The goal of every Shopify store ever is to convert the most site visitors to actual customers as possible, otherwise there would be no profit made. But what exactly is Shopify conversion rate, how to calculate it, and what can you do to improve it? As this is literally the backbone of an eCommerce business, there is no short one-line answer one Google search away.
But fear not, those burning questions will be answered in detail in this article. We will walk you through the basics and the more advanced knowledge revolving around Shopify conversion rate and conversion rate optimization.
So buckle up, because this is going to be a long ride!
- What Is Shopify Conversion Rate And Conversion Rate Optimization?
- What does Shopify conversion rate indicate?
- What affects conversion rates?
- Why Shopify conversion rate optimization is important for Shopify stores
- How To Calculate Shopify Conversion Rate?
- How To Improve Shopify Conversion Rate?
I. What Is Shopify Conversion Rate And Conversion Rate Optimization?
It’s always a good idea to start with the basics, isn’t it? So without further ado, let’s dive in!
01. What does Shopify conversion rate indicate?
Conversion is essentially that sweet, holy moment when a visitor to your online store finally makes a purchase. That said, you can think of conversion as any activity leading up to that final release, too. This depends on the specific determined key performance indicator (KPI) you set out for your store, such as:
- Online sales
- Visitors adding items to carts
- Visitors adding items to wishlist
- Visitors signing up for newsletters
- And so on
Naturally, conversion rate optimization, or CRO for short, is the process of increasing that percentage. That process typically employs psychological strategies, manifested in your store design, improved user experience (UX), and promotion campaigns. Be prepared for a lot of experimenting and testing.
02. What affects conversion rates?
Conversion rate fluctuates immensely due to a variety of both internal and external factors. This makes Shopify conversion rate optimization all the more challenging. Below is a comprehensive list of a few most common factors affecting Shopify conversion rate:
UX plays a big role in the decision-making of visitors. A slow site will make your Shopify store a lot more unappealing and appear more unreliable, leading to a higher bounce rate. So, optimize your site for speed if you want to convert fast!
A visitor needs to be presented with what they need most. Algorithms have been developed to facilitate this need, and a lack of them can lead to the desired product being buried on the 20th page of your collection.
A cautious buyer can interpret this as a sloppy and unreliable move from the merchant. How can they trust you if you can’t be there for them?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, plays an important part in making your Shopify store and its products known. How can you expect to sell if no one knows about your business?
Unintuitive designs are a major minus in Shopify stores. Consumers value convenience, so if your store design isn’t up to the task, be prepared to face a sky-high bounce rate.
Someone new to your Shopify store is surely going to take a lot more time considering buying, compared to an existing customer. Visitors from different traffic sources/referrals will also lead to different conversion rates.
03. Why Shopify conversion rate optimization is important for Shopify stores
It brings home the bacon.
Conversion rate optimization, or conversion rate tracking specifically, helps you grasp the big picture of your revenue. Constant tracking helps you diagnose your marketing channels’ efficiency. With this information, you can devise better strategies for your eCommerce business, like deciding which products are best-sellers in order to push their promotion, which should be omitted from your store, or which marketing activities you should keep pushing.
For a wider view of the picture, check out these other articles we have provided on conversion rate optimization and conversion tracking.
II. How To Calculate Shopify Conversion Rate?
And so, conversion rate is a percentage determined with this formula:
Conversion rate (%) = Conversions/Total visitors * 100
So for example, you have 100 visitors to your Shopify store, 5 of which found something interesting on it and made purchases. This makes your conversion rate 5%.
Of course, you don’t have to calculate your conversion rates manually at all, since Shopify already takes care of that for you.
01. What is the average Shopify conversion rate?
A survey carried out by Littledata found the average conversion rate for Shopify stores was 1.4%. Just in case you are just starting out with your eCommerce endeavor, don’t be discouraged by the tiny percentage, it happens to everyone.
That said, anything more than 3.3% would put you in the best 20% of Shopify store owners, and more than 4.8% would put you in the top 10%.
