4 Small Tasks To Optimize Your Shopify Store
A question we often get asked at Carson is: “what is a small task for my Shopify store?”
Obviously, you’re usually looking to really nail down the important elements that will optimize your store to make more sales, so we’re going to look at a few tasks that fit the “small” criteria and can get better results for your website.
A theme is what gives you the overall look and feel of your store. When you open a Shopify store, you can either choose one of their standard themes or publish a new theme which you’ve either purchased from them or from someone else who creates them.
Shopify themes can be customized in two ways:
- Using the customize theme page which allows you to view and change settings. This is something that is usually easy, even for beginners to grasp.
- By editing the actual coding of the theme using the Edit HTML/CSS page. This gives you more options for what and how you can customize, but you’re going to need someone who is fluent in web design and code to get it done. They should also understand Liquid, which is Shopify’s templating language. (This is where we come in).
One of our clients; Kenko Matcha Green Tea
Why Do It?
What’s in a theme? Well, for one thing it is an obvious encapsulation of your brand and the products you deliver. Standard themes can work, but then again, they could have you looking like another “me too” ecommerce store, not the best for growing your brand.
Customization helps to create your unique brand voice, that aspect which speaks to your customers and draws them in. You can have theme layouts customized as well as settings which control fonts, colours and other appearance-related aspects.
Theme choice can play a significant role in conversion rates for your store and in its perceived trustworthiness. An obviously standard theme can give the impression that you’re not in serious business or are perhaps a bit shady. On the other hand, customization can demonstrate time, thought and effort.
In terms of conversion rates, every type of store is going to find different results for things like placement of images, text, menus, testimonials, buttons and forms. Sometimes testing one small element at a time can be the best way to achieve a better conversion rate because at least that way, you know what the change was that could be attributed to results.
Apart from appearance, there may be other functions that don’t come standard with your theme but you want to be able to offer. For example, if you have an older theme which didn’t come with social sharing buttons as standard, you might want an expert to add these.
A customized theme transforms your Shopify store from “me too” to a unique brand identifier
Always create a backup file of your theme before having any work done on it. This protects you from things going wrong with the customization and in the event that theme updates wipe work you’ve had done.
Graphics are a key element for ANY website and ecommerce is no exception. The thing is though, the graphics you use can either draw people in or drive them away.
Social Triggers wrote about the importance of images and how people need to see a decent view of the product they’re interested in. If you use amateurish or badly-placed images, it will put them off (and your competitors will probably be thanking you).
Graphics-related “small tasks” could include editing images for better positioning or clarity, changing out slider images or positioning and sizing of logos.
Why Do It?
The short answer is because you want sales. Just like theme appearance, the appearance and positioning of your graphical elements need to say “trustworthy business” to any site visitors.
If you need any more convincing, Shopify Nation has some really good reasons for optimizing your images, including:
- Your images can become a source of traffic when people arrive there through image searches.
- Optimizing sizes for better load speed is not only better for keeping customers there, but can impact the SEO of your site.
- Better load speeds drive more clicks and conversions.
There is plenty of evidence to show that having high-quality, relevant images on your site boosts conversion rates. It’s logical when you think about it - if you go to the store you pick up an item, or possibly give it a test run. When purchasing online, you rely on the images being of sufficient quality that you can see what you’re getting.
Source: Not On The High Street
As Social Triggers point out, you need to ask yourself what the main reason is that people want to buy your product—what’s going to grab them? Depict the answer/s to that question with the images that you choose and you should get better results in terms of conversion.
Another point to remember is that people like to see multiple views of a product. Many ecommerce stores have found they get better results if they show close-ups and multiple angles of each product.
Widgets and Third Party Code
There are all sorts of functions you will want happening with your ecommerce store which require you to install a third party widget or piece of code. Sometimes these are very simple to do, but other times they require a bit more advanced knowledge to set up correctly. This is a good example of a “small” task that Carson provides.
Why Do It?
We talked about this recently in our article on how to choose Shopify apps: third party apps can help you to achieve the goals that you have for your business (and should only be chosen if they do directly help achieve them).
You could think about splitting goals into categories, such as sales, marketing, customer service and administration, then looking for apps that will help fulfill those goals. There are so many app options available, so clear goals can help you to narrow the field.
Apart from goals in those areas, we often evaluate the usefulness of a potential app by assessing whether it gets a “yes” to either of these two questions:
- Will it help me increase sales?
- Will it make it easier to run my store?
Any third party apps you choose to add will require some kind of work to set them up and use them optimally, so less tends to be more if you want to have a streamlined business.
When choosing which apps to use, look at the following criteria:
- Is it kept regularly updated and is support available?
- Will it be simple for me to use once set up?
- Is the price within my budget?
- Does it have all of the features I need for that particular function?
This one seems fairly self-explanatory, yet there are a number of ecommerce stores out there that could benefit from webforms being added, but are not using them (or missing some that would be helpful).
Adding webforms involves installing the code for them on your website and making any adjustments needed for size or appearance.
Why Do It?
Webforms could be added to gather customer registration details, get customers to opt in to a newsletter or lead magnet offer, provide a contact form or even offer an order form in some cases.
There are several, very good reasons to get these done:
- Contact forms add a “trust” element and an easy way for customers to get hold of you.
- Opt-ins can provide the customer with something useful, which generates good-will toward your store.
- Primarily, forms allow you to gather contact details for the customer so you can add them to your list.
In short: if you’re not already, you should be building your email list and regularly keeping in contact with your followers.
Webform from Kenko Matcha Green Tea
Quite often the standard web form settings you get within Shopify or from a third party app are quite bland. It’s worth getting webforms customized to match the overall look and branding of your store.
From Small Tasks To Big Results…
It’s often the case with any website that rather than making big or drastic changes, a few small tasks can be the answer to seeing better results.
As ecommerce store owners we want to grow sales and brand recognition, right? So once you have your Shopify store up and running, you need to be looking at the goals you have for your business and what strategies you can take to get you there.
The four tasks outlined here are important for any ecommerce store owner. DIY or ask for help from an expert—it’s over to you.
Author: Katie Joll
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