When you have an issue on your site, there are a ton of things you can try to make the situation better. Below are a list of symptoms and different options of things you can try to increase conversions. Everyone's store and audience is unique. That's why we recommend everyone make changes in a data-driven and tested way. Using a product like Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer helps you easily test these changes in a systematic, and low risk way.
Two principles for conversion:
- Have someone who "owns" conversion on your team. If not, find someone. Marketing is great but if those visitors aren't translating into paying users, your site is leaking money. By having someone that lives in your analytics package and constantly running A/B tests, you'll consistently be increasing your conversion rates in your entire funnel.
- Your audience is unique to you and there is no exact formula that works for every store. By using a combination of psycology and data, you can gradually increase your revenue.
Symptoms and solutions
Abandoned cart - Never started checkout
Test your Call to Action
Experiment to see what works best for your customers. "Order Now" instead of "Buy Now" for example.
Give expected delivery dates
Amazon is amazing at telling you exactly when you can expect the order before you buy: "Order within 3 hours to receive this in 2 days". Since customers often need their products for a specific date, this will help the user gain confidence their order will arrive on time.
Test your gaurantee sizes
Remind users of your gaurantees. Make them prominent and large to see if this encourage users to start the checkout process.
Show trust points
As used as we are to seeing accredidations everywhere, they still have a major psychological effect. Experiment with putting popular accreditations like BBB, Associations you belong to etc.
Setup Adroll for retargeting
Once a visitor visits your site, you can show them ads for your store on many other sites they visit. This is called re-targeting and you've likely experienced it before. Adroll is one of the top platforms for this and they have a Shopify app to help get you get started. They claim a 1000% return on investment. Pretty good!
Send retargeted users to the cart
Neil Patel has had good success on retargeting users directly to their abandoned cart giving a double digit convertion lift. Source
Make guarantees more prominent
To further put your visitor's mind at ease, remind them all the gurantees and promises before the checkout call to action.
Try a wishlist
Instead of forcing the user to make a decision now if they want to buy the product, why not have them add the product to cart? You can get their email and remarket to them afterwards. Amazon does this with great success (I have 200 books on my Wishlist that a reguarly review). You can add a wishlist to your Shopify cart using the app: Wishlist @ $2.
Checkout started, not completed
Note: Shopify's checkout system is pretty streamlined and store owners don't have a ton of control to change things (or mess things up). So some of the things below may not apply to all Shopify owners.
Justify your higher price
If products from your store can be bought elsewhere. It is too easy for a visitor to do a search to find the product for a cheaper price. If you know your price is not the best out there, you need to justify why. Free shipping? Incredible customer service? Great bonuses thrown in? Brand loyalty? Don't let them compare "apples to apples"
Remove that promo code
People are smart. If they see a promo code box in the checkout, they will google "Cool Store promo" and see what comes up. Even if nothing comes back, they will spend at least a few minutes looking for it, allowing them to become distracted. Bionic Gloves removed their promo code which increased their revenue by over 24.7%. Case Study
Allow your customers a single page sign out instead of having to sign up for an account. Less fields and pages can reduce drop-off. Case Study resulted in 21% more completed checkouts.
No hidden fees
The vast majority of users hate hidden fees. If you must have extra fees, be sure you are up front about it so it isn't a surprise when the user reaches the checkout.
Payment gateway experience
What's your payment gateway experience like? If it's integrated directly into Shopify's new responsive checkout already, you're probably good to go. If you're using Paypal or a different 3rd party provider, this can add multiple steps, creating more opportunity for the user to drop off.
Abandoned cart coupon
If the user adds a product to their cart but leaves, email them a few hours later with a promo that expires within a few hours.
If a user adds something to their cart and closes their browser, is the product in their cart? What if they change browsers or move from their mobile phone to their desktop? Keeping products in the cart until you actively remove them can be helpful. Amazon keeps products in your cart for a long time (does it ever remove them)? There's a great free Shopify App you can activate it aptly called called Persistent Cart. Check it out!
Auto-populate the fields
Shopify does this automatically but other platforms may not. If the user has an account already, it pre-fills the fields to speed up the checkout process.
