Major ecommerce businesses are known for spending heaps of money on vigorous online Google and Facebook ad campaigns. But what is often overlooked is conversion rate optimization (CRO). All the website traffic in the world won't help you if your Shopify store isn't converting.
A store's conversion rate is a significant health indicator, and understanding these metrics can help you optimize your revenue. Let's explore why conversion rates are so important and what you can do to increase them in your Shopify store.
First, Marketing 101
Before we get into optimizing your conversion rate, let's do a quick level-set on marketing terminology.
What is a demand funnel?
A demand funnel is a systematic framework of sales stages that mark a lead's (potential customer) progress through the buying process. For ecommerce stores, a typical demand funnel tracks the shopping process from a prospect's first visit to the purchase confirmation.
To measure progress through your demand funnel, you calculate each conversion rate between the demand funnel stages. By doing so, you can better understand which selling stages are furthering your goal and which ones need more improvement.
What is a conversion rate?
A conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who take the desired action. For an ecommerce store, the conversion rate measures the percentage of store visitors who make a purchase.
To simply calculate a typical ecommerce conversion rate (without the added complication of conversion rates between each stage), divide the number of store visitors by the number of sales within the same period.
Shopify's reporting dashboard gives you an overview of your store's conversion funnel to make monitoring easier.
Let's look in detail at how you can ensure a reasonable Shopify conversion rate for your business.
Brand Credibility and Trust
With so many online scams, buyers are wary of new online stores and brands. Communicating your brand's credibility earns shoppers' trust and removes buyers' hesitation.
1. The importance of first impressions
First impressions are critical for ecommerce stores because they determine whether the prospect continues to browse or clicks the exit button. For many ecommerce stores, ad campaigns draw a large portion of visitors. Thus, first impressions often fall to the landing page after an ad click-through, so the landing page must have flawless grammar, quality product photos, and a fast load time. The rest of your website must also feel similarly polished.
It's worth investing time in writing thorough descriptions of your products to pre-emptively answer any customer questions preventing purchases.
2. Credible customer reviews
Another way to increase consumer trust is by displaying verified customer reviews on your site. This way, site visitors can see the testimonials and genuine quality of your products. Make it easy for prospects to read customer reviews by linking the product's reviews directly from the product page.
3. Having an impeccable user experience
Optimizing user experience is really a fancy term for creating a digital experience that is easy and pleasant. For most shoppers, an online store's navigation is one of the most salient factors determining an easy shopping experience. It's helpful to divide your store into sensible product categories that are easy to search and filter. Having an easy way to search for and filter products makes it easier for your prospect to find the items they need.
Also, pay attention to your site experience across all devices. Your user experience must be consistent and high quality on desktop computers down to mobile devices. Never forget end-to-end user testing.
Top of Funnel: Creating Awareness
The top part of the demand funnel starts with creating awareness among your target audience. There are many ways to attract prospects, which we'll discuss next.
4. Organic SEO and paid search
To bring relevant traffic to your Shopify store, you might need to employ strategies that increase your organic traffic. You can do this by devising and implementing an SEO strategy for your store.
SEO strategy is generally divided into two categories: organic and paid. Organic SEO usually requires quality content writing on your store pages and blog. Organic SEO is typically more cost-effective, but it takes longer to recoup results.
Paid search is faster in gathering results because you can pay for your search and display ad campaigns. The more money you throw at a campaign, the larger your campaign audience. But paid SEO is only effective if you can balance your visitors and ad impressions with the cost-per-click.
A targeted SEO campaign ensures that you are getting qualified traffic for high-intent keyword phrases, decreasing your store's bounce rate. Ultimately, bringing more traffic to your site will always increase your number of store visitors, but there's more to do to improve your conversion rates.
5. Blogging and content marketing
Great content should not be limited to your store's landing page, product page, or checkout page. Blogging and content marketing (both written and video-based) can be an effective strategy for bringing in new prospects. Curating relevant content for your target audience allows you to engage with your customers better and gain their trust. It also allows you to position yourself as a niche industry expert, contributing to your brand's perceived authenticity and credibility. Thus, blogging and content marketing are often considered part of organic SEO strategy.
6. Engaging in social media
The rise of social media has positively impacted the growth of ecommerce stores. Social media allows you to build social proof and trust. Through social media, you can tell your customers about your brand's story in an engaging way.
Having interesting content on platforms like Instagram and Facebook drives engagement, awareness, and ultimately sales. More importantly, you can use tools present on these platforms like Facebook messenger and Facebook ads to market your products and reach out to your customer base. Facebook messenger marketing is increasingly becoming more commonplace and will only continue to grow.
Mid-Funnel: Getting Into the Shopping Cart
Once you have your prospect's attention, the next step is to persuade them to click the cart button and add products into their cart. You can do it through the use of different marketing strategies both on and off-site.
Understanding buyer personas
It is essential to know your customer base's buyer personas to create targeted ads and marketing campaigns for your audience. An easy way to get these data and insights is through Google Analytics, where you can analyze your customer base in several ways and then devise your marketing strategy accordingly.
