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The Comprehensive List of Shopify Best Practices For Your Store

With the state of the world in 2020, Shopify has helped tens of thousands of merchants “get back to business.” Offering a free trial to set up online stores and having experts and apps for various functionalities has been a massive relief to many merchants going online.

The entry barrier has to open up a store has gone down, which means it isn’t always easy to hit it big online. According to reports, around 80% of all e-commerce businesses fail. And there are three common reasons why customers are likely to abandon your store:

  • Customers don’t know how to use your site.
  • Product value is not demonstrated well enough to convince shoppers.
  • Getting around is difficult.

This is because shoppers expect your online store to offer an experience similar to brick and mortar stores. This article will tell exactly how you can fulfill these expectations for your online store by following the most important Shopify best practices.

When I started building a Shopify app to help stores with conversions and sales, I decided to engage with Shopify store owners to understand their problems. The Shopify community forum was the perfect place to talk to store owners who wanted feedback and tips for improved sales and conversions. 

After a few weeks, I noticed that there were some Shopify best practices that most of the stores were not paying attention to, and which could be the main reasons for customers dropping off. So I decided to put these observations together as a list of final checks to follow before launching your store. These tips are useful for the existing stores as well to get improved conversions.

Before we jump in, I want to tell you about Modemagic – an app my team and I have recently launched. This app’s idea is simple: create an extensive collection of visually appealing stickers and badges suiting different scenarios like Sale, Few on Stock, Pre-Order, etc. which can be auto-applied on product images. It seems pretty simple to have a huge impact, but according to research by Monetate, using product stickers strategically on your eCommerce store can boost conversion rates by 55%.

Scroll through any Amazon search results page, and you’re bound to see products with the “Amazon’s Choice” and “Best Seller” badges. With ModeMagic, we want to give similar powers to business owners on Shopify. Check it out, and leave us a review if you like it!

Amazon’s Choice badge has had a higher impact on conversion rate, a 25% increase on average.

Shopify store mistakes amazon

 

Homepage

First impressions are important. They are all the more important in the case of online stores. On average, visitors spend not more than 10-20 seconds on your homepage. Depending on whether your store is easily navigable, interactive, and trustworthy, customers can stay longer or drop-off. It should be one of your primary focuses to make the homepage easy for people to enter and navigate your store, have visually engaging images, a clear value proposition, and calls visitors to action. Let’s break down each one of these parts:

1.  An appealing but simple “Above the fold” web design 

A simple, clean design is essential to grab the customers’ attention quickly. According to research, users will judge websites as visually pleasing or not within a second. Cluttering of this section with many images and CTA’s will confuse the shopper where to go next. So it is vital to keep the homepage design minimalistic. 

2.  Clear value proposition + direct call-to-action

Give a clear idea to users what your product is, and how much value it can bring to their lives in the first fold itself. You can also add store specific offers like free shipping or even offers like season sale or end of the month sales to grab users attention. Keep in mind the following points:

    • An eye-catching headline (About latest collection/big offers)
    • One-two brief sentences defining what your store stands for (drop in prices, high quality, special offers, free shipping, or any other value proposition)
    • A strong call-to-action button which should stand out from the surrounding design.

Madsen Cycles landing page has an incredible image, a notable headline, and a direct call to action.

3.  Easy navigation

Easy navigation is a crucial ingredient for a good customer shopping experience. Design your homepage in such a manner that users can easily find what they’re looking for, whether it be the products or the support they require. Here are some pointers for good navigation within the homepage:

  • Main Navigation at the header section: It is better to have descriptive labels. For example, instead of “Collections” in navigation, it’s better to have “Men,” “Women,” “Kids,” etc. for a unisex fashion store. For a store with many products, it is best to have a drop-down menu for your main top-level collections, for more options within.
  • Search Bar: A search bar in the header section enables users to find what they’re looking for instantly. An auto-complete and suggestion feature helps in guiding users to related collections and products.
  • Showcase your featured products, best sellers, and new in stock: Often, users are not decided on what exactly they want to buy. Therefore, you should provide suggestions and recommendations to help them arrive at a decision.

 

Biko has separate sections for categories, and specific collections are displayed tastefully.

4. Add your top customer reviews to build trust and credibility

Placing some positive reviews on the homepage where maximum visitors reach is an excellent way to show social proof. It prompts them to explore further. 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Adding a few good testimonials or even a video testimonial can be the extra nudge for making a purchase. 

Adding other sections such as About Us, Blog, & your Social Media pages is equally important. Base everything on your home page around how it can help you achieve your goals & help customers buy from your store.  

Here are some store examples with a good homepage design that I’ve come across on the forum.