It can be a pain for users to have to create a new account for every website/store they visit. You can save them time by allowing them to leverage their existing Twitter, Facebook or other social networking account. Conveniently, there is an app designed to help you do just that: Social Login
Make your email notifications more friendly
When someone signs up and you send a "thanks for signing up" email with a bit of information it isn't very helpful. This is a great opportunity to start a conversation. Why not ask them a question about their experience to get a conversation going? This will be an automated way to give you valuable feedback to improve your store and marketing. You can change this under is found under settings, notifications, New Order notifications.
Test your checkout thoroughly
There are a multitude of things that can go wrong: error with payment gateway, card not setup for a particular country, card not supported etc. Having someone go through and try to break your checkout process can save you thousands of dollers of missed purchased down the line. Far better for you to find problems with your setup now, than a customer down the road right?
Offer multiple ways to buy
Some buyers (like corporate organizations) have a difficult time making orders online using a credit card. They have a formal process where they have to issue PO numbers. Consider mentioning "order by phone, fax or wire transfer" to make it more inclusive for traditional clients.
Paypal vs credit card
Some people feel more comfortable using Paypal than giving their credit card number to a variety of sites. Some people don't like the Paypal experience and want to use their credit card directly. Offering both can help conversions if you are able.
Make your checkout as simple as possible
Don't need that form field? Delete it. Reduce the amount of typing the user has to do. Here's a case study where removing 3 fields increased conversions by 10.48%
Remove any distractions
Do you have lots of links on any of your checkout pages? Don't let your customer be distracted. Keep them focused on the task at hand, checking out!
Remove ambigious words like "Continue"
By leaving ambiguous words in your checkout like "continue", users can interpret it as "continue the checkout process" or as "continue shopping". If your continue button doesn't mean the same as what they were expecting, then you've confused them. Likely reducing your overall conversion rate.
Non-ambiguous expiry date entry
When there is a single field for credit card expiry, it's not easy to know how to fill it out. Either make it two seperate fields, or have a faded sample text in the background of the textbox to make the entry format crystal clear.
Don't show the shipping address by default
The vast majority of clients for B2C stores have the same billing and shipping address. To avoid overwhelming them with double the amount of fields, leave the "Shipping is the same as billing address" checked.
Visitor never returns back
Add mailing list popup
Most users will bounce off your site and never come back. Why not offer to add them to a mailing list and educate them more on interesting products that might apply to them? Using a popup like in this Case Study helped them receive 1300% more signups (at small scale) than having a tiny popup.
Visitors bounce off landing page
A headline or call to action test
Add social proof
Case Study First point. 11% increase in CTR
Replacing a guarantee with a trust symbol
These can be security symbols from your hosting provider, SSL certificate provider, payment gateway, associations you belong to. Anything that gives you real creditability. In the sixth's point of this case study, conversions increased by 107%. In this case study, by 7.6%.
Test removing trust logos
In some cases, removing images might be best. iCouponblog removed a "secure" trust logo on their site. When they removed it, conversions rose up by 400%. Not intuitive but it worked. It reinforces that each situation is unique. Case Study
Case Study. Increased CTR by 52%
Try a video instead of picture
In this case Study, it added a 12% increase in add to cart
Try image carousels instead of a video
While sometimes videos work best, sometimes they don't! In this case study also by Visual Website Optimizer, they found in one case, a carousel of images converted better than a video option.
Toss the carousel
As a store owner, you're excited about all your products. However, a carousel might not be the best way to feature them. Erik Runyon has been collecting data on conversion of carousels and have found in many cases, them have a negative affect on customer experience and conversions. As I've said multiple times already, you need to experiment for audience.
Picture background vs Landing page
Do you have a plain old background? In this case study changing the background image to something other than a simple texture or pattern landed a 17-25% CTR increase.
Change image to something related to the desired end result
Selling a product to solve a problem? Show an image of the end result. Maybe a before and after picture. In this case study for a real estate site, they changed a friendly portrait of the real estate agent to a picture of a "house sold" sign. It gave a 89% increase in signups.
Try long form vs short form length
Try experimenting with putting more compelling reasons to buy then less. 37signals found doing a picture + long form decreased conversions, when doing long form without a picture increased conversions 37.5%. Case Study This sites case study increased conversions by 25% by using a short form version. Then again, in this case study, the long form won. What should you do? Each situation is unique. Test both!
Try featuring people
In the same study above, 37signals tested using pictures of smiling happy people of different genders and lighting conditions. The result? It really does make a difference. Case Study
Offer free shipping
The result in this case study, a 7.32% lift increase in Average Order Value (AOV).
