As an e-commerce business owner, you probably know the amount of effort and financial resources it takes to attract visitors to your online store. SEO, advertising, social networks, and other measures are often used in an attempt to drive more traffic. But why do people visit your site only to then leave without making a purchase? We can list at least 20 reasons for this frustrating customer behavior.

In this article, we won’t dip into traffic quality or advertising techniques. Instead, we will discuss the most burning website design issues that kill conversion.We’ll also tell you about the best practices used for conversion rate optimization in Shopify stores.

What is a good conversion rate for the Shopify store? Well, numerous stats and studies in this field tell us that the Shopify average conversion rate keeps between 3% and 4%. In some cases, this index can reach 8% or be as low as 0.3%, depending on the industry. So, the main question we concentrate on in this article is how to increase the Shopify conversion rate.

Let’s dive into all the details of how to increase the conversion rate in a Shopify store. The first step is identifying factors that currently affect customer behavior and prevent the success of your e-commerce business. We will then give you some clues on how you can fix them.

#1 Poor Navigation

Navigation is one of the biggest online store design pain points that should be considered in terms of Shopify conversion rate optimization. Most often, navigation turns into a real problem for large online stores selling thousands of products. When customers land on your website and start searching for a specific product, bad navigation will push them away immediately.

What’s our point? Your Shopify store will not sell if your website visitors do not have the opportunity to find what they’re looking for without having to go on an epic search. Although there is no universal solution for all online stores, there are several recommendations that can help you.

Structure the drop-down menu

A simple and clear catalog structure is the most critical recommendation that we stress. One must be implemented in every online store to obtain a good Shopify conversion rate. Organization is key – it is essential to divide all your products into main categories and subcategories. Also, all your products should be placed no deeper than the 3rd level of nesting so that your customers can reach their desired goods within three clicks or less. If your store’s assortment is extensive, apply catalog filtering.

Take a look at the website for Quad Lock to see a great example with how they structured their drop-down menu.

Navigation menu structure for Shopify conversion rate optimization

Such category organization allows users to reach their needed page with a simple click. This leads to customer satisfaction, and happy customers eventually enable you to see an increase in your Shopify conversion rate.

Position category blocks correctly

People tend to pay the most attention to the beginning and the end of lists. Take advantage of this trick rather than building your menu blocks chaotically.

Place accents

Believe it or not, sometimes customers don’t buy from a website just because they can’t easily find the “Buy” button. To miss such an easily avoidable pitfall, look at your website through your customers’ eyes and make sure that all CTA (Call-to-Action) buttons are obvious.

Visible Search

The ability to search the website is a must-have feature for online stores, especially those with a wide assortment. If visitors come to your website knowing exactly what they need, make sure there is an easy way for them to find what they are looking for without the need to click through the entire navigation menu. Here are several additional tips on how to increase the Shopify store conversion rate with the help of user-friendly search.

Work on search functionality

Pay attention to the search capabilities and make sure to include the following:

  • Search by product name or number
  • Search taking into account typos and autocorrection
  • Suggest the most suitable products if there is no perfect match to the search query
  • Search by product characteristics or abbreviations
  • Search by alternate names for items

Autocomplete

Make the search faster and easier using the auto-complete feature. Once the user starts typing a search word, a drop-down list with the corresponding goods appears. You will benefit more if that drop-down list includes not only names of products, but also images.

Filter by characteristics

This feature is especially relevant for online apparel stores. A user can specify attributes like size, material, desired color, and so on. This option significantly shortens the customer journey and lets them proceed faster to the order phase.

An excellent example of a site with a well-tuned search menu is Death Wish Coffee.

Well-tuned search menu for Shopify conversion optimization

In this case, all the above tips have been successfully applied with the help of Searchanise, a multiplatform smart search app. Additionally, after clicking on the search icon, you see the drop-down menu with the most popular search queries, best-selling goods, and special offers.

