How Conversion Rate Optimization Helps Improve Sales on Shopify


Many shoppers circle the sales funnel only to jump back out again. Why? Lots of reasons, actually. There are tons of things – some of them tiny, minuscule even – which could change your customer’s mind at the last moment, causing them to say “I’m out”.

Something as simple as an increase in font size, or a swapping a single word in a phrase could massively improve your conversion rates. And that’s why it’s important to pay attention to conversion rate optimization.

Conversion rate optimization is when you use analytics and customer/user feedback to try and improve your website’s performance (i.e turning a “maybe” into a “yes”).

Why do we want to improve conversion rates?

  • There’s always something that can be improved, something that can make the customer’s journey less painful and more streamlined.
  • PPC is getting more costly, and you can effectively spend less by making the most of the visitors who’ve clicked through to your site by optimising it for conversions.
  • The world of ecommerce is ever-expanding – more and more competition is cropping up, so you need to do everything you possibly can to convert your potential customers and reduce the risk of them looking elsewhere.
  • A business that’s always improving and updating its site looks more legitimate than a site that stagnates.
  • The effects are immediate, unlike SEO, which can take months to show results.

We’ve spoken to some experts and shopify sellers to see what they are doing to improve their conversion rates.


1. Track where people are looking, and focus on problems your product can solve

If you track where people are looking, you also know what they’re not paying attention to. Try using a tool like CrazyEgg to see where your visitors are clicking and scrolling. This can help you figure out whether users are bypassing your calls to action.

Shopify store owner, Adelaida Diaz-Roa, Ruffit Dog Carriers used this tactic, as well as others:We’ve managed to raise our conversion rate from 2.03% to 4.66% recently. Our store is (on Shopify) and while there have been many techniques we’ve used, I’d say the biggest ones are using apps like SumoMe to track where people are clicking and what they’re looking at, also setting up cart recovery emails, and putting pictures of customers on our front page as well as product reviews on the product page. Another great thing has been changing our content to focus more on showing the problems our carriers can solve and how instead than on the product itself.”


2. “Find, fix, and follow up”

Once you’ve figured out where you’ve gone wrong, you need to fix the issue, then test your new tactics, and analyse the results.

Shopify store owner Robert Eisenstein, President of, a site specializing in Baseball Cards and U.S. Coins, suggests a 3 step process for improving conversion rates:

“Basically, we went through a 3-step, process, which was Find, Fix, and Follow-up.”

“To find out how best to use our existing visitors to increase sales without paying for more traffic, we used Google Analytics to check for pages where our bounce rate was over 20%. For those pages, we ran heat-maps to track user’s eye movement on those pages, and as a fix, we first ran A/A tests and ultimately, we addressed colors and readability of the content.”

“As a follow up, we watched our bounce rates drop in Google Analytics and we learned never to become complacent or sink more funds into attracting more visitors into a poorly-converting funnel.”


3. Segmented Retargeting

Retargeting is when you try and reach those who have previously visited your website and then left for whatever reason based on their previous actions. This can be through display ads, social media, email and so on.

David Smethie, a Digital Marketing Consultant tells us: Retargeting is the best way to improve conversions without acquiring more unique visitors. With retail, the concept is pretty simple, but implementation can be time consuming depending on how many products you sell.”

This brings us back to shopping cart abandonment emails, which was mentioned earlier. Simply setting up an automated email that offers users who have filled a shopping cart then abandoned it a discount voucher could help bring back that customer who has already reached your site then left.

“The easiest win with the highest ROI is to retarget visitors who added a product or products to their shopping cart but didn’t check out for whatever reason. Then serve this segment of prospects ads that entice them to complete the transaction, by offering a discount code for example. To make sure customers that purchased a given product at full price don’t see these ads offering a discount, be sure to create a buyers retargeting list for each product and subtract that list from your shopping cart abandon list.”

This could be significantly cheaper than spending cash on a new campaign to try and bring new clicks.


4. Increase PR efforts

Shopify sellers Sanjay and Shashi Aggarwal, who own Spice Kitchen, which focusses on selling high-quality Indian spices say that the key to improving conversion rates is through upping their PR game and reaching out to journalists and bloggers who focus on their niche, as well as making their store more responsive:

“We have done a number of things to improve conversions over the last 3 years since starting. Firstly we have ensured we have a really clean design and we invested in a great Shopify theme that fit our brand. We have added regular blogs and recipes and in conjunction with being very active on Social Media we have increased traffic of people visiting our site.”

“For the past 18 months I have been actively involved with raising our profile in the UK market by connecting with food bloggers, engaging with journalists within food / small business in order to get our story out there. This has resulted in regular features in regional and national press online and in print.”

“We have also started doing more face to face events in the UK and we try to ensure that every person we engage takes a flyer or business card and therefore has the opportunity to visit our online store. This has again worked well for us.”

“We have a few good apps that we have used on Shopify. Pure Chat is an excellent tool for allowing our store visitors to talk to us. This is free for upto 30 chats per month. We use ShopPad, which converts our store to a more responsive layout when people view on mobile or ipad. We use Google Adwords to analyse where our traffic is from and this affects how we change our marketing.”

“Like making any business successful it takes commitment and relentless hard work. The PR work has been a daily search for opportunities and it has worked extremely well. This has come from 18 months of hard work, there are simply no quick wins.”

“We have also ensured fundamentally that our products are excellent and every customer has been happy with them and the service they have received. Any issues or problems are sorted immediately.”


5. Use external tools

Aaron Dicks Managing Director, a digital marketing agency suggests using external tools, particularly Visual Website Optimiser and Google analytics Experiments, as well as getting an external trust mark for your store to help your customers recognize your site’s legitimacy:

“The best way we’ve found to properly test for conversion optimisation is with an external tool. Typically, at Impression, we use Visual Website Optimiser ( due to the range of possible experiments you can run simultaneously. However, Google Analytics Experiments would be suitable for any Shopify retailer just getting started with CRO.”

“As CRO is concerned with upwards pressure on a website’s conversion rate, on ecommerce stores typically the more straightforward tests are those surrounding allowing users to easily add products to their baskets, or to check out more easily. However, CRO, when paired with an equally important school of thought called User Experience (UX) testing would lead true ecommerce digital marketing managers to rethink how their website is structured, how products are categorised and filtered, and the weight of importance of each piece of content on the product page.”

“This means that all of the following pages aspects are ‘fair game’ for CRO testing, and so long as you keep good logs of changes, many of these do not require external tools to manage:

  • Headline (landing page title or product “name”)
  • Call to action style
  • Product images (lifestyle or product shoots, for example)
  • Descriptions (long vs short)

“When using external tools like Visual Website Optimiser, you’re much more able to run multivariate tests, or segment down your A/B test audience to ensure you keep disruption to an absolute minimum for your website visitors. The reporting options you have are better also.”  

“No matter what testing you do, there are some elements to running an online store that nearly always increase conversion rates, and these are also traits of running a good sustainable business. This includes reviews and ratings, trust and authority marks such as secure checkouts, and business/online awards.”

“Google Trusted Stores is a good example of an external trust mark (including extra third party warranty), but as mentioned above, many of the traits of an established online business are required in order to even qualify (minimum order volume, good seller reviews, fair returns policy, etc).”

These are some tried and tested methods of optimising conversion rates that have worked well for sellers on Shopify. A few small tweaks really could make all the difference, so experiment, try something new, and last but not least: test, test, and test some more!




This was a guest post by Jodie Pride, content creator at Shopify inventory management software

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