While product reviews are helpful, having testimonials about your store's experience itself can be helpful. If possible, get a picture of the person and showcase it, making the quote far more personable. Case Study #1: 34% improvement, Case Study #2's 3rd note.
Remove as many links as possible
When there are too many paths a user can take on your site, they get confused. This makes them less likely to do anything, and leave! Show your store to someone and ask "what is the obvious thing you should do?". If they can't immediately answer, re-think your call to action.
Try adding a chat window
If your potential customer has questions, it's quite a stretch to have them pick up the phone or email you. Having a simple popup (like Olark) can be a very low-friction way to get the conversation flowing with your customers. This case study of Intuit adding "proactive chat" increased conversions by 211%. You can install the Olark Shopify App here.
Make messaging consistent with your ads
Do you have a landing page for your different ads? Be sure your messaging is consistent between both so that visitors expectations about learning about what they saw in the ad is met once they reach your landing page.
Feature your most popular products
Social influence is very powerful. If a visitor sees that many people enjoy a particular product of yours, that will influence their purchase. Make a collection of most popular products and feature them on your landing page.
How does your page look on a mobile device? Do the font and image sizes make sense? How prominent are your call to actions? If it's not too good, consider picking a theme that has these mobile responsive elements already built in.
Put yourself into your ideal customers shoes
You probably have a particular demographic that loves your product more than any others. If you pretend you are your ideal customer then look at your landing page, what resontates with you? What could you change up that will resonate with them more?
Create a great Unique Value Proposition
Visitors need to understand quickly why they should buy from you. Saying you are the "best place to buy XYZ" without backing it up is not terribly convincing for your visitors. If you look at Zappos.com, their message is always somewhere prominent: "Powered by service", which translates into another big theme of theirs: "Fast, free shipping on all orders". What's yours?
Social media followers
If you have a large following, consider showing the proper social media badge on your site. This gives the user confidence that many others have endorced you and have likely bought from you. If your following is still small (say under a thousand), focus on building a following first before advertising it.
Hire a usability tester
Some problems with your site may not be immediately obivous. However, User Experience and Usability Testers are experts in reviewing your site and giving you feedback on things that aren't ideal. A service like UserTesting can get you inexpensive feedback from a qualified, objective person.
Mind those images
While graphic heavy sites can be beautiful, too many high quality images can take a long time to load. If users are on their mobile phone with a data plan, it could eat lots of their data. Having less images load on a mobile device can make things more efficient for them.
Time your loading speed
Kissmetrics has a great infographic showing how load time impacts user bounce rate. One interesting benchmark: If you site takes over 4 seconds to load, you will loose 25% of your users before they even visit your site! Most mobile users say they will wait 6-10 seconds for a page to load. Use a tool like Pingdom's Website Speed Test to get an objective look at how long your page takes to load.
Test in multiple browsers regularly
Your favourite browser isn't the only one out there. Be sure to test your site in different browsers on the "big four": Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. In your analytics package, you can segment by operating system and browser. If any are not-converting close to the rest, consider doing a deep dive to see if something is wrong.
Test landing pages by traffic source
If you're able to detect where your traffic is coming from (PPC, mailing list, guest posts etc), experiment with extremely targeted landing pages that speak directly to that person who came from that traffic source. That way you can better control and test very niche messaging and images. Visitors coming from Instagram can have a very different persona than someone coming from an article in GQ.
Test landing pages by geographic source
Since you can detect the country the user is from, consider sending them to a particular page that speaks to people from that country. For example, many people purchasing from the US? Put an American flag in the background.
Update your design
99designs has a case study where a store updated their site to a new design and resulted in 33% conversion increase. Use caution though, be sure you test this in parallel with your existing theme to get accurate results. Case Study
Make your main call to action painfully obvious
It might to obvious to you as a store owner what your offering is to your visitor but maybe not to everyone else. Nature Air make their CTA more obvious which landed a 591% inprovement in conversions. Case Study
Don't cover up your image
It's tempted to put all kind of convincing text on your site, but don't do it if it covers up interesting parts of your image. In this Case Study, moving the text away from the focal point of the image increased conversions by 35.6%
Try translating your site
If you want to reach into new markets, you could experiment with new languages as some geographies might convert better than others. You could hire a translator on a site like ODesk and use a tool like Shopify's langify app to manage the translation.