And you don’t want to have a conversion rate below 0.3%, which would place you in the bottom 20%.
So in short, you are mostly in the clear as long as you maintain a healthy average conversion rate between 0.3% and 3.3%.
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02. How to track Shopify conversion rate
There are 4 main types of Shopify conversion rate tracking reports you can choose from. This offers a more diverse view, as well as helps you keep track of which specific channel traffic comes from.
Default Shopify Reports dashboard
Shopify has a built-in “Reports” dashboard that can be easily accessed through Admin > Reports. Because it is built-in, it handles data a lot more accurately than any other third-party tracking app.
You can find 2 types of reports on the dashboard:
- Default report: It is divided into 3 main sections - Sales, Acquisition, and Behavior. It mostly gives you an overview of your Shopify store performance, without offering much detail.
- Custom report: You can create a custom report based on Sales, Payments, Taxes, Visitors, and Customers. You can dig deeper into statistics for a particular section of your Shopify store.
Tracking Facebook conversion rates with Pixels
You can add your site’s Facebook Pixel ID through Admin > Online Store > Preferences. Paste your pixel tracking code for your Facebook marketing activities and the deed is done.
To find the right pixel code though, you have to know how to set up conversion tracking on Facebook.
Google Analytics tracking code
Similarly to tracking conversion with Facebook, you just need to connect your Shopify store to Google Analytics via the Online store dashboard.
Google Analytics will help you track the total marketing performance across multiple channels, including Facebook, without the ability to audit them of course.
Depending on your online store status you can choose either level of Shopify conversion tracking with Google Analytics: Basic eCommerce tracking and Enhanced eCommerce tracking.
Google Ads conversion tracking tag
Unlike Facebook and Google Analytics, you have to use a brand new Google account to run Adwords ads. Only after you have paid the first Shopify monthly fee, you will receive a few bucks of Adwords credit to begin running ads, as confirmed by Shopify.
For a more in-depth analysis of conversion tracking that covers common problems in the process, or how to fix low conversion rates, check out our article Shopify Conversion Rate Tracking 101: A Definitive How-To Guide.
III. How To Improve Shopify Conversion Rate?
Now that we have gone over the general concepts, it is time for execution. The next section of the article will include a lot of applicable tips to help you drive Shopify conversion rate and *get that shmoney*!
01. Web design tips
Optimize your website for mobile
Almost everyone on Earth has a smartphone now and did you know that 80% of shoppers have used their mobile phone inside of a physical store to look up reviews, compare prices, or find alternative store locations? Just imagine if they are online shopping.
To put the cherry on top, 6 out of 10 shoppers say the ability to shop via mobile plays an important part in brand selection.
A responsive eCommerce platform that is optimized for mobile will make the purchase process a lot more tolerable for shoppers, increasing the chance for a conversion significantly.
Good visual appeal
Images, color schemes, layouts, and so on, all vastly contribute to your marketing strategies. As eCommerce grows in popularity, shoppers are presented with an endless stream of options, so you cannot expect to make a sale without standing out in the first place!
Whether you are promoting your physical stores or selling directly on your Shopify stores, you need to have a wow factor if you want to capture shoppers’ attention.
The simplest advice is to use a lot of images. Invest in bespoke studio photos, it will pay off in the long run!
Colorful images go a long way - Source: Contemporary Theme
As mentioned above, UX is a major deciding factor. You will need a reasonable categorization system to make it easier for customers to browse your store. A navigation system that’s too complicated will just put them off from exploring your site right away.
Example of an effective navigation menu - Source: Vogue Theme
And use a sticky navigation menu that doesn’t move when you scroll down the page, please. By the way, here are some items you should put on that menu:
- Shop (and sub-headings)
- Blog (if you have one)
- FAQs and customer support
- Contact information
No one wants to see a huge mess as they set foot in a retail store. You need to make a good first impression (as well as good impressions throughout) if you want shoppers to stick with your store.
When designing a website, every merchant should include four essential trust indicators:
- Contact information: Include an email address and a phone number at the least. Customers want to know where they can come to with issues.
