Driving conversions is where most digital businesses struggle. To drive a conversion means to make someone (a user or a website visitor) take an action so that you satisfy their demand for a product and receive a benefit (which is usually revenue) in return. The main difference between conversions and conversion rate optimization (CRO) is mere semantics. If a conversion is the action users are required to make, then conversion rate optimization would be those little tweaks we as merchants make to our website in order to improve the percentage of conversions made.
So, if 100 people landed on your site today and 15 out of those 100 purchased your product or service, then we say that your website boasts an impressive conversion rate of 15% (15 out of 100). Adding “optimization” at the end of “conversion rate” usually means that we’re doing our best to improve this percentage without compromising other factors within the business.
Differentiating between these instances (semantically and functionally) is important to understand later which are the best Shopify themes for conversion rate optimization.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Now we’re really starting to dig deep: Again, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a combination of processes that uses analytics and previously gathered data to increase the percentage of website users who undertake some form of action on your site. This action can be anything from downloading a PDF, becoming paying customers, or subscribing for a yearly service. The process of conversion rate optimization follows the users’ movement through your site, their actions, and what’s stopping them from doing what your business is essentially trying to accomplish, such as selling a subscription service like Netflix, selling physical products like Amazon, or renting other people’s stuff like Airbnb.
As said, “conversion” is the general term we use for describing a visitor taking action and completing a goal, however, goals can come in all shapes and sizes.
If your digital business (essentially, your website) is designed to sell products, we say that your site has two main goals in sight:
- A Primary Goal
- A Secondary Goal
The primary goal is usually for your customers to make a purchase by buying your products. This is why we also call the primary goal a “macro-conversion.” Completing a macro-conversion is the hardest part because we require a user to depart from their money in order to buy something they don’t have but probably want or need. The way toward completing a macro-conversion is paved with multiple smaller, more secondary, goals such as giving up their name and email address to receive emails (essentially, signing up). These secondary goals are known as “micro-conversions.”
Here are some examples of macro-conversions:
- Buying a product from a site
- Subscribing to a service
- Requesting a quote (to complete a project)
Here are some examples of micro-conversions:
- Signing up to receive email newsletters
- Making an account on a website
- Adding one or more products to the cart, but not checking out yet
The conversion rate is the number of times a user on your site completes a goal, divided by the traffic on your site. So, if each unique user visit results in a purchase (the ideal scenario), then we say that your site has a conversion rate of 100%.
In continuation, if you want to calculate the exact conversion rate, simply divide the number of conversions by the number of sessions (you can find this metric in different webmaster tools, one of them being Google Analytics), or the number of unique times a user landed on your site. This formula is valid for selling physical products.
If your business model covers selling a subscription service, then simply divide the number of conversions by the number of users instead.
In plainer terms, conversion rate optimization is not something you do before you attract users to your site. Conversion rate optimization is done after a user happens to land to your site. Note that conversion rate optimization is altogether different from SEO conversion rate optimization. The latter (SEO CRO) focuses more on how many users click through to your site after the organic results in SERPS (mostly done via Google) have been shown. Additionally, SEO conversion rate optimization also considers the number of clicks that you get, as well as which keywords are driving the most traffic and which keywords are driving the least.
How to Calculate Conversion Rate
To recap: We use user conversions to help us calculate the conversion rate. Then, we use conversion rate optimization (CRO) to help us get more conversions and a better conversion rate.
To calculate this, we divide users into two main groups:
- A business model where users can convert each time they land on the site
- A business model where users can convert only once regardless of how many times they’ve landed on the site
Let’s simplify this for the sake of clarity: If you sell physical products, then each user can buy as many products as your inventory allows. They can convert each time they land on the site.
On the other hand, if you sell a subscription service (like Netflix), then one user can only buy one subscription service—as that’s how a subscription business model works (there are exempts from this rule, but more on that later). These users can convert only once regardless of how many times they’ve visited your site.
If Users Can Convert Each Time They Land on the Site
Imagine we own an ecommerce website: Ben’s Bunnies. A user can make a new purchase with each visiting session. So, we want to optimize Ben’s Bunnies so that customers make as many purchases as possible. From here, if a user visited Ben’s Bunnies three times, those are equivalent to three sessions, which are all opportunities to make a conversion happen.
Let’s take a look at these three, in our case, hypothetical sessions:
- Session 1: The user was familiarizing with the site. No conversion.
- Session 2: The user purchased a chocolate Easter bunny. That counts as one conversion.
