2020 changed the e-commerce industry (and the way we shop) forever.
Recently, one of the big email marketing platforms (Privy) on one of the largest website platforms, Shopify, released a report called "The State of Shopify", outlining The 14 things Top Shopify Stores need to know to Grow in 2021. Even if you don't own a store on Shopify, there are some great data in this report for anyone with an online store, and so we summarised the key takeaways on actions you need to take to make the most of your owned channels below.
Read our previous article outlining '7 e-commerce trends you need to know about' here.


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The median conversion rate for Shopify merchants is 1.12%, and a well performing store converts above 3%. That means that for every 100 visitors to your store, you can expect 1-3 people to make a purchase. That doesn't sound like a lot, and it isn't. This means that you should take every single chance you have to improve your conversion rate. Actually, some minor improvements to your conversion rate can have a HUGE impact on your bottom line.

There are 4 main categories that influence your conversion rate on your online site:

  • User experience: the core experience of your website. This includes the page layout, website structure, site speed and more.
  • Content: the copy, imagery and overall content displayed across your website.
  • Onsite campaigns: the calls to action (CTA) and displays you show to website visitors. This includes your buttons, forms, popups, onsite displays and more.
  • Offers: the hook to convert your website visitors into customers.

    Now straight onto the solutions, these are the Top 4 Tips to increase conversion on your website:

    1. Offer Free Shipping

    We know this is not something that is viable to all businesses, but if you can find a way, you should absolutely offer free shipping. Because how many times have you decided not to make a purchase because the store didn’t offer free shipping? Probably more than a few. As it turns out, 68% of online shoppers in the US admitted that at least half the time, they won’t make a purchase without free shipping. And the perfect place to call out free shipping is with a "free shipping" message in the announcement bar at the top of your site. Free shipping can help you increase your conversion rate by as much as 3x! 

    68% of online shoppers in the US admitted that at least half the time,
    they won’t make a purchase without free shipping.

    If you can't offer free shipping for every product, see if you can offer free shipping over a certain value or a certain number of products purchased. For example, "Free Shipping for all orders over $60" or, "Free Shipping for all orders of 6 bottles of wine or more" or similar. If people know what they need to do to get free shipping, quite often they will find a way to do it.

    There are some apps on Shopify that you can install to help tell your customers how far they still have to go to get free shipping. This can serve as an encouragement and a fun "countdown". Say you offer free shipping for orders over $60. A client puts an item worth $29 in her basket, and the banner will announce, "You have $31 left until you can enjoy free shipping!"

    Find ways to encourage people to shop with you, and make it fun!
    If this still sounds like too costly for you, think about if there are certain times of the year when you could offer free shipping for a little while to encourage customers. Great times of the year are around your company birthday, around certain holidays, or during times when your store normally is quiet and sales are down.

    2. Ask for reviews (they’ve never been more important)

    Shopping online is of course convenient, but you miss out on seeing and touching a product in person before you buy. So after you look through all the photos and glance at the product description, you'll probably look through the reviews. And that’s exactly what your customers are doing, too! Reviews have the power to either solidify your potential customers decision, or make them abandon cart. This is because your visitors don’t really want to know what you say about your own product, they want to know what your other customers think about them, the people who have already tested your product. 

    This is why product reviews aren’t optional...they are a must-have.

    According to recent research, 72% of customers won’t take any action on a website until they have read reviews. I am sure this doesn't come as a surprise to you, we all do it. What is astonishing though, is how many business owners do it on other sites, but forget to incorporate it into their own website!

    So how many reviews do you need? Research says that when a product gets at least 5 reviews, it’s 270% more likely to be purchased than if it didn’t have any reviews. That is consistent with our own experience.

    Product Reviews aren't optional...they are a must-have.
    72% of customers won’t take any action on a website until they have read reviews

    So, think about how you can help your visitors envision your products in their daily lives. And like their words, their photos are more powerful than yours will ever be. Of course you need amazing product photos as well, but people want to see what your products look like in the hands of real customers, and in their homes. Review apps like LOOX show prospective customers what it would be like to actually own your product. It is incredibly powerful.

    3. Make sure your customer support is second to none

    Unfortunately, SO many businesses underestimate the power of amazing customer service. With increased customer expectations and steeper competition in the e-commerce space, delivering exceptional customer experience is not just critical for loyalty and retention, but it can be a massive competitive advantage for your business.

