Shopify has made it easy for anyone to set up and run an e-commerce store but for it to be successful takes a bit more work from driving good quality traffic from SEO or ads to email marketing and running a social media page.
Now an e-commerce store has just one objective which is to sell your products or services and if it struggles to do this then all the rest of the hard work that you have done to drive traffic to your site will not get you the returns that it should. So the number one thing you should do from the start is to make sure your site is set up to convert, just by following these below points will put you in a good place to convert that hard-earned traffic which will intern give you a better return on the over aspects of the business.
But even after you have got the below sorted you should not give up on trying to convert as many people as possible and constant improvements should be made.
Most of your visitors will not know about your site is about and the first thing your site should do on the homepage is to explain to people what your site is about or it will cause friction. This can be achieved by having a good banner image that explains this. It should also have some banner text that explains your value proposition if you can as this will entice them to continue looking around the site.
Menu headings easy to understand
Your menu can also help explain what the site is about with the headings but They should be clear, simple and obvious what they are going to link too, so don't add your unknown brand names as this will mean nothing to a visitor
The site should load up quickly to sight as nobody will want to sit there while a site takes ages to load. Most Shopify themes load up fine but the more apps you add, images etc it will start to slow down. Test all your pages, not just the homepage.
CTA or next step to take
Call to action buttons are there to draw people into your site further and should stand out so that they are easily identifiable so they will be clicked on. The main banner image should have a cleat CTA button to draw people in. But make sure you do not add too many as it will get confusing of what the visitor should do next so keep it simple.
The site should have a value proposition which is a reason why they should buy from you and not another site. It can be that it solves a customers problem or it offers them better value or benefits.
Why should you visitors buy from you, give a reason why they should and not from a competitors website.
You need to make sure that this is visible on all parts of the site for all entry points that a visitor can enter your site should be the first thing people see on the homepage.
Having good images on your site will make it look more professional, which will gain trust and reduce friction, product images should show all the angles and any features in detail. They should be just the product on there own plus a lifestyle image so people can relate to for the size etc.
Some of these pages are there for legal reasons, but some are there to help potential customers find the information they need before they buy. One of the key ones is the shipping details page which should be easy to find and not hidden in an FAQ page for example. It should explain how much, how long and where you ship too. Sudden unexpected costs like shipping at the checkout process is a high reason you will get an abandoned checkout.
When we speak about friction on your website it means anything that could hamper a conversion. Friction includes any doubts, hesitations, and second thoughts people have about giving you money for a product or service.
Can they trust your site, do you address all their concerns, what happens if I don't like it etc
- Bad navigation, people can't find what they want or understand it
- No trust features like reviews or guarantees
- Badly designed website, images, colours etc
- Insufficient product information like size, materials, features etc
- Missing shipping costs
People don't like the unknown, so make sure your site is easy to understand and don't use unknown words or terms.
Make sure your granny could use the site.
People can get distracted easily and you should make sure your site does not have any or keep them to the correct place e.g. pop-ups coming up straight away or multiple ones, add a delay at least.
Social media links can draw people away and then can be easily distracted.
Moving elements can distract from the goal, for example, a moving button can distract from them reading the info, if you set up things correctly then you don't need a gimmick like that and if you do you have an issue somewhere else on your site.
Testimonials or reviews.
If people can see that others have used your products or services then this will give them some trust in your site and will also reduce friction. Reviews can also answer any doubts or question they might have before buying
Apart from having a menu with titles that people will understand you should have all your products sorted into good collections so that they can find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. If you have a large product range then a collection page sidebar filter and a good mega menu can help with this.
Make sure that all text is easy to read.
Make sure banner text is easy to read with a light colour on a dark background image or if the theme has the options a darkened box.
All text should be easy to read and of a decent size and should stand ou so that visibly impaired visitors can read it easily
Make buttons obvious
A button has one use which is that it needs to be clicked, so it should stand out so that it is obvious what the next step you want the user to take and especially on the product page.
Check all links
A site with broken links is a broken site and you should check that all links work. Any link that opens an external page should load in a new tab.
The more payment options you can offer then the better. Only having PayPal for example will make your site look less trustworthy.
About Us page
The about us is a page often gets a lot of views as people want to find out about you and the business. Spending some time on this will help disperse any doubts they might have and gain some trust in them
Design for your customers and not for you
Make sure your site is set up for your customers and not what you want or think is good. Set it up for your target audience
Keep it simple.
Keep the site as simple as possible and make sure it follows what people would expect. No need it fancy animations etc as this can do more harm than good.
Keep to the known design types.
People get used to how a site should look and work e.g. menu at the top and the logo should take them back to the homepage. Making unusual changes to the design will cause friction and as mentioned above keep it simple.
Keep your banding fluent.
Having a distinctive branding style to your site will help people to recognise you and should also be on emails, social media account etc.
After you have worked on the above or you already have these elements then you can start on further improving other elements to help your store convert. The heuristic store review will list some of the next steps that your store needs.