- Shipping and return policies: Even if there is nothing wrong with your products, this is just a “just in case” token to help shoppers feel at ease before adding an item to their carts.
- Technical certifications: You can start off by adding basic payment methods, for example, it’s a good idea to include Shopify Payments. You’ll gain access to additional features and payment services, as well as the latest security technology for your customers’ information.
- Reviews and testimonials from other customers: Social proof will never lose its power in increasing trust. It’s best you choose a Shopify theme that lets you feature testimonials from loyal customers right on the homepage.
02. Customer journey mapping
A customer journey typically contains 3 stages: Awareness - Consideration - Decision. To match these 3 stages, you need to take action accordingly: Attract - Engage - Delight.
Why not try out HubSpot Academy’s short lesson on creating a customer journey map for more in-depth information?
When you have mastered the journey and its steps, it’s time to learn about how to motivate shoppers to complete that journey. So here are a few elements you should feature on your Shopify store to incentivize a visitor to carry on:
“Buy now”, “Free install”, “Sign up”, etc. You’ve seen it at least a few times during your stay on the Internet. Remember to include it on your landing page. And keep the color in mind, the CTA button’s color has a real effect on human psychology.
Source: Neil Patel
“Quid pro quo” is deeply ingrained in our nature. The mutually beneficial exchange between humans comes naturally to us. For eCommerce, it manifests as offering a free gift in exchange for an act you want your site visitors to do.
With that said, you need to figure out what you want your visitors to do. It could be something as simple as leaving a review, registering for an account, or your newsletter, sharing a product link on social media, and so on.
And it’s incredibly simple to apply this principle, you just need to offer them one of, or all of the following:
- Free gifts: E-books, coupons, vouchers, free shipping, etc.
- Value content: If you have a blog on your site, consider saving some exclusive posts just for special customers. For example, if you run an online fashion store, consider gifting customers fashion guides related to the products they bought.
Commitment and consistency
The principle of commitment and consistency dictates that people will go to great lengths to appear consistent in their words and actions - even to the extent of doing things that are basically irrational.
So when a visitor makes a commitment to your brand, they are more likely to eventually make a purchase. To incite a little commitment, try these tactics out:
- Email/Member signup: This is the most common form - making visitors sign up for a newsletter, or to be a member on your brand’s site. It’s all the more effective when you successfully create a community where customers can exchange user generated content and brand themselves with a newfound identity.
- Trial program: When a shopper gets a product in their hand, even if there is no incentive to actually buy it, he is more likely to make a purchase just because he’s familiarized himself with your brand. This was the principle behind famous Warby Parker’s Free Home Try-On Program
Everyone likes rare things. Something marketed as a “limited time offer” or “limited edition” will easily instill a sense of urgency to be bought. So here are some ideas you can apply to your online store.
- Countdown timers
- Seasonal or limited edition products
- Impending out-of-stock announcements
03. A/B Testing
You can never know for sure if something works wonders or is a waste of time and money unless you put it to the test. But you can’t just publish your new site and expect it to make a roaring first impression, it might just be an epic fail that will put many shoppers off for good.
So you need to A/B test as many aspects of your Shopify stores as possible.
Here are a few things you should test run to make sure they work best for your Shopify conversion rate.
A/B test demographics from core traffic sources
Testing paid traffic sources will help you segment the target audience better, and you can grasp a view of which source has the highest bounce rate/conversion rate, so you can retarget your ads to the most fitting demographics.
A simple test would be to change one of the age or behavioral demographics of an ad that doesn’t overlap too much with your existing settings. Run the campaign for a few days around your marketing budget. After that, you can more clearly assess the performance of each core traffic source to see what adjustments need to be made.
A/B test product page design changes
Use an A/B testing tool (we will get to them in a bit) to assess the impact a change in design has on your store.
Of course, just in case you are super experimental with your redesigning, it’s wise to duplicate your Shopify store template and A/B test on the spare version. You can analyze the data in Google Analytics.
