No matter how much you spend on ads or which big influencers you pay to recommend your product, you will not get sales if your website looks suspicious.
It's why most Shopify merchants struggle with getting high traffic and zero sales.
Inconsistent design, vague copy, and poor user experience (UX) contribute to low-converting websites.
If your mind is starting to spiral thinking of the designers and copywriters you should hire to fix everything, sure, that can help and put you at ease. However, if you're a beginner and can't afford to hire professionals to do the work for you, then keep reading.
There are changes you can make—in an afternoon—to increase your conversion rate and help turn website visitors into customers. These changes don't require technical or marketing knowledge and are easy to do.
In this first chapter, we'll go through the top methods that help increase the conversion rate of your Shopify store. Let's get started!
Choose Proven Products to Sell
Have you seen ads for silly products that make you think: who in their right mind would buy this? Then, when you go to the comments to investigate whether other people share your opinion, you're surprised to see people loving the product.
These comments may be bots or engagement pod members. The ad you saw may be the work of an advertising agency servicing a client with deep pockets. It may be one of those "social experiments."
Or, it may be a product that people want.
As the e-commerce space evolves, more entrepreneurs are developing new products for different people. Products that answer the wants and needs of neglected demographics are unsurprisingly successful. Traditional retailers often focused on satisfying the majority and ignored minorities or people with special interests.
That's why it's crucial to identify your biases and put them aside when choosing a product (or niche) for your Shopify store. Keep an open mind to all possibilities.
1. Address a Consumer Pain Point
The best product will always be the one that solves a consumer's pain point. You may not invent the next bandaid, but you can create a better one.
If you can't think of a problem that no product on the market solves, find a product that solves the same problem better than alternatives.
Let's take, for example, the brand GymShark which offers high-quality fitness apparel and accessories. Founded by 19-year-old Ben Francis in his mom's garage in 2012, GymShark ensured its gear was affordable, breathable, and flattering. These characteristics set GymShark apart from the competition.
@padditodd Reply to @stephyyy1 there’s something in their fabric that just gets me to spend all my dough #gymbag #gymsharkwomen #italianmothas ♬ Send Me on My Way - Guy Meets Girl
The Sports & Fitness Clothing global market is estimated at US$210 Billion in 2022. It's safe to say that GymShark is not the first to solve our dilemma of what to wear to the gym.
2. Sell to People with a Unique Hobby/Interest
Or what dropshipping gurus on YouTube call finding your niche.
People are willing to spend money to get what they desire when they are enthusiastic about what they buy. Therefore, when analyzing the market opportunity for any product or set of products, this willingness to pay may be a crucial qualification.
For instance, it is common knowledge that fitness enthusiasts would spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to advance their fitness journey. Knowing your target market is essential because of this. When choosing the product you want to promote, commoditized and specialty goods are often the best option.
Higher brand engagement and loyalty may also result from passionate customers who invest more in their hobby and receive better value.
3. Quickly Take Advantage of Trends
As a new business owner, you can benefit significantly from detecting trends early on. As a result, you may establish yourself as a market leader and carve out a niche before competitors can.
The trick is distinguishing between a "fad" and an actual "trend." A fad gained popularity only due to novelty or a gimmick. Although fads might offer fantastic marketing possibilities, keep in mind that if you base your company only on a craze, the demand will ultimately decrease and eventually stop.
So how do you discover new trends?
Social listening is the answer.
If you use social media regularly, chances are you've already scrolled past content with popular products. So here are my favorite platforms to find the latest trends:
- Pinterest. Where everyone gets inspiration on how to dress, decorate, and live. Explore the popular pins for viral new products and see what's on the rise before it reaches the photos of Instagram models and TikTok creators.
- Reddit. Join subreddits focused on specific topics or just certain demographics e. g. r/mom and filter through posts with the word product.
- TikTok. Everyone and their grandma is on TikTok. You may not find viral products by simply scrolling past your #foryoupage, but you can browse hashtags such as #viralproduct #trendingproducts to learn about the new products people love
@tideke_reviews Review trending product part 1 #review #amazonfinds #tiktokmademebuyit ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
You can also infiltrate communities on Facebook that revolve around a specific topic, e.g., camping and outdoor activities.