#2 No CTAs

CTA buttons are one of the most crucial tactics to use in the online store. The goal of every e-commerce store owner is to make sure CTAs are clicked by as many visitors as possible. If at that stage of website design you forgot to include CTAs or didn’t make them stand out from the page background, then your visitors may not see it. The worst case scenario? It may potentially end with them forgetting to purchase from your store because they’ll likely land on your website, scroll through the catalog, and then leave, where they will just make the purchase on another site with a more obvious setup. To avoid this, you need contrasting buttons on the product pages, saying “Buy Now”, “Add to Cart” or something to that effect.

How to fix it

There are three main rules for the CTA design:

  • 1. It should be bright, and contrast with the background.
  • 2. Leave enough free space around the button to make it eye-catching.
  • 3. The CTA text should be clear and precise.

On the Ball and Buck website, these techniques are displayed to a T.

Obvious CTAs for Shopify conversion rate optimization

The black button on its white background, complemented by a clear call to action is what you see first when you land on a product page. However, target audience segmentation will help you in creating the best CTAs. So, first analyze the needs or your clients and then personalize your UX copywriting.

#3 Checkout Issues

Even if the design of your site is impressive, all the blocks are in place, and the navigation menu leads visitors to the desired product page in a matter of seconds – it is still not everything. If your store has a confusing shopping cart and checkout, this is one more point to deal with for Shopify conversion optimization.

How to fix it

Consumers adore simplicity. They just want a straightforward and clear checkout process.

  • 1. Make sure that the cart button is obvious on each page throughout the website. Do not be afraid to mark the number of products added to the cart. Customers should always see that they have already put something in the cart.
  • 2. Make the checkout progress bar visible to customers so that they can see which stage they are completing at any given moment.
  • 3. Order and payment forms must be easy to understand and fill in. Request the minimum customer info – all data, except name, phone number, email address, and payment info is redundant. Most customers refuse to fill out lengthy forms anyway and asking them to do so might mean they refuse to buy from your store. Not to mention, it’s less data for you to worry about protecting.
  • 4. Simplify filling in the data on the checkout page with the help of drop-down lists or the autocomplete feature so users do not have to type in every parameter manually.

Unfortunately, the out-of-the-box checkout page in Shopify is not customizable. This leaves two possible decisions: upgrade your store to Shopify Plus or use one of the third-party apps, like Cashier, which allows customizing the checkout to your needs.

Here is an example of poor shopping cart button design.

Bad 'cart' button design example

The first question really is where is the cart? We don’t know either. As you can see, it’s not in plain sight. Rather, it merges with the rest of the text, leaving busy consumers feeling a bit perplexed and having to search for it.

This is what a good shopping cart button should look like.

Right shopping cart design for Shopify conversion optimization

#4 No Email Follow Up Sequences

Have you noticed that your potential customers often add selected items to the cart only to abandon it and leave your site?

Every time a user leaves your store without submitting an order you lose a potential customer and, of course, the money that goes with it. According to statistics, in March 2020, the average abandoned cart rate was about 88%. By the end of 2020, this indicator is expected to dip to 57%, which provides hope to the e-commerce entrepreneur!

We have already discussed several reasons for user behavior that inevitably leads to a low conversion rate on Shopify. As an e-commerce business owner, you can hardly do anything about the window-shoppers, but you should be interested in ways to minimize the number of abandoned carts within your store.

How to fix it

Don’t hesitate to remind your visitors about their abandoned cart. The only way to return customers to the store is to set up follow-up emails and send them to the visitors who shared their email address before leaving the site. Abandoned cart recovery is a part of the Shopify store functionality, and it’s a surefire way to enhance your average returning customer rate Shopify.

To reduce the number of interrupted purchases, you should set up a chain of emails which include the content of the abandoned cart and some kind of motivation, like a discount coupon. As a result, you can significantly improve your Shopify conversion rate: according to the stats, such an approach can nudge 65% of recipients to complete a purchase during the next 12 hours.