- Session 3: The same user came back and now purchased a Ben’s Bunnies branded t-shirt, two bunny toys, and five bunny-related stickers. Note that regardless of the user buying several items, these still count as only one conversion. This is because they’re lumped together (purchased) as one unique order.
To work out our conversion rate, we’re considering the total number of unique orders and dividing that by the total number of sessions. Our hypothetical user made two conversions after visiting the site three times. Thusly:
2 Orders / 3 Sessions = 0.66, or 66%
This user has a conversion rate of 66%, which is staggeringly high.
We can repeat this process to calculate the conversion rate for our site as well (again, hypothetical scenario):
250 Unique Orders / 2,500 Sessions = 0.1, or 10%
Our site has a conversion rate of 10%, which is more than the ecommerce industry-standard (2.5%–5%).
If Users Can Convert Only Once
All of that happened on our first site called Ben’s Bunnies. Now, imagine if we owned a second site—Molly’s Miracle Mustards. We’ve hypothetically set up this site to sell a subscription for a monthly delivery of amazing, homemade mustards. In this scenario, the same user could visit the site multiple times, however, once they purchase a subscription (a conversion), they cannot make another conversion (essentially they can upgrade or downgrade their subscription plan if such offers exist, but we’ll keep it simple for the sake of not complicating things).
Now let’s use those same three sessions to unpack the user’s behavior:
- Session 1: The user just happened to stumble upon Molly’s Miracle Mustards by organic search. They’ve explored the subscription service but didn’t purchase the service. Hence—no conversion.
- Session 2: The same user just subscribed to our monthly mustard service. This counts as one conversion.
- Session 3: Again, that same user from above came back to our site to experiment, poke around, read articles, and generally get involved in the website and brand.
Our business model sells only one subscription per one user. Therefore, we cannot use the same formula as above to calculate our conversion rate. Instead, we take the number of unique orders and divide them by the number of unique users (visitors). So:
1 Unique Orders / 1 Unique Users = 1.0, or 100%
Wow, pretty rad now, ain’t it? Now we follow the same math (total number of unique orders divided by the total number of unique users) to break down the conversion rate of the entire Molly’s Miracle Mustards website:
500 (Unique Orders) / 2,500 (Unique Users) = 0.2, or 20%
Conversion Rate Optimization & SEO
It should go without saying, but we’re going to megaphone through it anyway: Conversion rate optimization and SEO go hand-in-hand. Both processes are very similar to one another, as both offer huge benefits to improve your Shopify theme conversion rate.
Or, in other words, we can also use conversion rate optimization to improve our SEO so that we make it easier for our target audience to find our Shopify store. In fact, while not necessarily following the same methodology, conversion rate optimization is a huge factor for improving search engine optimization. Some of the benefits include:
Improved Customer Insights
Conversion rate optimization can help ecommerce business owners better understand their target audience and find what kind of content best meets their needs. In fact, conversion rate optimization can become a valuable strategy for finding the right customers for your business. Acquiring the wrong people can become detrimental to your online brand and can possibly run your business to the ground—an outcome we obviously want to avoid. Conducting the right conversion rate optimization strategy combined with organic SEO as well as paid search marketing is the ultimate way of speaking to your audience the language they want to hear.
Better Return on Investment
Reaching a higher conversion rate means you can improve your business with the resources you already have. Implementing conversion rate optimization in all the right places will lead to more conversions without you having to fish for more potential customers. Or, in other words, you can bring in more with less.
Most ecommerce businesses, especially ones that run on Shopify themes, often struggle to grow their customers as their business grows. Conversion rate optimization lets you scale your business without running out of customers and, more importantly, running out of resources, too. Contrary to what most multi-level marketers will lead you to believe, audiences, resources, and business growth are not infinite instances that can indefinitely grow. All of these are limited instances which, depending on the long-term business strategy, can either scale the business or lead to its demise. By transforming more visitors into buyers, you’ll unlock the true potential of your business without running out of prospective customers.
A Better User Experience
When you treat your users right and make them feel like they’re getting their time’s worth out of your site—they will reward you with spending more time on your site. Conversion rate optimization does wonders for both the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) of websites all at once. By studying what works and expanding upon it, you’ll essentially engineer a better user experience with minimal effort. Users who feel smart and sophisticated on your website will stick around, return, and eventually take the action you intended such as purchasing your products or signing up for your subscription service. In fact, some users may even become vocal advocates for your brand—thus generating positive word-of-mouth referrals, free of charge.