Visitor bouncing off a product page
Invest in quality images
Most of us are extremely visual. Investing in fantastic pictures can really pay off. Experiment with quality images for a few product first to see how customers respond.
Test your default image
When visiting your product page, which image do they see first? Try switching it up.
Test your guarantees
Industry standard is 30 days. In reality though, how many people actually return products? Very few. Why not test extending the guarantee to 60 or 90 days just to give the customer a bit more confidence?
Create some time limited promotions
I'm not talking about those fake "call now within 45 minutes for an extra-bonus" you see on TV. I'm talking about a true limited promotion to target impulse buys. Maybe it's a 24 hours deal that you promote for a week. Explain why it's only for a short period of time to build trust for your visitors.
Low stock indicator
Another way to generate urgency is showing if there are only a few left in stock. This will force the visitor to make a decision relatively quickly if they are going to buy or not.
Address objections up front
When visitors are looking at your product, they will likely have questions. If you can anticipate these questions, answer them right on your product page. This will give the visitor fewer reasons to say no. Here's a case study where addressing objections up front increased sales by 27%.
Keep your product description interesting
In general, people don't like to read too much text. How can you make your copy interesting so the visitor stays engaged? Be sure you are using bulleted lists instead of large blocks of text. Try to break it up into sections with headings to make it easy for the visitors to find the details they are looking for. Need help? Check out this older but still great E-Commerce Copywriting: The Guide to Selling More.
Encourage helpful reviews
How are the reviews on your product? Are they genuine? Helpful? Descriptive? When asking for reviews from customers, try to get the users to use the CAR format: Challenge, Action and Result. This will really outline to your prospective customers how the product can help them.
Feature any media promotion
Customers are always looking to be reassured they are making a good decision. When a media outlet covers your store, show a logo and link to the article on your site. By having someone else say good things about your store, it gives you authority and in turn, visitors confidence.
Have positive and negative reviews
Having reviews for your products is a good idea for social proof. However, do you also have negative reviews? Research shows that customers who actually look for negative reviews are 85% more likely to convert than the average visitor. So don't shy away from having some negative reviews on your site. It builds authenticity.
Invest in video reviews
Ask users to make a video review of a product. Users have so much scepticism about textual reviews that a video makes it far more genuine.
Show a video about how it's made
Companies like Dodo case and Apple have differentiated themselves by telling the story about the love and care put into each of their products. Check out these older examples that are still amazing: Dodocase and Macbook.
Share your story
People love a good story. If you have a unique or heartfelt reason for starting your store, create an "our story" page to help visitors identify with you.
Show a video of the product
Instead of static images, a video showing the features and people enjoy the product will both resonate more effectively than just a few simple photos. Monoprice has videos for most of their popular product. Here is a great video I found with the first product I checked out on their site.
If you have multiple varients of a particular product, visitors will somehow have to figure out which version is best for them. How many times have you asked yourself: "is their medium sizing the same as the medium sizing I would get from this other store?". Make it easy for them. Give them a calculator that will tell them which is best for them.
It's a bummer when your visitor wants to buy something and it's out of stock. Reaching back to them to tell when it's in stock could help save the sale. Setup an email capture like Back in Stock to get this started.
If you offer a discount on a product. Test making it prominent instead of displaying it reallyreally small or not at all.
Test removing social sharing buttons
You heard me right. You need to test this, but in this case study, this store increased add to cart presses by almost 12% by REMOVING their "like this product" button. Why? 1) Clutter and distracting from the goal of having them add the product to the cart and 2) if you have low likes for that product, it gives NEGATIVE social proof that maybe people DISLIKE the prouct and aren't liking it. Then again, adding the social buttons to get more traffic will also help revenue. Test and see!
Show in the visitor's currency
Are a portion of your visitors from foreign countries? If so, it's really annoying for a user to convert from Norwegian Krone to US Dollars. Why not show the currency in their domestic currency to give them a better idea of the cost. What do you know: Auto Currency Switcher will do just that for you.
Visitor bouncing off a collection page
A customization selection wizard
If your site has multiple products, it may not be obvious to the visitor which product is best for them. Instead of them having to do lots of research, make it easy for them. Build a simple wizard that asks them questions that differentiate their products and present them the best product for them. This gives the visitor a very personalized feeling, while saving them time in research.
Remove the filter
If on your collection page you have a product filter, test removing it. In this case study, removing the product filter increased conversions by 27%. Likely since the user was less distracted and overwhelmed.