If you want to know how such a feature might help you, just install an app like Follow Up Email Marketing, available on the Shopify Store.

#5 Login for Purchase

Mandatory registration may seem to be an effective way to obtain additional data about your leads and customers. Some online stores go further and force visitors to complete registration to access the product catalog.

However, the reality is that such an approach brings a lot more harm than benefits. A test conducted by experts at Smashing Magazine showed that 100% of users negatively react when they are forced to complete a registration.

How to fix it

Let your customers choose. Enable guest checkout in your Shopify store.

Consumers understand that their email address is required for purchase confirmation, but they don’t want to be forced to log in. Besides, when ordering a product, they will have to submit their email anyway. Optional user registration gives your users a chance to make their own decision on whether they feel like logging in or not. People tend to react better when they don’t feel overtly pushed.

#6 No Customer Support

The huge advantage of brick-and-mortar stores over online stores is the possibility to communicate with the seller in person, ask questions, and get immediate answers. To increase the conversion rate of a Shopify store, you need to organize the work of the online sales and support team in a way that a buyer does not feel the difference between shopping on-land and online.

Refine the “Contact” page

Here, you want to make available all the communication channels: phone number, email address, physical address (if there is one), links to your pages on social networks, etc. Additionally, create a “Contact Us” form and place it on the website.

On Minaal, an online store selling bags and gear for any occasion, the Contact page is perfectly organized and includes all required contact info and a form for fast feedback.

Contact form design for Shopify site optimization

Online chat

Chat allows users to get an immediate response without leaving the product page. Marketing agency Econsultancy stressed that customers who talk to online support on e-commerce websites show the highest level of loyalty. The secret is simple: this type of communication helps the client quickly get answers to any questions regarding the characteristics of the goods or the conditions of the purchase and delivery.

As an example, look how The Modern Shop implemented this idea.

Online chat for Shopify site optimization

“Call Me” button

This type of CTA block is good for customers who do not want to call the hotline or type queries into the online chat. Thus, by submitting their phone number, customers will receive a phone call from your manager, or whomever else you designate, to answer all their questions or help them to place an order over the phone.

It will be better if you inform users about the precise timelines within which you will contact them, and add a countdown timer. If you say that you will call within 30 seconds, then make sure that the support team member can manage to respond to the request within that set timeframe. By doing so, you’ll make a lot of headway on the journey to improve your Shopify conversion rate.

Recently Bay Sports found one of the most elegant ways of how to boost Shopify sales via adding a Callback button on their product pages. Check out how it looks and perhaps you’ll get inspired!

Example of callback button for better Shopify conversion rate

#7 No Upfront Shipping Costs and Terms

According to recent statistics, one of the primary reasons for shoppers to abandon their carts is expensive shipping. If the customer found the needed product in your store, the next question that interests them is usually “What are the payment and shipping terms?”

Of course, you have a Delivery and Payment Terms section somewhere on the site, but the customer still needs to find this page, which means leaving their current page. They’ve already come so far, you don’t want them leaving now. The shipping cost on your store may not even be that high, but if the customer only realizes at the checkout page that additional charges will apply, then you risk adding another address to your abandoned cart email list.

How to fix it

The best approach that will help you to increase the conversion rate for Shopify is to post information about possible payment and delivery methods, and terms on the product page. Thus, customers see the product description, its purchase and delivery options, and after that, they are free to decide whether all these terms suit their needs.

Shipping costs and terms made obvious in Shopify store

#8 No Customer Feedback

About 92% of visitors study company and product reviews before they make a purchase. 88% of them trust customer reviews as well as the recommendations of close friends and family members. Therefore, if there is no customer feedback throughout your store, it will be hard to increase the customer trust level and get more Shopify sales.

Product reviews also serve as a social proof of the quality of products you sell or the services you provide. So, we recommend that you do not overlook this opportunity to improve your Shopify store.