Two Key Conversion Rate Optimization Methods
In order to employ a successful conversion rate optimization strategy, you have to know the three “W’s”: Where, what, and who to optimize for.
On the contrary, if you don’t gather data and act on impulse alone, then you’ll be in for a huge disappointment down the road. Making decisions based on gut feelings is not going to cut it in the ecommerce world, and it can lead to losing time, nerves, and money all at once. Which, again, is something we don’t want to happen.
With this in mind, here are several methods on how to conduct a proper conversion rate optimization strategy without losing your footing in the process of doing so:
The Analytics Method
Also known as quantitative data analysis, this method provides you with real numbers of how your customers behave on your site. To employ this method successfully, run Google Analytics, and add tracking to your conversions. Google Analytics will track each conversion several steps back.
The analytics method offers information such as:
- Where customers enter your site or from which website they land on your site from
- Which features they use or where on your page they spend their time the most
- What channel or referral link brought them here or where they found a link and clicked it to come to your site
- What devices, browsers, and search engines they use
- Who they are or their main demographic information, interests, and age
- Where they leave your sales funnel or what activity makes them leave your site the most
All of this data will provide you with a very specific direction to move towards, including allocating your assets in all the right places in order to make a conversion. In fact, improving the pages your users interact the most, and ditching the ones they avoid, will provide you with a long-lasting impact down the road.
The People Method
Conducting quantitative analysis is an important first step in understanding your audience’s intent. This is especially true for ecommerce business owners with large sites and diverse content spread across multiple channels and platforms. But, now that you know how users use your site, it’s time to fine-tune that behavior to help satisfy their shopping needs better, faster, and without any unnecessary hiccups along the way.
How? By unraveling the “whys” behind their interactions with your site.
The people method is also known as the qualitative analysis method and is more subjective than the first method. In fact, the qualitative method starts by using the quantitative method above to assess who you should be asking. Since you can’t optimize for all users, optimize for those users that are most valuable as customers.
Getting qualitative data is easier than the first method, but—as we mentioned—more subjective. The ways you can do this include:
- On-site surveys
- Site satisfaction surveys
- User testing
In addition, the people method offers other information such as:
- Why did the users engage? Why did they decide to visit your site or go to a specific page/step in your sales funnel? What about the page/product/service impressed them the most?
- What do your customers think about your site in regards to your competitors? Which service or feature on your site makes you stand out from the competition? Do you offer a better user experience?
- What voice (warm, direct, assertive, passive) do your customers use when describing your products and services? How would they unpack your products/services to a friend? What language do they use to talk about what your company does and the direction it’s moving into?
Finally, there are certain things that the above data can’t decipher about your users, however, when you combine data from the people method with data from the analytics method, you’ll get a much bigger picture that will guide you towards future success and hopefully, zero site bounces.
In-Depth Strategies to Improve Your Shopify Store Conversion Rate Optimization
To grasp this concept, think about your homepage as a brick-and-mortar storefront. The front window exists for a reason: To capture attention, spark curiosity, pull customers in, and finally, to close the deal as the last step in the funnel.
To this extent, your homepage needs to feel warm, inviting, and friendly, not to mention be easy for visitors to enter, navigate, and leave as they please. It also needs to be visually appealing, have a consistent structure, theme, and colors, and work towards achieving a single goal. That goal is to get as many people further into your store so that they can find the right products and services they’re looking for (the “deeper” they click and the more they stay on your site, chances are they will eventually make a purchase).
The most effective strategies to do just that include:
Make the Experience Simple
When it comes to making an effective homepage, the simpler the site is—the better. Did you know that it only takes two-tenths of a second for a buyer to form an opinion about your website? After that, it’s very hard for them to change their mind no matter how hard you try and how many website designs you switch around.
A good point of reference is Apple’s own homepage. They’ve used a large image that occupies most of the space above the fold (in visual design terms, some refer to this space as the “jumbotron”). Further, their copy is clear, concise, and straight to the point, featuring a prominent call-to-action button that encourages visitors to take the next step (jump to a product, compare products, and eventually make a purchase through one of their approved retailers).
Showcase Coupons, Real-Time Buys, and More
As soon as your prospective customers land on your homepage, you are “gifted” with the opportunity to start building warranted hype to potentially drive them towards buying your products or services. If your specific goals are to drive more traffic to your website (and consequently, your products), then there are a bunch of useful apps compatible with a variety of Shopify themes which are very easy to install and use:
- Welcome Bars: Apps like Sumo and Quick Announcement Bar allow Shopify theme operators to share coupon codes, promotions, monthly giveaways, and more as soon as the users arrive on your website. The majority of these apps add a non-intrusive bar at the top of your homepage that perfectly blends in with most official Shopify themes but, more importantly, it grabs the attention of your customers in a matter of seconds. This pushes all of your potential buyers in all the right places on your site.