4. Follow your own interest
While picking a niche based on your hobbies carries risks, it doesn't have to be a prescription for failure. On the contrary, using your expertise on a subject matter to develop and market a unique product could lead to great success.
Because creating an e-commerce shop requires a lot of work, having a strong sense of alignment with your target market can help you stay motivated and overcome obstacles.
Take, for example,Teddy Fresh, the successful clothing brand you see all Instagram influencers wearing when they're out and about. Hila Klein turned her passion for drawing and doodling children's books into cute teddy bear designs that feel as good as they look. The brand is estimated at $20 million today.
@sarahgeary_ @teddyfresh try on haul
5. Take into account your professional background
Have you learned the ins and outs of a particular industry through employment there? You may possess a talent or unique combination of experiences that set you apart from the ordinary individual in your field of expertise. Using your knowledge to launch your own internet business is a clever move that will give you an advantage over competitors.
Use Captivating Product Images
Product images are the main component of the product page; prospects take one look and instantly decide if they want to stay on your website or leave. Using eye-catching images to display your product from different angles is good but not enough to influence a purchase. Instead, your product images should show how the product looks in real life and make the prospect desire the product.
Use High-Resolution Photos
If prospects reach your product page and find themselves squinting at your product images, they'll leave in the blink of an eye.
You've just lost a potential customer, and the CPC (Cost-Per-Click) you paid to get them on your website in the first place.
The solution is straightforward; just use high-resolution images showing your products' details, not pixelated ones.
If you're dropshipping products, you'll find that most suppliers provide high-quality photos and videos of their products and use them. If you cannot find high-quality images for your products, you can always make them.
You can buy a cheap product photography box, and using your phone to snap pictures of your products can go a long way. Alternatively, you can hire a product photographer to take professional images of your products. Finally, suppose you're looking for a high-end customized option for your product images. In that case, Squareshoot is a Shopify app that specializes in providing clean-looking product images that you can instantly use in your Shopify store.
Center Your Product
You should position your product in the center of the image; website visitors should be able to see the complete product in one shot within the first scroll.
Creative carousels that make you scroll to reveal the entire product have an undesirable effect; most people won't be bothered with spending their precious time trying to display a complete product. Having a centered product enables you to add seasonal frames to draw the attention of your website visitors.
Include a Video Demo of the Product
Adding a short video (1-2 minutes long maximum) can help your prospects better understand the product and how it works. Besides, it gives you the advantage of showing the benefits of your product and emphasizing the positive user experience that results from purchasing your product. If a prospect can visualize themselves having a positive experience with your product, they'll be more inclined to buy it.
Asos, the online fashion retailer, is an excellent example of using video on the product landing page to help shoppers visualize themselves wearing/using an item.
Tip: Unboxing videos help potential shoppers assess whether a product sparks an emotional reaction to desiring your product.
Remove Busy Backgrounds
If your products have a busy background and various backgrounds across the board, your website visitors won't pay attention to your products and will consider your store sketchy.
Ideally, you want a consistent background that goes with your website design and brand identity.
The best way to accomplish this is by removing the backgrounds of all of your images altogether. This gives your website a clean and modern look and helps draw the attention of your prospects to what matters most—your product.
Showcase the Different Variations of Your Product
If your products have different variables—colors, sizes, types—you want to include an image of each variation your product has to answer to other preferences and remove preference-based purchase objections. This way, prospects can see what different variations of your product looks like and shop according to their preferences.
Add Reflections and Shadows
Do you want your product images to look more luxurious with zero dollars? Then, adding a reflection or shadow is your answer! Depending on the product you go with, you may opt for a horizontal reflection or a subtle vertical shadow.
Write a Product Description That Sells
The product description is the text on the product page that describes the product, its benefits, and its characteristics. It's also an opportunity to showcase your product in a way you can't do in ads.