We recommend a minimum of 1000 sessions per test.
04. Apps that help improve Shopify conversion rate
There will be a handful of app niches to cover here, so we will pick out the best of each bunch for you.
Best web design app - PageFly Landing Page Builder
You might call us biased for this plug but we are just so proud of the work that we have done here at PageFly. Our app is an all-in-one online store builder that can edit the entire website, even if the “Landing page” in the name might not say it.
The PageFly team has been a Shopify partner since 2016 and now serves over 120,000+ Shopify merchants, and we got a 5/5 rating from over 6000 satisfied users on the Shopify App Store.
The site editor is simple and intuitive. You will be presented with an almost endless armada of drag-and-drop elements that is designed around the consumer behavior. You can expect to find the likes of many beautiful animations, slideshows, countdown clocks, compare-at-price, low-in-stock statuses, etc. With PageFly Landing Page Builder, you can rest assured that your Shopify store will always be low in stock due to massive demand from shoppers.
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Best social proof app - Judge.me Product Reviews
This is the app that appears first and foremost when you search for “Conversion” on the Shopify App Store. Judge.me helps you collect and display ratings and reviews about your Shopify store and its products.
Best thing about Judge.me? Free photo and video reviews!
Judge.me provides you with review widgets and emails available in 34 languages, along with a handful of templates and elements you can incorporate your reviews into. Plus, you and shoppers can even share products and reviews on social media.
Just in case you are a dropshipper, Judge.me is integrated with AliExpress Review Importer.
Best popups and emails app - Privy
Privy is a customizable, mobile-friendly suite of conversion that displays a handful of elements aimed at collecting customers’ information, such as popups, spin-to-win wheels, banners, flyouts, and so on.
To tackle the problem of cart abandonment, Privy helps Shopify store owners send out emails to customers who bounce in order to salvage the cart left behind. Even for customers who have fulfilled orders, with Privy, you can also send follow-up emails to repeat sales in the future.
Of course, it cannot be complete without A/B tests and real-time monitoring for better marketing results. Last but not least, Privy lets you run cross-sell modals with add-to-cart buttons, but since this function is rather suppressed in this app, let’s move on to the next one.
Best up-sell and cross-sell app - Frequently Bought Together
The name is pretty self-explanatory, Frequently Bought Together lets merchants group items for better up-selling and cross-selling. This tactic presents shoppers with better deals, and creates a big enough sense of FOMO to push a sale.
The developers have developed multiple recommendation algorithms to bring the most fitting bundles to the table. Customers will always see what might suit them best, so you never have to worry about out-of-place suggestions.
Best product bundles app - PickyStory
PickyStory helps e-commerce brands to increase their revenue from every store visit by creating rich sales experiences. With the most advanced solution for product deals, discounts engine, and storefront API, PickyStory enables brands to dramatically increase their average order value (AOV) and return on investment (ROI).
PickyStory is a unique app on Shopify for creating product bundles. Unlike other apps, it syncs inventory automatically with the merchant’s Shopify admin for each individual SKU sold as part of a bundle. PickyStory also offers an AI-based algorithm for generating product recommendations and suggestions.
Its discount engine gives merchants flexibility in the types of deals offered, such as tiered discounts, percentage-based discounts, or fixed price bundles. PickyStory’s Deal Designer allows merchants to fully customize their bundle offers on the storefront, with API access available for premium customers.
Now that we have reached the end of our Shopify conversion rate beginner’s guide, did you find anything helpful?
Of course, since conversion is the ultimate goal of any Shopify merchant ever, tips and tricks surrounding it will never stop changing. This very article might be updated in the future to something completely different. But for now, these are the most comprehensive bite-sized tips you can find regarding CRO.
After you have mastered the basics, why not move on to more advanced and applicable steps to optimize your eCommerce conversion rate? Check out our exclusive guides for Shopify CRO here:
- Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization: Top 04 Tips from eCommerce Experts
- Conversion Rate Optimization: A Definitive Guide for Online Merchants
- [Ultimate list] Conversion rate optimization best practices