- Real-Time Buys: Apps such as Sales Notification can be fantastic additions to your conversion rate optimization war chest. These apps add a small notification to the bottom corner of your Shopify store that does a simple task: They show all real-time purchases being made by real customers instantaneously. The service of these apps is twofold: Firstly, they incite a sense of urgency in the customers, and secondly, they also provide customers with undeniable social proof which helps to increase conversions even further. A recent study from the University of Kentucky showed that urgent events made people act quickly and impulsively (therefore increasing your chances of making a sale right then and there).
- Popups: Popups are great for legitimately building your email list and apps like POWr Popup or Privy do just that. You can set up these apps to offer coupon codes, PDF versions of your infographics, or other extra “goodies” in exchange for a user signup.
Use Testimonials to Build & Strengthen Trust
Have your products been used by major media influencers or do your services appear in any major publications? Are your customers delighted by what they’ve bought from you? If so, add these references—including badges, reviews, and testimonials—to your homepage in order to build credibility and trust.
Add Intelligent Search
If your customers land on your page to find a specific product, chances are they might not find what they came for.
In fact, customers who have trouble with the search bar are 5.8% less likely to buy something from your store. What does this mean? It’s simple: If you improve your search bar in accordance with the latest visual design standards (or whatever works for your Shopify ecommerce store), then you can likely improve your conversion rate by up to 5.8%. Here’s how:
If you happen to have a large collection of products featured on your ecommerce store, you might want to make the search bar stand out on your homepage. By giving your customers the opportunity to find your product sooner rather than later, you’re indirectly increasing your conversion rate. But, not only that, you’re also stopping them from aimlessly wandering through your categories and ultimately leaving your site in disappointment, anger, and frustration.
The best Shopify apps for this are Instant Search and Findify, hands down. These two apps let you power up the search bar to offer predictive results which can then be used by your customers. This type of search bar is more effective, it’s a visual upgrade, and it transforms into yet another powerful tool in the hands of the customer.
Organize Your Shopify Store Categories
It should be a breeze for your customers to navigate through your website. Try not to spread your products across too many different categories as this is ineffective from all perspectives, including SEO, CRO, UI, and UX. Instead, try to organize your site with 5 to 7 broad categories that contain specific subcategories within themselves.
Finally, consider ordering the categories in your navigation bar according to their popularity. Your most popular categories should populate the highest spots, while the least popular categories should sit at the bottom.
Use Your 404 Pages
Encountering 404 pages basically means that either the URL does not exist anymore or has been moved, someone trying to access a particular page has mistyped the URL or there’s some kind of a server problem. However, are your 404 pages the end of the road for your customers? Instead of leaving them hanging when they encounter a 404, try to guide them to other parts of your website that might result in a conversion!
Editing 404 pages requires at least a basic coding knowledge, so if you’re not sure, you can always hire an expert from services like the Shopify Experts to help you personalize your 404 pages.
Feature Your Instagram Feed on Your Homepage
Instagram is a great tool for discovering new products and featuring a shoppable Instagram feed on your homepage is a great way to showcase your products to inspire your visitors to take action.
Plus, shoppable Instagram feeds are an excellent way to display user-generated content. In 2018, user-generated content started to play a significant role in dictating the purchasing behavior of younger users. In fact, the latest statistics have shown that a large majority of consumers had their buying choices influenced by some form of user-generated content.
If you’re a Shopify store owner, you can use apps such as Springbot, Showcase, and SocialPhotos to embed your Instagram feed onto your website. These feeds will allow you to build a direct link between your customers and the visual nature of your products.
Use High-Quality Photos
This statement has sort of become a mantra among digital marketers—and for a good reason—so, having high-quality product photos is an absolute must.
In addition, the numbers don’t lie: 2/3 of consumers are more inclined to buy a given product if the featured photo of that product is of high-quality. According to customers, product photos are more important to them than both product reviews and product details combined! Therefore, try to include accurate, high-quality images that represent your product from every angle that might be important for buyers to view.
But, don’t just stop there; you can also include a product video that showcases your products in action. For example, if you’re selling fridge magnets, add a video of how your magnets stick to the fridge better than your competition. It may sound silly, but seeing your products in action can make all the difference in the world between making a purchase and leaving your website without making one. Customers are more inclined to buy an item after watching a product video of that item in action.