7. Email marketing
If you have built a healthy customer list through previous marketing efforts, you can use email marketing for your business to land new customers.
Email marketing is also popular to market to your existing customers. It is always easier to encourage repeat purchases than it is to acquire an entirely new customer.
Another effective and best practice email strategy uses abandoned cart emails and a targeted remarketing campaign to get prospects to buy the products they left in their shopping carts.
8. Direct marketing
Direct marketing can be an effective way to advertise sales or promotion codes. Although direct marketing is expensive because it requires printing and mailing expenses, direct marketing can result in some of the highest return on investment when it is properly researched and executed.
9. Influencer and word of mouth marketing
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing strategy that involves partnering with popular social media personalities to make product recommendations from your brand. It's similar to word-of-mouth marketing in that it relies on your customer's respect for another person's opinion. Influencer marketing requires thorough research into your brand's audience and demographics.
Word of mouth marketing can be encouraged through the creation of loyalty programs. By offering customers incentives to share with their friends, you can obtain some of your highest-qualified leads.
Bottom of Funnel: Making the Sale
The bottom of your demand funnel is where you overcome buying objections and seal the deal.
10. Objection handling through targeted messaging
If you truly understand your audience buyer personas, you should have a general idea of the features your prospects are looking for, what they want, what they don't like, and why they decided to (or decided NOT to) purchase. By addressing common concerns and questions, you can try to handle buying objections up-front through a targeted messaging strategy.
If you are unsure about your customers' motivations, you can try to interview a handful or send out feedback surveys. If you have trouble gathering participation, a promotion code or other incentive can help ease the way.
11. Reducing cart abandonment
A clear-cut way to measure the success of Shopify stores is by looking at their cart abandonment rate. Abandoned shopping carts are directly related to lower conversion rates.
You can use tools to track exit intent that help Shopify owners recognize when people are leaving their website. Exit intent is often acknowledged after a specific time or when the customer's cursor moves toward the exit button. You can set exit intent pop-ups to trigger at this time to encourage continued customer engagement. Often, a promotion code is offered to entice your prospect to browse longer.
By using live chat on your site, you can answer customer questions and concerns in real-time. When you are offline, chatbots can be programmed to help prospects find the resources they need to make a buying decision. Like pop-ups, you can also set chatbots to trigger at exit intent.
Removing checkout friction
Above all, the best way to optimize your sales conversion is to make the checkout process as easy and pain-free as possible. For example, don't require prospects to create an account before they have finished the purchase process. Another way to optimize the checkout process is to offer many different payment options, such as credit cards, Paypal, and buy-now-pay-later options like Klarna. By removing any possible sources of friction, you can encourage more sales faster.
Closing The Loop: Getting Repeat Customers
Once you have gotten your prospect through your demand funnel and converted them into a customer, the customer journey doesn't end. To keep an ideal Shopify conversion rate, you should look towards getting repeat customers. Here's how you can go about this.
12. Customer loyalty programs
One way to earn the loyalty of your customers is by offering them incentives. These incentives could be in the form of special offers, coupon codes, and rewards. You can also reward your customers by giving them loyalty badges and offering discounts for their subsequent purchases. Some loyalty programs work on points-based systems, wherein customers collect points with each purchase. Customers can then redeem these points for discounts, prizes, or other related products.
13. Quality customer support
A quality customer support team is of paramount importance to improve customer retention. No matter how much time you spend optimizing your store's experience, mistakes will ultimately happen. By employing talented customer service representatives, you can rectify the errors with minor damage done to your brand's reputation.
Many stores also use chatbots to handle customer issues in different time zones.
14. Fast and free shipping
An easy way to attract repeat sales is by offering customers free shipping or expedited shipping options. No one wants to wait a long time for the products they offer. There are many ways to provide expedited shipping services to your customers. You can do it by having your inventory stored in several fulfillment centers around the majority of your customer base zones, or you can partner up with an experienced 3PL company that handles shipping for you.
15. Easy returns
To guarantee customer satisfaction and have repeat customers for your ecommerce store, it is vital to have a clear-cut returns policy for your store. Many customers read the returns policy before purchasing because they want to ensure that they have the option to return or exchange the product. Having a flexible returns policy lets the customers know that you care about their experience and that it is safe to shop at your store.
How Malomo Streamlines Shipment Tracking
Malomo elevates your post-purchase experience by offering beautiful shipment tracking landing pages and emails. With Malomo, you can turn shipment tracking into shipment marketing so that you can cross-sell related products to customers in a non-invasive way. You can add Malomo to your Shopify site by going to the Shopify app store and seamlessly integrating it into your existing Shopify store.
Providing your customers with the best experience should be a priority for all retailers, whether you're running a traditional brick-and-mortar store or an ecommerce store. For ecommerce stores, healthy conversion rates are an indicator of your shop's successful performance. While customer satisfaction is always vital, the steps to optimize it vary depending on which demand funnel stage your customer is in. Once you understand what stages of the demand funnel witness prospect drop-off, you can devise your marketing strategy accordingly.