MacLeod increased ARPU (Average Revenue per user) by 85% in 6 months using this strategy. Buy utilizing gamification mechanics like progress bars, points, and challenges using Gameball, they achieved their goal of creating buzz AND did it cost-effectively. 

Mary MacLeod Loyalty Program Gameball
Example of a Loyalty Program by Gameball

Takeaway:  use a loyalty app designed specifically for Shopify that rewards customers for the actions you want them to do, so they can do it again.

4. Emphasize on Social Proof

Social proof isn’t just a way to get customers to complete their purchases, it’s also a foolproof way to create unbreakable trust between you and your customers - 63% of consumers showed that they are more likely to purchase from a website that has reviews and ratings opposed to a website that doesn’t.

Social proof is not limited to product reviews either. You can use customer testimonials about your support service, scale ratings, seals of approval from other brands, and numbers to highlight your impact (i.e: this recycled bag reused 10 water bottles). 

Also, avoid having only one section for reviews. Most stores only use reviews on product pages, but you can place them throughout your Shopify store to convince customers at every point of the customer journey. 

For example, Shopify Store Partake Foods uses customer reviews on product pages and at a section at the bottom of the homepage to show general reviews as well, creating a touchpoint for social proof at every point of the user journey.

Example of Testimonial and Social Proof

Takeaway: diversify your social proof strategy and strategically place different forms of social proof throughout your website to build credibility and trust.

5. Use Popups To Capture Attention and Collect Data

With pop-ups, you can immediately capture visitors' attention with a pop-up, which is basically a box or bubble that shows up on a webpage after it has loaded. 

The point behind a pop up is to demand a user's attention by providing tempting information, like an available coupon code or a new collection, this creates a sense of urgency so customers would stay on the webpage longer. 

A well-designed pop-up that shows up at the right in the user journey increases conversion rate by over 9%. However, if not used well, pop-ups can come off as pushy and annoying. 

For example, this is a pop-up built by OptiMonster, a fellow Shopify app. 

This pop-up is effective because: 

  1. It uses FOMO (the sense of urgency) by adding a countdown timer
  2. 50% off a total order is pretty hard to say no to
  3. All customers need to is add their email - which is easy for them to do, and an easy way for the store to collect customer data!
Example of FOMO Popup

Takeaway: Pop-ups are a great way to capture customers' attention, collect customer data, and increase conversion rates by creating a sense of urgency.

6. Create a Referral Program

Chances are you have used a product or service yourself based on a recommendation. Referrals or recommendations work well with customers. A McKinsey report showed that 20% to 50% of buying decisions relied on word-of-mouth marketing (or referrals) - making it an efficient way to acquire new customers at basically no cost, with big results.

One of the best ways to use referrals to increase your CR is to incentivize customers to refer to your store by offering them a reward in return. 

Simple steps to implementing a referral program: 

  • Define clear objectives and rewards for both the referrer and referred customer
  • Choose a platform/software to manage the program effectively
  • Promote the program through all your communication channels, including on-site, email, socials, etc. 
  • Ensure that the referral program is easy to understand execute for both parties

This way, you encourage your existing customer to make the referral, and encourage the referred customer to complete the desired action (purchase, sign-up, etc.) to receive a reward.  You can easily do this using a loyalty and rewards tool that rewards customers for referrals.

(Screenshot caption: Example of a referral reward by WarGames Delivered)  

Wargames Delivered Referral Program Gameball
Referral Program by Gameball

Takeaway: Referral programs are a foolproof way to exponentially increase your customer base, and to get referred customers to complete their purchase right away to earn their reward.

7.  Optimize Your Checkout Page

A study found that 21% of shoppers would leave the website entirely if they felt that the checkout process is too complicated or too long. 

Luckily enough, the checkout page is one of the easiest steps you can fix to quickly boost your conversion rate and see results almost instantly. Some quick fixes to your checkout page can include: 

  • Shortening checkout fields: keep your form as simple as possible by collecting only the information you need, like name, address, and payment information. 
  • Autofill customer information fields for faster checkouts and happier customers.
  • Using progress bars to show customers how close they are to making a purchase
  • Offering multiple payment options, from online payment, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) options, or COD (Cash On Delivery)
  • Enabling guest checkout - if your customers have to create an account to complete a purchase, then spoiler alert: they probably won’t. 

Glossier has a great checkout page we can learn from. With a clear progress bar above (cart - information - shipping - payment) and express checkout options and clear cost (item price, subtotal, shipping, etc.) and delivery options, it’s all chef’s kiss 🤌!

Glossier Checkout Page
Glossier Checkout Page

Takeaway: Ensure your checkout process is streamlined to prevent potential customer abandonment, as 21% may leave due to complexity or length. Enhance your checkout page swiftly by simplifying form fields, implementing autofill features, and offering diverse payment methods.

8. Use Retargeting Advertising

Retargeting is a type of paid marketing that allows you to reconnect with visitors who have shown interest in products, but left your site before they could complete a purchase.

Using retargeting, you can show visitors the same products they viewed on your website while they’re browsing the internet - a foolproof way to keep your brand top of mind and persuade them to make that purchase! 

According to studies - customers who see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. 

If you connect your Shopify shop with platforms like Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and Youtube, you can use special advertising tricks to show personalized ads to people who have visited your store before and checked out a particular item.

Skincare brand BOOM! (Shown below) has a great example of Facebook retargeting ads, the reasons why it’s so effective are: 

  1. Clear CTA: bringing relevant info from the previously viewed product into the CTA box, with a “Shop Now” CTA button to pull clicks. 
  2. Square image: taking up more space on mobile than rectangular images, a square image is more likely to stop users mid-scroll.
  3. Compelling text: using social proof and highlighting the key ingredients gives the ad more value.  
Social Media Advertising Example
Social Media Advertising Example

Takeaway: By reconnecting with visitors who showed interest but didn't complete a purchase, retargeting keeps your brand top of mind and increases the likelihood of conversion by 70%. 

9. Optimize Your Site For Mobile & Speed

With over 58% of global web traffic now coming from smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-friendly website isn’t a “nice-to-have”, it’s essential.

While every Shopify theme automatically adjusts for any device, there are ways to improve the mobile experience further. Simplify navigation, enlarge buttons for easier tapping, and reduce text to prevent screen clutter are just a few ideas to start with.

Like unresponsive sites, slow websites can deter visitors, leading to higher bounce rates. Faster websites not only improve user experience but also boost search engine rankings, with page speed being a crucial factor for Google.

To check your website’s responsiveness, you can use Google’s Lighthouse, an automated tool for improving web page quality.

Takeaway: Work on enhancing UX by simplifying navigation, optimizing button size, and ensuring fast loading times, which can significantly impact visitor retention and search engine rankings.

Summary

In summary, mastering Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is essential for turning store visitors into loyal customers and boosting sales. By employing tactics such as optimizing product pages, reducing cart abandonment, utilizing loyalty programs and social proof, leveraging pop-ups and referrals, streamlining checkout processes, utilizing retargeting ads, and prioritizing mobile-friendliness and speed, you can significantly improve conversion rates and maximize revenue out of your customers, building a strong relationship with your customers and sustainable customer growth.