Last updated on 5th October 2023 at 13:41 by Alex Nicholas
The conversion rate of your Shopify store is in my opinion the key metric that measures the success of your Shopify store because it shows you whether the web traffic you're driving to your store is targeting the right audience and that your audience is liking your offer.
It's the number one benchmark that you can rely on when using PPC and to a degree SEO because if you're targeting the right people, with the right product at the right price then your conversion rate should be between 2% to 5%.
The only thing I would urge you to pay close attention to when measuring your conversion rate is when it comes to scaling your traffic. This is especially true for SEO because with SEO you're likely to be bringing in people who aren't ready to buy straight away.
This will mean that your conversion rate will be lower but the number of people visiting your site will (potentially) be high.
These people might have entered through your blog or via social media and are in understanding or discovery mode and it might be a while before they decide they're ready to buy.
This is generally different with PPC though. With PPC you can be very specific with the traffic you target which means that your conversion rates could be higher.
In fact, this is something I've had success with in the past. I used Google Shopping to launch a personal brand of mine whilst I worked on the SEO side of the project and was able to gain traction and really good reviews which helped increase overall conversion rates as customers were able to put faith into a new brand.
Shopify conversion rate calculator
So by now, I'm sure you're wondering how you go about calculating your conversion rate, and in all honesty, it's pretty simple.
Your conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions (sales or desired actions) by the number of visitors to your site. For example, if 100 people visit your site and 10 of them make a purchase, your conversion rate is 10%. The higher your conversion rate, the better your store is performing.
A low conversion rate can indicate that there is room for improvement in the design, user experience and speed of your site, as well as in your marketing and sales strategies. A high conversion rate, on the other hand, suggests that visitors are finding what they are looking for and are more likely to complete a purchase.
However, it's important to note that conversion rate is not the only indicator of the store's performance, it's important to look at other metrics as well, such as the revenue, average order value, customer lifetime value and so on.
Tracking and improving your conversion rate is essential to the success of your Shopify store. By understanding where your visitors are coming from, what they're looking for, and what causes them to convert or not convert, you can optimize your site, your sales process, and your marketing efforts to increase conversions and drive more revenue.
Shopify conversion rate by industry
To give you an idea of what your conversion rate should be, below is a rough guide to the average by niche:
- Consumer electronics – 1.84%
- DIY and tools – 1.07%
- Automotive – 2.23%
- Home furnishings and decor – 2.3%
- Jewellery and cosmetics – 2.9%
- Sports – 3.1%
- Apparel and footwear – 4.2%
- Health and pharmacy – 4.6%
- Gifts – 4.9%
And whilst this is a decent guide, it is just that, a guide. Yours might well be different depending on:
- Which country you're in
- How well the economy in your country is doing as a whole
- Whether large competitors are spending big money on ads that are taking away your traffic
- Whether a large number of competitors have recently entered your market
Plus many other reasons that cannot be planned for in advance, so take these as a benchmark rather than gospel.
Optimise your Shopify store's design and layout
The design and layout of each and every web page on your store can greatly impact the user experience and influence whether or not visitors decide to make a purchase. Consider using a clean, minimalistic design with a clear navigation menu and easy-to-find call-to-action buttons.
This is the first thing your customers will notice so finding your products needs to be clear and obvious.
Use high-quality product images
It also goes without saying that great product images will make a huge difference when it comes to converting browsers into customers.
eCommerce stores by their very nature are loaded with product images, therefore high-quality product images are essential for any store. They give customers an idea of what the product looks like and can help to build trust in your brand. Make sure to use high-resolution images and display them from multiple angles, preferably in a WebP format.
Implement upselling and cross-selling tactics
Upselling is when you offer customers a higher-priced version of the product they are currently viewing while cross-selling is when you suggest complementary products.
These tactics can help increase the average order value and boost conversions, and Shopify does a great job at allowing you to work this into your store via apps or Shopify themes.
Leverage customer reviews
By now I'm sure that anyone who has ever brought something only has been influenced by reviews in one way or another.
And by clearly showing positive customer reviews you're leveraging a powerful tool for increasing conversions, so showcase them prominently on your website to help build trust and credibility.
Use A/B testing to experiment with different variations of your website, such as different headlines or call-to-action buttons, and determine which one performs best in terms of conversion rate.
A/B testing can be a tricky thing to implement correctly and you'll need a lot of traffic to make the data worthwhile, but if you do get it right store owners can increase their conversion rates on Shopify dramatically and turn more visitors into paying customers.
It will take some time to see results and it's important to monitor and adjust your strategy continuously in order to improve over time. Just don't be too hasty when it comes to changing things unless it's clear that the change is having a really negative effect.
Headlines that stand out in the SERPs
The headlines on your website should be clear and attention-grabbing, and they should quickly communicate the main benefit of the product or service that you're offering.
Your headlines are also the first thing potential customers will see after they perform a search in Google, so it's really important to use the main search terms for your product/collection as this will increase the likelihood of your page being clicked.
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons
The CTA buttons on your website should be prominently displayed and easy to find. Use action-oriented language, such as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up”, to encourage conversions.
You should also display your buy buttons as immediately as possible on your product pages so that they don't get missed. The lower down they are the more chance you have of losing the sale.