  • Devnaagri

Devnaagri is an ethnic Indian fashion store. Their landing page has used a slideshow of high-quality eye-catching images and a strong headline showcasing their latest offer on selected collections. There is a clear CTA that pushes visitors’ right to this collection.

 

  • Artouchmedia

Artouchmedia is a great art store that has premium-quality prints, wall arts, digital products, etc. Their homepage is not fancy, but it is clean and has a slideshow of some of their best artwork. The navigation is simple, and it showcases collections such as Just Arrived & Featured Collections on the landing page itself, which keeps visitors engaged.

 

Product Page

When you run by a fashion store in a shopping complex/mall, you might get drawn in by some good-looking dress/shoes and later get into the store to see the product. But you’ll buy it only after trying it out & checking if the price matches your budget. eCommerce stores have to try harder, given that you’re paying before even trying out the product. Hence the product image, information, and social proof play a considerable role.

I have seen many questions in the forums around the fact: “I get high traffic in my store, but no sales / only a few sales.” It isn’t uncommon – Statista tells us that only 2.5-3% of store visits convert to customers. On the product page, visitors get a better look and more information about the product and then decide whether to move forward with the purchase or just look elsewhere. It is where you close the deal. For this reason, the product page is the most important page on your site. We have written a complete guide on making a good Shopify product page; a recommended read if you’re looking to improve your product page conversions. 

To help you increase sales and revenue, let’s review a few elements to improve your product pages.

High-Quality Product Images

Think of yourself as a customer for a moment. Would you buy a product from an online store you’re visiting for the first time, which doesn’t have an image/ the image is pixelated? We can see the product upfront in offline stores, but this is not the case for online stores. Hence the product images need to excite the visitors by using high-quality visuals. In fact, adding a visual element increases retention of the page by more than 50 percent. Also, providing different angle views (or even a 360-degree shot) and allowing to zoom in/zoom out will help them envision your products’ look and feel.

Self-explanatory product descriptions that demonstrate value

Keep your product description short and crisp. It should convey who the product is for, what it does, and how it can be of value for the visitor. Descriptions in bullet points are more effective so that visitors can read and digest them quickly. The description should also be optimized to be SEO friendly, which means using the right keywords (you can use KWFinder to find phrases related to your products’ KW with a high search volume).

Provide all the relevant information

The short description conveys the products’ value proposition and provides more information (again, easy to digest copy), answering any potential questions related to the product. For example, precise composition and care information & size charts will be essential in a fashion store. In the case of do-it-yourself furniture products, assembly information will be required, or better yet, a product video explaining the assembling process. Include videos wherever possible. They help visitors convert better as well as better search results.

Product Suggestions

There is usually a support person in retail stores who helps you select the right product. They provide you with suggestions to help you make a suitable buy. This similar experience is needed in online stores as well. Providing recommendations for similar products will help further engage the visitors, improving their browsing experience. You can also use this opportunity to upsell certain related products

Strengthen trust using product reviews and trust badges

If there were two similar products to choose from, which one do you prefer? More importantly – what influences that decision? Let’s say one product has no reviews, and one has positive reviews? The answer becomes obvious. It is for a known fact that we rely on other people’s opinions or actions to make our own. Whether it be customer testimonials or videos or ratings, social proof plays an integral part in increasing customers’ confidence in your store, increasing conversions. In fact, 90% of customers say that their purchasing decisions are influenced, in one way or another, by reading online product reviews.

Social proof can take several forms:

    • Customer reviews: Nudging customers to give brief product feedback is the most accessible form of social proof. For better results, request them to add an image to the review; it adds authenticity.
      If you check out the product pages in Glossier, they have beautifully displayed reviews and a brief intro of the reviewer to show that it’s genuine.
    • User-generated content: Another exciting way of showing social proof is to show user-generated content. You can request customers to upload creative photos or videos of themselves using the product to exchange incentives. Embedding top Instagram posts or tweets related to the product can also be a good way of showing customers’ positive feedback. This can effectively boost sales in your store.

    • Trust badges and labels: By adding trust badges and labels on your store, you can indicate to shoppers about your safety standards & how you handle crucial information. It makes them feel more comfortable making a purchase. You can read more about trust badges here.

 

 

Here is a great example of good product page design that I had come across through the forum.

Sports Art Direct is a U.S. store that does custom 5-piece sports art. This store has used trust badges and user-generated content + reviews to show credibility and increase visitors’ confidence to purchase from their store. They use Loox to showcase reviews on every one of their product pages. For more information, they have given a size guide so that the visitors make the right purchase.

 

Other Info

Footer Menu:

The footer is an essential part of your website. Many site owners focus on designing the top part of their websites, but they often forget to give importance to the footer menu. But, users expect to find less interesting and relevant information as they scroll down the page. Then why care?