In this section, you'll learn how to leverage the product description space to your advantage, answer all objections before your website visitor thinks of them, and persuade prospects to click the add to cart button.
Write with Your Ideal Buyer in Mind
Putting yourself in your audience's shoes will help you write product descriptions that resonate with your ideal customer. When you attempt to write a product description to draw everyone's attention, your description winds up being vague and captivating to no one in particular.
The most effective product descriptions speak directly and personally to your ideal buyer. You converse with them by posing questions and providing answers in this way. You decide what language your ideal customer uses.
If you can't conceptualize your ideal buyer yet, in the next section, I'll provide you with a worksheet that'll help you create a customer persona in minutes, so keep reading.
Use Copywriting Formulas to Describe Your Product
Are you struggling to highlight your product benefits authentically? Do you despise generic product descriptions with random superlatives?
Product descriptions are subtle advertising copy placed on your product landing page. You should write it like an ad as well.
That's where copywriting formulas come to the rescue!
When you follow a copywriting formula, you can write a product description with a natural progression that successfully emphasizes your product benefits in a way that cuts through the rational barriers of your ideal customer.
Lucky for you, I have a complete copywriting guide that'll help you write the advertising copy for your product description. Even if you've never written copy before, you can follow this step-by-step guide and end up with a high-converting copy in the next 20-30 minutes.
Recommended Resource: Complete Ecommerce Copywriting Guide.
Lay Out Your Product Characteristics
Online shoppers want to know how a product looks in real life before committing to a purchase.
Adding the characteristics that define our product may seem like an obvious step in writing your product description. You'll be surprised to know that it's often overlooked.
Here are some crucial characteristics you should include in your product description if you haven't already:
- Care instructions.
Tip: Adding a conversion chart for imperial and metric measurement systems is a big plus for international shoppers.
Construct a Scannable Description
Your product descriptions will be easier to read and more enticing to potential buyers when presented with a clean, scannable design. Avoid big blocks of text, small fonts, light text, and low-contrast surfaces.
Persuade with Reviews
Why boast about how good your product is when other people can do it for you? Product reviews serve as product descriptions that shoppers trust. Here are some guidelines to leverage product reviews to increase conversions:
Add a general star rating in the first scroll* to instantly communicate value without leading your prospect to seek out reviews by scrolling down or checking review sites.
Make your product reviews seem more authentic by including the reviewer's name, photo, and location. Add elements like the time of purchase and the verified buyer badge to help instill trust.
Don't delete negative reviews. Reply to them. Online shoppers shy away from products with a perfect 5/5 rating as they appear fake.
The first section of the landing page the website visitor views instantly.
Optimize Your Product Landing Page Design
You've got a great product description and captivating images that are bound to get results. Now what?
The first scroll of your product landing page is nothing but a big image, there's zero negative space, and the color of the text makes it unnecessarily hard to read your product description.
Bad design can make all of your efforts go to waste. You'll be shocked by the opportunities you're missing.
Optimizing the design of your product landing page enhances the user experience (UX) for your website visitors and aids in converting qualified prospects. It's why landing page optimization is a no-brainer. In this section, you'll learn about six ways to optimize a product landing page effectively.
Darken the Top Border of Your Website
It may seem like one of those gimmicky tricks that have no real impact but hear me out. If you visit any big e-commerce retailer, you'll see a dark border on top.
Here are a few examples:
The idea behind this is pretty simple: separate the white space of the landing page from the exit options and other distractions, such as other tabs.
You can easily replicate this by adding a dark banner to all the pages on your website or switching the color of your existing banner to a darker tone.
Add a Compare at Price
You may not be running a sale all year long, and depending on your niche, your ideal customers may not care for discounts. However, almost everyone likes a special deal.
Adding a “compare at” price is a simple way to nudge your prospects to take action and capitalize on the savings they'll make.
There are various ways to make your “compare at” price irresistible to your prospects. This pricing guide by Nick Kolenda will provide you with the best way to formulate your pricing according to psychology and research studies.