How to fix it

Customer reviews are a must-have on your online store. But where should you get them and how do you encourage customers to leave their feedback?

There are several possible ways. First, before you even say it out loud, posting paid fake reviews or writing them yourself is a bad idea. False feedback is easily recognizable. If you want your real customers to leave their feedback after purchase, you should somehow incentivize them. You can exchange their reviews for promo codes or discount coupons. Another option is to send them an email asking to spend a couple of minutes and share their experience with the product they have bought from you.

Reviews from social networks work twice as well. For example, Vanity Planet, an online store selling beauty gadgets, posts their customers’ photos from Instagram on their product pages. They manage this by simply pulling all photos that have a #VPBeauty hashtag in the description.

Customer feedback feeds that increase a Shopify store conversion

Important! You should not remove negative comments. Nonsensical? Yes – you may think so, but when there are no people in the reviews who are, at the very least, slightly dissatisfied with their purchase, it looks suspicious. Therefore, negative feedback is an opportunity to show how you solve problems and fix mistakes made on the part of the company. Be ready to apologize, propose possible solutions, and smooth out the consequences with gifts and discounts. Customers always prefer to see a responsive company rather than one that is happy to take their money and close the door.

#9 Non-adaptive Design

In the US alone in 2020, mobile retail revenues are expected to amount to $339 billion. So, if your online store is still not mobile-friendly, you are losing a significant chunk of potential customers, and your way to increase the Shopify store conversion rate will be more difficult.

How to fix it

Luckily, most Shopify themes already have an adaptive layout and you likely don’t need to worry about this. However, to dispel all suspicion, make sure that:

  • Product images are smoothly displayed on mobile devices
  • There are no text overlays
  • All basic information is visible
  • Order and checkout are user-friendly

If online shopping is somehow complicated, you must eliminate even the tiniest issue and make the mobile customer journey smoother and faster. First, think about replacing your Shopify theme with a new adaptive one.

Additionally, there are some other tricks you should implement to improve your e-commerce conversion rate:

  • Showcase popular products on the first screen. This allows for drawing the visitor’s attention to the best deals you offer and makes them continue browsing your online store.
  • One-step checkout. You can divide the process into several stages and indicate each step with the help of a progress bar at the top of the page. When users see their progress, it encourages them to proceed to the end.
  • Limit the product feed. To prevent users from scrolling the category pages forever, limit the number of displayed products on each category page. To simplify the search, create a multi-level menu.
  • Fix the search bar and “Add to Cart” buttons. Take mobile website navigation into consideration. Sometimes it is impossible to fit all the product info and characteristics on a 6-inch mobile screen. For better mobile user experience, we advise applying a sticky CTA button as well as a search bar.
Device adaptive Shopify store theme increases the conversion

#10 You Let Your Potential Customers Leave the Store with Ease

As we have already stated, not every online store visitor is ready to make a purchase. Some of them add products to the basket to review them later, while others postpone the payment for later and then forget about it. In both cases, your potential customers leave their shopping carts unpaid. However, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to convince them to finish the checkout process.

How to fix it

The best way is to create a pop-up message that will appear on the screen the moment a visitor decides to leave your site. This message can tell a client about an advantageous offer, which becomes available once the user chooses to stay and finally submits an order. For example, you can offer free delivery, a discount for the first order, or at least ask the visitor to submit an email address so that you can notify them about your best deals. That’s one more answer to the question of how to drive sales on Shopify via customer engagement rate growth.

Here is how the 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters engages their visitors.

Pop-up messages for better Shopify conversion rate

#11 Website Load Speed Is Too Slow

A common cause of low conversion Shopify rates is slow website loading. If the site is slow, visitors are more likely to close the tab. Marketing experts from around the world say that the site load speed should be close to one second or even less. In reality, most owners of online stores with a large number of products can only dream of achieving such indicators. So they’re still interested in ways on how to optimize a Shopify store.