Because your store experience consists of every element of your store. When users are judging your store’s credibility, it is essential to get every last detail right. Some brands had observed up to a 50% increase in conversions when they optimized their website footer design with specific goals. 

What to include in a footer?

The footer menu includes call-to-actions to details such as disclaimers, copyright information, About Us, blog, etc. are placed commonly.

    1. Website Navigation: The product catalog is broken down into different collections & categories, a simple call-to-action to forms that convert website visitors to newsletter subscribers.
    2. Website Technical and Legal Information: Terms and Conditions, Refund and Return Policy, Privacy Policy (how you use customer data), etc.
    3. FAQ:  Answer some of the most common questions customers have related to your products, payment, shipping, return, and refund.
    4. Security & Credibility: Showcase your awards, security certificates, and badges to demonstrate to visitors that your website is trustworthy.
    5. Social media icons: Connect your social pages to your store using icons, and place them at the footer menu. It can be an opportunity to show the visitors your social presence and allow them to interact on platforms other than your store.

 

About Us page: A Major Shopify Best Practice

When you’re building a store, your main focus is on higher traffic pages like the homepage, product catalog & checkout page. Many stores treat About Us or Your Story page as an afterthought. They are found in the footer as quickly written paragraphs about your store. But according to a report, around 52% of visitors check about your store or its story before proceeding further. By ignoring or giving less attention to this page, you might be losing more potential customers than you would have thought.

 A good About Us page is like the warm smile you get from a store assistant, making you feel safe buying from them. It is an excellent opportunity to tell users about your store, values, and vision of how the store can impact the community. This page, if executed well, boosts your visitors’ trust and makes you more credible. 

How to write a great About Us page:

  • Set the scene: What is your store about? How does the store do what it does?  
  • Mission statement: What was the problem faced in the industry? How have you set out to solve this problem? How has your journey been?
  • Goals and milestones achieved
  • Vision statement: Where do you see your store after a couple of months or years? Paint a picture of the future for your company.
  • Use eye-catching photos and videos wherever possible.

 

Blog

There can be tens of thousands of stores, trying to sell the same products as yours. When a visitor enters your store, they may not be so sure about buying and will drop off if the store is not engaging enough. So, how can you stand out from the crowd?

By building trust and credibility to your store, of course! And one of the key ways to do this is by creating a blog that can help entertain visitors in your store. In short, a blog is a regularly updated page which consists of informal diary-style posts generating valuable content. Topics on blogs are mainly on learning and sharing information around your product, the problems you solve, and your brand.

At its most basic, blogs can help you develop an online presence, showcase yourself as an expert in an industry, and attract more quality leads to your site’s pages. But there are several other advantages apart from this:

  • Adding a blog means getting more content in your store, which will result in boosting your store’s SEO ranking.
  • Blogging helps to add more value to your brand in the e-commerce industry. With articles released consistently, your brand will be recognized among the visitors in the respective industry. It will also help strengthen both loyalty and engagement.
  • It can help improve conversions in your store. Blogs will help make your store more trustworthy, which will provide new visitors with a greater sense of confidence in their purchases.
  • You can announce your latest offers, new products, and best selling in your store, and this can be vital information for your new and existing users.

 

Creating Scarcity & Urgency

The fear of missing out on products or offers can have a significant impact on shoppers. Creating a sense of scarcity and urgency is one of the foolproof ways to get more conversions and boost sales. You can nudge site visitors to purchase by using urgency messages like “Offer Running Out,” “Lightning Deal,” etc. Stores often find that adding urgency to product pages results in a revenue uplift, sometimes as high as 27.1%

Here are some examples you can use to create scarcity and urgency

  • Add product labels to grab users’ attention quickly.
    How can product labels build a sense of urgency? Read more about it here.
  • Running sales and offers for a limited time. One effective way to create time pressure is to use a countdown timer on your site.
  • Highlight how scarce your product or service is – or at least create the illusion that it’s about to run out 
  • Time-related words are especially useful if you want to create a sense of urgency.
  • Show others interested in the product.
  • Show what other customers are buying in real-time.

 

Time to revamp your store!

Phew! That was a lot to talk about, and it’s a lot to digest for sure. It should be clear and evident that systemizing your online store to align with key shoppers’ wants and motivations is the key to a successful store. By following the Shopify best practices outlined in this article, you will start noticing improved conversions and increased sales. Always keep in mind looking at your store from a visitors’ perspective, and make notes of the most common mistakes to avoid to make sure your store offers an unforgettable experience.  

Set up ModeMagic on your store to enhance your store’s visual appeal in minutes.

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