Add a filter
It all depends on your situtation. By adding a filter, this site was able to increase revenue by 76.1%! Case study.
Returning visitor doesn't buy
Self-selection for personalized browsing page
When a visitor comes to your page the first time, by asking them to identify as a particular segment, you can take them to a landing page geared specifically for them. If you remember this for next time they come back, it's already tailored for them. Case Study
Welcome Back Popup
When the visitor who abandoned their cart returns, have a popup reminding them they have something in their cart. In this case study, the popup decreased cart abandonment by 17%.
Call to action from your error page
It is inevitable that users will hit an error page at some point. Understandably, users will get frustrated and leave. Instead of a sad face telling them to press the back button, have a button to go to a particular category page, a phone number where they can reach you right away or an Olark popup that immediately asks to help them with whatever they were trying to do.
Visitor explores but doesn't add a product to cart
Popup with single property filter
Case study with a result of 58% conversion increase.
Experiment with Add to Cart text
Case study's 5th item. 49% addition to cart adds.
Allow for zoomed in detail
For products that have lots of detail, give the user the ability to zoom in using a loupe plugin. At the very least, allow them to get a full sized image. Here is a case study with the power of larger images when there are important details. Here are two options for plugins: OKZoom and loupe
An exit overlay test
If the user looks around but doesn't buy anything, you've probably lost them for good. How about offering them a small promo that they have to use today before they leave? You can detect when they will leave and offer a small popup. Case Study. Explored vs. bounced conversion is 7%-80%
Appeal to the different type of decision makers
Some people make decisions based on emotions, others in a very logical and rational way. Be sure you have copy that appeals to both of these type of people.
Showing users how to pick the right product and builds trust with your audience.
Experiment with different product videos
If you have a product video in place, why not test another video. Using Visual Website Optimizer (for your A/B test) and Wistia (to host) your video, you can actually see long people watched each video and where they stopped watching. This will give you data to figure out where you can make your product video better. This case study of a jewelery site, massively increased their revenue with their product videos.
Changing button colours
This is an easy test to do and could lead to great conversions. Simply changing a button colour of your call to action can help a lot. Checkout this case study where they changed their button from green to red. A conversion increase of 21%!
Changing button size
Also really easy to test. Changing the button size of your call to action in this case study landing a windfall increase for 32% increase in conversions. However, in this case study, conversions were reduced. Test it!
People using search box
If people have to use the search feature, they aren't easily able to find the product they want through the page they landed on and through the navigation.
Search Results Page Tests
Case study with a result of 12% click through the search page.
Show images when searching
By only having descriptions in the search box, you are aren't appealing to those people who are visual. By adding product images as the user is searching this case study showed a 15% conversion lift for those using the search feature.
Mailing list Conversions
Test subject lines
Case study's second item. 2.57% higher CTR.
Call them up
It is so rare for customers to feel valued that calling them up and asking about their experience will really give a "wow factor". You've not only made a customer that feels a great connection with your brand (more likely to come back) but they will tell other about you. If you're still not convinced, Paul Graham (famous startup investor) has a great article about it.
Encourage that they follow you
After a successful purchase, ask them to follow you in their order confirmation email AND thank you page on the various social media platforms. Since they already trust you and appreciate you products, this makes it more likely they will re-share what you post.
During registration, have a subscribe to Newsletter opt-in option
SPAM laws are becoming quite strict in both the US and Canada. However, if a customer buys from you, you have just cause to add them to your mailing list. To be extra sure they are happy to receive your latest updates, have an opt-in checkbox on checkout.
Send upsell emails
Sending them regular emails with product ideas they might be interested in based on their tastes can help them come back for more. When people buy from you, you have all this data of what people are likely buy based on what others like them have already purchased. A new product called rare.io uses advanced articifial intelligence across all your users to send product recommendations to your previous customers with things they will likely be interested in. You can check them out here: Rare.io
Case Study's 3rd item. CTR improvement of 6%.
Better utilize your thank you page
When the customer buys, this is when they are most excited about their experience. Instead of a typical Thank You page, why not have the user share (brag?) about what they just bought to their friends on social media. This could get a discussion going with friends and another opportunity for you to jump in and engage them.
Setup a rewards program
Encourage users to come back to buy more while giving them a bit of an incensive by adding a rewards program. Oh right, there's an app for that: S LoyaltyTweet