Hooray - you’ve launched your store! Now what? Well, ideally, customers arrive and make purchases; then, you do a little happy dance by your computer. Unfortunately, sometimes the office sounds less like a party, and more like crickets. So, what can you do if your store has sufficient traffic, but just isn’t completing any sales? The solution lies in the implementation of effective conversion optimization methods.

Today, we’ll discuss how to institute effective conversion optimization so you can make the most of the traffic that reaches your Shopify site. First, let’s define the importance and meaning of the term “conversion optimization.” Then, we’ll examine eight essential areas of the sales funnel where you can start effectively converting browsers into shoppers.

Conversion, Conversion Rate, and Conversion Optimization

Generally speaking, conversion refers to a single user completing an intended action. This could be a click, subscription, or download. However, in terms of eCommerce, the most important conversion is when a visitor completes a purchase.

This important metric is usually tracked by means of a conversion rate percentage. To find yours, simply divide the total number of store visitors by the number of completed transactions. Then, multiply that value by 100. The result is your conversion rate percentage.

So, to increase this percentage and make more sales, you need to focus on conversion optimization. That means you need to ensure every single page, product, paragraph, and photo is most effectively influencing shoppers to buy. In essence, your site content needs to be optimized to convert. Let’s discuss how to do that across the three main areas of the sales funnel.

How to Optimize Your Shopify Store for Conversion

Awareness (search and advertising)

  1. Service and Product
  2. Audience

Pre-Purchase (browsing products, cart, and checkout)

  1. Trust
  2. Landing Page
  3. Social Proof
  4. Retargeting

Post-Purchase (after purchase completion)

  1. Retargeting
  2. Thank You Page

1. Service and Product

At the broadest end of the sales funnel should come careful consideration of your products and/or services. It sounds obvious, but ensuring your goods are in demand makes the rest of the sales funnel that much more successful.

Now, not every item is going to appeal to everyone. However, here are a few questions to give you a good idea of the potential success:

  • Have I completed thorough market research on this product/service and the related industry?
  • Does this product or service… solve a need? … touch emotion? … appeal to a fan base?
  • Is this product or service unique enough to stand out among competitors?
  • Does this product have the potential to go viral online?
  • How competitive are my prices compared to others in the industry?
  • Can I easily target a specific, yet large audience?

If you can positively answer these questions, you have successfully optimized your service or product for conversion and are on the right track. However, this is only the first step. Let’s continue.

2. Audience

After reviewing your product, give some attention to the audience you’re attracting now, and the audience you need to attract to complete sales. Are they the same? If so, that’s good. Again, you could be on the right track to conversion success.

However, one cause of a low conversion rate is not attracting the proper traffic to your site. Remember, when marketing to an audience, your goal is not to reach the largest amount of shoppers but to reach the most targeted large audience.

Depending on your audience and product, here are some popular traffic sources you can utilize to focus on reaching a more targeted, specific audience:

  • Google AdWords
  • Paid social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter)
  • Affiliate or influencer marketing on social media
  • Organic search optimization (SEO)

3. Trust

Trust is a major influencer when it comes to closing an online sale - or, not closing one. Most online visitors don’t know the business owner behind the screen; they don’t know you, your employees, or your family. In order for a shopper to give your site their hard-earned money, they need to feel as if they can trust it - and you.

Here are some ways to easily earn a customer’s trust:

  • Trust badges (guarantees, safe payment logos, etc.)
  • Easy to find contact information like a live chat option and your phone number
  • Visible return and refund policy
  • Social proof (we’ll discuss this in more detail later)
  • “About Us” page
  • Quality content (clear, professional photos and proper grammar/spelling)

By allaying any doubts and presenting ample reason to trust your store, you help move the customer further down the sales funnel - and, one step closer to converting.

4. Landing Page

When you market, advertise, or promote your business, on what page do customers usually arrive first? Whichever page that is for you is called a “landing page.” In terms of optimizing for conversions, you need to ensure that that page really speaks to the shopper.