    Everyone can have a bad day, and shit does happen, but more often than not, it is how we deal with what's happened that matters most to our customers, not that it actually happened in the first place. This is because most (reasonable) people understand that sometimes things go wrong. What they don't put up with these days though, is a poor response to it. And why should they? There are plenty of other businesses out there ready to take their money if you don't (do it right).

    It costs way more money and time to attract a new client, than to retain one!

    Wise words. We don't remember who said it, but it is so true. So grit your teeth, think of laying on the beach with a piña colada in hand, and write that sunny response to a pretty upsetting customer message. It's worth it in the long run.

    Not only when things go wrong is customer service incredibly important. Consumers these days are smarter, more educated, and more aware of their needs. They want to be welcomed, heard, understood and appreciated. All the time. Sounds like a lot of work? It is. But if you are running a professional business that takes itself seriously, and want to retain your customers, you will invest in your customer service.

    You need to build trust from the very beginning. And that starts with answering questions and making it clear that you’re there to help. A great e-commerce business doesn’t take hours to respond to simple emails or social media posts and messages. Because even just one experience like this can leave a bad impression of your store. Which means visitors will leave without purchasing, and your customers might not come back. Not only that, they might actually tell their friends and relatives about your poor customer service, and that might turn away even more customers. When you make customer experience a priority, the results speak for themselves: lower churn, higher average order value, as well as lifetime value. Because remember, it costs much more in time, effort and money to attract a new client, than to retain one.

    4. Capture the traffic coming to your store

    Only about 1 in 100 of the people coming to your store are going to make a purchase… So don't let the other 99 leave before capturing their email address! Doing this, and sending them emails will build trust over time, and perhaps later down the line, when they are ready, they will come back and buy from you. It's worth a try at least.

    Building a customer list is controlling your own destiny.

    Over time you can build a relationship with them by telling your story, sharing your WHY, and explaining what’s in it for them. Popups are the best way to capture those emails. Someone, somewhere has also calculated that for every email you capture, you can expect to drive $33 in sales. The new Apple update which enables people to turn off website tracking means that social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram for example, is going to deliver less and less results. Which means that the bigger your mailing list is, the more $$ you should expect to make with email, and so building that EDM database is more important than ever! Because that is a database of names that you own, with people who are actually already interested in what you do.


    Below we list 4 of the most common campaign types:

    • popup is the most popular display type for email signups. Average popup conversion rate: 4.6%
    • flyout is a little more subtle than a popup, appearing at the bottom of the screen. It's a good option for mobile campaigns. Average flyout conversion rate: 6.0% (slightly higher than your standard popup).
    • bar campaign is even more subtle than a flyout and often doesn’t include a form, which means conversion is much, much lower (they’re perfect for callouts like free shipping, though!).
    • A 'spin to win' campaign is the perfect way to gamify collecting emails. Because they’re a much more interactive display type, they convert really well (who doesn’t love to win things?!). But they’re not for everyone... It really depends on what type of product you are selling and who your target audience is and what those people value. Average spin to win conversion rate: 15.6%


    How to choose your offer: what will convert best?

    While the type of display you choose has a big impact on conversion rate, your offer is even more important. Your offer = what you’re giving visitors in return for their email address (or any other information you’re asking for).

    • Join our list: Convert 1% (ex: Join our list to be the first to know about new products and promotions)

    • Coupon campaign: Convert 5% (ex: Join our list to get 15% off your first purchase)

    • Enter to win: Convert 10% (ex: Join our list to have a shot at winning a $50 gift card) 

    So choose your display type and offer carefully to grow your list (and get more sales).

    Remember that even slight improvements to your conversion rate have the potential to drive major revenue for your store so give these tips above a go, and see your revenue double, triple and more!


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    Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more about how we can help you with your marketing strategy, business development, or website audit and improvements. We offer a free 30-minute discovery call to every new potential client, to learn about your business, and discover how we can best serve you on your journey. Contact Us today!


    Wonder where all those stats came from? Click here to read the full report.

    Need Help? We offer a FREE 30-min discovery call to all prospective clients. We want to understand your unique circumstances and how we can service you best. Contact Us Today!