Recommended Resource: Nick Kolenda Pricing Psychology.
Instill FOMO with Limited Stock Availability
Adding a visual signifier to inform your website visitors of limited stock can help them jump to checkout in fear that they might miss out on scoring the only piece left. Using a restricted quantity with a "compare at" price is a killer combination.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
If you succeed in taking a website visitor from the product page to the checkout page and they leave, you have a problem.
Price—usually—is the number one objection buyers have. When a prospect leaves the checkout page without purchasing, that could be because they're not interested in making the purchase right away or changed their mind, or it could be because they didn't find their preferred payment method.
You can't change the first two reasons, but you can certainly fix your payment method options. Here are some tips to eliminate abandoned checkouts caused by payment options:
- PayPal and credit cards are non-negotiables. These are the bare minimum.
- Offer COD (Cash-On-Delivery) in countries with a cash-first culture.
- Offer payment installments to ease customers from the pain of paying. Adding services like Klarna to your Shopify store is super easy and can increase your conversion rate drastically.
Set Up Upsells and Cross-Sells
Did you know that you have a 60-70% chance to sell to an existing customer in comparison to a 5-10% chance to sell to a new customer? (Source: Groove). Product recommendations account for 10-30% of eCommerce businesses’ revenues (Source: Forrester). You can leverage this by adding upsells and cross-sells to your product pages.
Upselling is the practice of persuading a consumer to buy a product that is more expensive than the one they had originally planned to. This can be a more expensive variant of that product or something comparable.
Cross-selling is the practice of advising a consumer to purchase a different product in addition to their main purchase. The secondary product is an addition to or complementary to the primary one. Its objective is to improve the customer's interaction with the main product. Cross-selling is therefore primarily concerned with boosting sales volume.
Here are the best upselling and cross-selling strategies to implement on your Shopify store:
Product page. Displaying a list of suggested products at the bottom of a product page is a common cross-selling strategy. Consider adding "buy the look" or "you may also like" product carousels to online clothes businesses. Listings of "Others also bought/liked" items naturally draw attention. Customers are more likely to go through such lists, if not put some of those things in their shopping cart.
Cart/checkout page. Cross-selling is made easier by the checkout page since buyers pay greater attention to it. They must introduce sensitive information i.e. payment info. At this stage of the purchasing process, brands most frequently employ the "customers who purchased this item(s) also purchased" tactic. Make sure the cross-sell is properly positioned in the purchasing cart. Try not to display it just before the buyer puts in their order. Instead, bring it up as soon as the client adds an item to their basket or begins rating it.
Follow-up email/SMS. Customers still have the chance to add a complimentary product even if they didn't do so during the purchasing process. Contrary to the above techniques, sending follow-up emails/SMS with cross-sells and upsells does not hinder the purchasing process. As a result, there is a stronger chance that the shopper will accept the offer.
In addition, you provide an already-committed buyer whose data you have collected more value by including such an offer in your follow-up email or SMS. This makes it incredibly simple to accomplish a second transaction. However, you must make it simple for the buyer to include the cross-sell/upsell item in their order.
Many Shopify apps help you maximize your revenue with cross-sells/upsells, however, the most versatile and solid one we've tried so far is the Vitals app; with a 30-day free trial, you have enough time to test and perfect your setup.
Recommended Resource: Vitals app for Shopify merchants.
Optimize for Mobile Browsers
You can no longer dismiss how mobile is widely used as a platform for e-commerce. Mobile has surpassed desktop as the primary source of Google searches, and it now represents more than half of all e-commerce traffic (Source: Fastcompany).
Customers demand a specific style of functionality and design to be integrated at the core of every online experience since they are browsing and making purchases on their mobile devices more often than ever before.
Here are the main steps you can take to optimize the user experience for your mobile browsers:
- Have a floating menu. Website visitors shouldn’t be scrolling up in to navigate your website.
- Include a sticky Add to Cart button at the bottom of product pages to facilitate the purchase.
- Reduce the amount of text on the product page. Avoid huge blocks of text at all costs.