Of course, your home page should look attractive and drive customers to the end goal. However, often, the home page is not the landing page for potential shoppers. So, give thought to your product pages and blog posts, too. Here are some items you’ll never find missing from a highly converting product page:

  • Clear and grammatically correct product descriptions that appeal to human emotion
  • High-quality photos illustrating all variant options and, if possible, video
  • Proper branding and cohesive colors that maintain a trusted store image

If you have them, don’t forget to include product ratings and reviews. In fact, customer reviews increase the conversion rate by around 190% - that’s almost double!

In order to increase your conversion rate, it is essential that you turn each landing page into a well-written, informative, and aesthetically pleasing first impression. Doing so will hold a shopper’s attention and help them move further down the sales funnel.

5. Social Proof

Working in the eCommerce industry, it's likely you've heard many times of the importance of customer reviews. Let's discuss. Social proof, also known as user-generated content (UGC), affects shoppers’ psychology in two ways:

  1. UGC increases brand trust.
  2. UGC fosters a fear of missing out (FOMO).

By displaying testimonials, reviews, and even a social feed of past customers’ photos, you let new shoppers know that you’re trustworthy. After all, it’s not just you who can attest to this fact - all of their peers agree, too. Plus, nobody likes to feel left out. When hesitant shoppers see just how happy your past customers are, they’ll want to hop on the bandwagon and gain that feeling, too.

6. Retargeting

After optimizing the prior five areas, you’ll likely see changes reflected in your conversion rate. Still, not every shopper will complete a purchase on their very first visit. So, by retargeting past site visitors, you create another opportunity to persuade them to close the deal.

Here are some effective ways to retarget past site visitors:

  • A Facebook pixel allows you to collect visitors’ data and transform it into a target audience for remarketing campaigns. These campaigns are effective and can remind past shoppers of items in which they initially showed interest.
  • Install a pop-up plugin requesting access to display push notifications. Later on, if a site visitor enabled them, you can send out shopping reminders or promotional information.
  • Enable the Google Analytics remarketing feature to collect data that you can later use to create ads in the Display Network.
  • Collect visitors’ mobile phone numbers (and the proper data authorization, of course) and utilize an integration to send out reminder text messages for shoppers who “forgot” items in their carts.

Remember, there is an old marketing rule of thumb that indicates a potential customer needs to see or hear of an advertiser seven times before they will make a purchase from them. In today's modern, high-tech world, some say that rule may need to be increased. Whatever the case, retargeting is not an area of which successful business owners overlook.

7. Retargeting (Again)

No, that is not a typo. Retargeting is such an important part of conversion optimization that it earns two spots on this essential list. Use the methods from the previous step, but, this time, with regards to customers who have already made purchases.

After all, just because a shopper makes a purchase, doesn’t mean they cannot convert again. In fact, they already made it all the way through the sales funnel successfully - a good indication they are likely to do so again.

Plus, getting first-time sales is enough of a process (as we’ve exhaustively discussed) that it’s extremely valuable and beneficial to focus not only on customer acquisition but on customer retention, too.

8. Thank You Page

As potentially the last message from you that a shopper will see for a while, you want to make a good impression. A “Thank You” page shouldn’t feel like a slammed door in the face of a customer who just paid. Rather, it should feel like an integral part of the shopping experience, an intentional landing page that encourages the shopper to go back and browse once more.

Many entrepreneurs have found it valuable to offer a “limited-time” discount code as a “thank-you gift” for shoppers who just made a purchase. With the use of an easy-to-install plugin, you can create a sense of urgency and generate another new sale - maybe they’ll go back for that item they just weren’t so sure about. Either way, don’t miss this valuable, yet often overlooked opportunity for conversion optimization.

Conversion Optimization That Leads o Endless Shopify Success

Just as a funnel works as a unit to encourage matter into and through it, the sales funnel works most effectively as a cohesive unit. By giving intentional thought to each and every important step of the sales funnel, you can increase your conversion optimization rate and make the most of your online business.

If you have more questions on conversion optimization for Shopify or other eCommerce topics, be sure to schedule a chat with one of our consultants today. Let’s help you get on the path to true success.