Product descriptions should be clear, and concise and provide the information that customers need in order to make an informed decision about purchasing.
As a rule, you need to portray the benefits of your products and how they'll suit your customers and their lifestyles. The only time I would recommend not doing this is if you sell technical products such as hi-fi equipment, where customers are going to be looking for tech specs and compatibility etc.
Optimise the checkout process
The checkout process should be as smooth and streamlined as possible. Thankfully Shopify makes the process as smooth as it can be and is secure and easy to navigate with each “next step” clear and obvious.
The reality is that many customers never actually complete a purchase. They will add to cart, get as far as the payment section then drop out. This unfortunately is part of owning an eCommerce website and happens all the time, in fact, you'll see that roughly half of people who add products to their cart never finish checking out.
This is where setting up Google Analytics will help because you can set up goals that will allow you to see exactly where customers are dropping out. Shopify does have this within it's analytics but I recommend setting up analytics too because it acts as a good performance indicator as to how accurate your stats are.
Allow guest checkout
Understand that you're not Amazon and you shouldn't be forcing people to register before they can buy anything. By allowing customers to checkout as a guest your conversion rate will increase and you'll have happier customers.
That's not to say that people will not create an account with you, because they will, just give them the choice.
In my experience, around 50% of customers will create an account anyway, but this will vary from industry to industry.
Use remarketing to target specific customers
In some niches, it's a good idea to use remarketing to bring customers back to your store and to keep your brand front of mind. In my opinion, it's a good idea to target customers that have reached checkout but haven't completed their transaction.
This is especially true for expensive purchases because the buying cycle is often longer than everyday consumables.
Offer multiple payment options
Customers like to use the payment options that they're used to or have the details and credit cards stored already for convenience. So make sure that they have the option to choose.
And if you sell expensive products it's a good idea to allow your customers to spread the cost of their payments over a few months with 0% finance options like Klarna.
Abandoned cart recovery
On top of remarketing, I strongly recommend that you use abandoned cart recovery. In fact, there's no logical reason not to use it!
And from personal experience, abandoned cart recovery works well, especially leading up to and around the Christmas period.
This is something Shopify does well, and to give you an idea of what you can achieve, one of my stores reached a 28% recovery rate, which is extraordinarily good. However, the average recovery rate will be around 5-10%
Create content that answers customer questions
If you operate within a niche that requires some level of understanding then it's a good idea to create content that answers questions that your customers might have.
Link to them clearly from your navigation so that people can quickly find the answers they need, and if you're struggling to think of potential questions that might be asked, check out competitors that have been around a long time to see what questions they're answering.
It's also a great idea to create blog content that completely covers the topics surrounding your products so that:
- People can see use cases for your products
- You meet potential customers at different stages of their buying cycle and they become aware of you
Be clear & upfront with all prices
Nobody like to be hit with additional fees that they weren't aware of until they reached the checkout, so make sure that there are no hidden costs that will make people abandon their cart and go to your competitors.
I believe it's a good idea to put shipping fees on all product pages and at the top of your store, across all pages.
It's something I do on all of my project sites.
If you've got a hot-selling product it's sometimes a good idea to use scarcity tactics to increase FOMO (fear of missing out), with the best two tactics being:
- Time-limited pricing
- Only X number of products remaining with a remaining stock counter buy the product.
This is something you see on Amazon every single day, but be aware that this will give savvy competitors insight into how well some of your products are selling.
Discounts for email sign-ups
One thing is clear in this day and age is that owning your own email list is vital because:
- You can promote to it on a weekly basis
- You own it and can give customers the heads up when you're about to launch a new product
- They're less likely to go to your competitors
It's hard to gain new customers due to the sheer number of competitors you'll already have but very easy to sell to them over a period of time once you have them.
In fact, emailing existing customers is by far the cheapest and easiest way to generate new sales and keep your brand relevant.
Integrate live chat
Live chat isn't something I actually recommend for every Shopify store because in my opinion, it's not always necessary and can often be a huge time soak for a small company with limited resources.
But if you do have the time to manage it, or you sell products that require support then it's a worthwhile integration because it will increase conversions.
People will feel that they can trust you because they're dealing with a human rather than just a faceless website.
Trust badges are as old as the web itself but still worthwhile.
In my opinion, they're not as important as they once were and nowhere as important as a well-designed site with good reviews, but you should still integrate them because some customers will notice if they're not there.
Solid returns policy
This should be part and parcel of selling online but it's essential to have a good returns policy that goes above and beyond your competitors if at all possible.
With eCommerce, people aren't able to see the products until they get them in their hands so by law they have a right to return. And whilst I don't completely agree with the Amazon policy of (virtually) no-questions-asked returns, in all honesty, you've got no reason not to have a good returns policy.
Clear & logical collection pages structure
It's amazing how often store owners get this badly wrong, but by mixing random products together that don't naturally fit into the same collection as each other you're confusing the buyer and making it really hard for them to find what they're looking for.
So make sure that your site structure is logical and that only relevant products are grouped together.
That's a wrap
Hopefully, after reading this article you have a better understanding of where the important aspects of increasing your Shopify store's conversion rates and how you can address them.
And whilst each store's needs will be different, by improving or implementing some (or all) of the things I've outlined in this complete Shopify checklist and by gathering data, you can make incremental gains that will make a big difference over time.