How to fix it

Shopify site optimization for higher conversions should start with website load speed optimization. Analyze your online store with PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix and identify the pain points which influence the website performance. Here is what you can do:

  • Choose responsive Shopify themes that convert
  • Revise all installed apps and sort them out or optimize
  • Optimize all images
  • Refuse homepage hero sliders, instead, use a hero image
  • Reduce the number of HTTP requests

Recently, we helped one of our clients to optimize the site load speed of their online store built with Shopify and implemented all steps from this checklist. As a result, the website load speed was two times faster, and the client stated that it increased the conversion rate in the Shopify store by 23%.

#12 Security Issues

Often, customers interrupt the checkout due to concerns about the security of payment processing. The online store conversion rate of Shopify won’t enjoy any increase if:

  • The website does not include evidence of its safety for the customer’s personal data
  • There are no reviews from other customers saying that they are satisfied with the provided services and security

How to fix it

Buyers shouldn’t be afraid to send you money. This is a hugely important aspect on how to drive sales on Shopify. So, after getting through previous points of our Shopify conversion checklist, make sure that your online store also includes the following:

    • Support of the popular payment systems: PayPal, Stripe, VISA, etc.
    • HTTPS protocol – to provide more protection
    • Privacy Policy section, with an accurate description of all possible interactions between the seller and the customer
    • Refund Policy – Customers want to be aware of their rights in case something is wrong with the product they purchased from you

Not everybody gives meaning to these nuances, but it is important to comply with them. Otherwise, most customers will show you no trust and go purchase from other, more secure e-commerce websites.

#13 Few Payment Methods

Depending on the targeted region of your e-commerce business and on the personal preferences of each customer, a variety of payment methods may be required. Of course, it’s up to you to decide which of them should be available on your online store. But if you do not meet the needs of your customers, you risk losing a big part of them. This directly affects the conversion and increases the abandoned cart rate on your Shopify store.

How to fix it

Not all customers have a VISA card or PayPal account, especially if you are selling your products worldwide. Other than out-of-the-box Shopify Payments, there is a wide selection of payment gateways, popular in different countries and regions around the world. By implementing the most popular of them, you’ll get a chance to increase the Shopify conversion rate of your store.

Permanent Shopify conversion tracking, as well as numerous key performance indicators tracking, is a vital and indispensable process to run a successful e-commerce business. We recommend you not overlook it among other tasks and control this parameter. Shopify Google Analytics conversion tracking is a perfect way to keep your finger on the pulse of any conversion rate fluctuations.

As you can see, when it comes to conversion rate optimization, Shopify offers a plethora of various approaches. More and less complicated, they enable you to affect the conversion of your store from different points to gain the best result possible. This means that answering the question “how to increase conversion rate on Shopify” is no longer a challenge and you can be well on your way to success.

Final Thoughts

Running any business is a tough challenge, whatever industry you’re engaged in. E-commerce business, being on the cutting edge of the high-tech industry, requires maximum proficiency and expertise from you. And it’s quite normal to ask yourself now and then questions like “Why is my Shopify store not converting”, “Why am I not getting sales on Shopify”, and so on.

Shopify conversion funnel tuning is a hard nut to crack. It’s impossible to predict which one of these 13 listed conversion killers you need to eliminate first. Of course, this makes answering the question “how to increase conversion rate Shopify” a little tough. However, by implementing all of them, you can create an excellent base for building a profitable e-commerce business. Remember that any change you make to your online store must be focused on simplifying the customer experience and journey through the site. Thus, you’ll be able to answer the question “how to increase a conversion rate on Shopify” easily.

Our Whidegroup team has extensive experience in optimizing e-commerce stores and knows how to boost conversion rate in Shopify. We are always ready to cover the implementation of any technical aspect that will improve your conversion rates. If you’re interested in learning more, drop us a line!

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