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A Shopify User's Guide to Optimizing Conversions

A guest article by Meredith Boll a marketing consultant at Glew, an eCommerce analytics software provider, where she focuses on helping online stores understand and act on their data. Each week she publishes practical strategies for ways to rock eCommerce success.

Traffic to your online store can grow every day, but if visitors aren’t converting to a purchase, you could be wasting a lot of time and a big chunk of your ad budget. Taking the time to optimize your conversion rate will result in higher revenue, lower marketing spend and reduced customer acquisition cost.

Think of it this way; if your current conversion rate is 3% on 100,00 visitors each month, you’ve closed 3,000 transactions in a month. If you can boost your conversion rate to 3.25% from the same amount of traffic you’ll close 250 more sales. Let’s say the average order value of each transaction is $50, that’s an extra $12,500 in revenue.

There are specific metrics Shopify owners should be tracking and analyzing that will help improve online conversion rates.

1. Abandoned Checkouts

Online store owners should be reviewing abandoned checkout data to find patterns that might suggest why customers aren’t completing orders and take follow-up action to improve conversions.

To view your abandoned checkouts, from your Shopify admin, click Orders, Abandoned checkouts.

Sending remarketing emails can convince up to one third of potential buyers to return and complete their order.

In Shopify, you can manually send an email to a customer with a link to their abandoned checkout. From Abandoned Checkouts, click the order number you want to recover. Copy the link and include it in the remarketing email. You also have the option of entering a custom message.

Shopify also offers the ability to configure your shop to automatically send cart recovery emails. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, Checkout.

In the Order Processing section, look for the heading “If the customer abandons their checkout.” Then select from the following options in the drop-down menu:

  • Never (Default): Emails will not be sent to customers when they abandon their carts.
  • Six Hours Later: Email will be sent to customer 6 hours after abandoning cart with link to easily complete checkout.
  • 24 Hours Later: Email will be sent to customer 24 hours after abandoning cart with link to easily complete checkout.

Read more here for additional tips on reducing shopping cart abandonment.  

Another strategy for improving conversion optimization is implementing a wishlist to your Shopify cart in which visitors can store ideas to review and purchase another time. The Shopify App Wishlist is one of several Shopify Apps that allow online stores to add these capabilities to their shopping carts.

2. Conversion Funnel

The Shopify platform allows store owners to pass information about products, sales and conversions to Google Analytics for further analysis.

Using the Conversion Funnel Visualization report in Google Analytics will help you understand where potential customers are dropping off in the checkout flow, which can be used to drive optimization efforts.

You’ll need to set up a funnel in your Analytics account by following these steps:

  1. In Admin, make sure you’ve selected the right View in the right column and click on Goals.
  2. Select New Goal and type in a name for your Goal (ex. Checkout). Then select Destination URL as your goal type.
  3. Enter your post checkout page as your destination (ex. Payment Confirmed).
  4. Save your goal and start tracking!

Once set-up, you can assess step-to-step drop off and determine where and why shoppers are not converting to a purchase. By optimizing these areas you can increase future sales conversions.

 3. Search Terms 

If your online store has search capabilities you should be analyzing your Top Product Searches report in Shopify to boost conversion rates.

 In your Traffic report, the Top Product Searches data gives you a breakdown of the search terms your customers used to find a product in your store. You can see the specific term that the customer used to search your store in the Original Query column. 

By understanding specific words that customers are using when they are looking for something in your store, you can then adjust your product titles and descriptions to make sure shoppers can quickly and easily find what they are looking for, boosting your conversions.  

 4. Device Type Audit

It’s critical for store owners to understand which devices are being used to access their online store and optimize each display. A website design and display that doesn’t make it as easy as possible for shoppers to browse and buy is a quick way to kill any potential conversion.

In the Traffic section of your Shopify Reports, click on Visitors by Device. This shows you a breakdown of the types of devices used by visitors to access your online store.

In the case of this store, the majority of visitors are using mobile devices. The eCommerce business will want to further analyze conversion and bounce rates for customers using mobile devices to ensure it is optimized for viewing and buying.

These are just some of the metrics store owners should be analyzing to increase conversions. But remember that optimizing your conversion rate isn’t a one-and-done solution, rather an ongoing process. As you learn more about your audience you can be better at selling to your customers.

  Meredith Boll is a marketing consultant at Glew, an eCommerce analytics software provider, where she focuses on helping online stores understand and act on their data. Each week she publishes practical strategies for ways to rock eCommerce success.


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