Be Honest About Price & Delivery Time
A fair amount of customers will abandon their shopping cart if they get charged extra for unwarranted shipping costs. The main takeaway from this is to not mislead your customers, especially when it comes to price, shipping costs, and delivery times as well.
With this in mind, always be transparent with things such as pricing, delivery times, current inventory levels, and other information that’s vital to customers. In fact, if you go the extra mile about communicating honestly and efficiently about your brand’s value, your prospective customers usually won’t mind paying a little extra (or waiting a little longer for delivery) in order to get that value.
For Shopify ecommerce store owners, you can use apps like Restocked Alerts and Out of Stock. These apps will notify your customers whenever items go in or out of stock, including the fastest way to buy them before they sell out.
Put Your Positive Reviews on Full Display
Positive product reviews can ease the shopping “discomfort” for many both first-time and recurring buyers. If you’ve been following any of our other articles on the subject of ecommerce and social media, then you’ve likely already seen a certain term that we certainly use repeatedly: Social proof. In lieu of social proof, customers admit that their buying decisions were influenced—in one way or the other—from reading online product reviews.
Additionally, positive product reviews can help in convincing a “borderline” shopper if that product is really a good fit for them. These reviews can also help in aiding purchasing decisions about color, sizing, product materials, and more.
Most conversion-rate-optimized Shopify themes support a variety of powerful-yet-simple product review plugins. Some of these plugins include Yotpo and Product Reviews, enabling Shopify store owners to embed customer reviews right on their webpage.
Feature a Curated Instagram Feed
Curated Instagram feeds are different from shoppable Instagram feeds regarding one key thing: The author. Even simpler, curated Instagram feeds are made and—you guessed it—curated by the owner of the page (or their marketing team), while the shoppable Instagram feeds we talked about before are a 100% user-generated content.
These curated Instagram feeds are great for any Shopify store owner who sells physical products. You can show your customers how your product can solve their problem with a matter of visual representation. To add a curated Instagram feed, simply use apps like Like2Have.it or Foursixty, they’re real game-changers.
Use Prefill Whenever Possible
Your customers are already adding products to their carts, so why not make it even easier for them? Prefill their shipping, billing, and other purchase-related information to see a substantial increase in conversions. So, how can you add this to your Shopify store?
Head into your Shopify store admin, click “Settings” and proceed to “Checkout.” Then, under “Customer Accounts,” select the option “Accounts are Optional.” With this option, you’re enabling the users to have the option to check out as guests, and it gives them the chance to save their information to simply autofill next time. The best Shopify app to help you with this is Bulk Account Invite Sender.
Send Abandoned Cart Emails
Sometimes, customers fill up their carts with products of all shapes, quantities, and sizes, and then abandon the cart without the intention of ever returning. By using abandoned cart emails, you can remind those prospective customers of their previous intentions to purchase your products. Implementing this tactic alone can immensely improve your conversion rates.
To do this, click the “Settings” section in your Shopify admin page (sometimes represented as a little cogwheel towards the bottom of the page). Then, go to the “Checkout” section, proceed to the “Order Processing” tab, and from there you can tweak several settings. From there, you can choose to send reminder emails either 6 or 24 hours after a customer abandons their order.
Additionally, you can also customize your abandoned cart emails in accordance with your business’ image, brand, and tone. To do this, go to “Settings,” then “Notifications.” You will notice a “Template” column. From there, you can tweak the “Abandoned Checkout” section the way you see fit.
Personalize Your Thank You & Order Complete Emails
In the “Notifications” section in your Shopify store admin, you can also tweak your Order Complete emails.
After a customer has put an order in place, there’s still a chance to get them back into your sales funnel by customizing your Order Complete emails. Through them, you can encourage your customers to buy an additional product, sign up for your weekly/monthly newsletter, redirect them to some new and interesting content on your blog, or offer them additional promotions (including coupon codes) as a sign of appreciation.
Include Free Shipping
No matter how much a customer wants to purchase your products or services, there’s no bigger order repellent than a ginormous shipping cost. Because of this, try to include free shipping with your products as long as it’s reasonable in regards to your profit margins, in order to improve conversions. In fact, some Shopify business owners have experienced up to a 50% increase in conversions after offering free shipping on their products.
Have a Clear Refund Policy in Place
It’s no secret that some customers are tentative about buying products online. When it comes to clothing, shoes, or other apparel, it’s really hard to know how exactly those items will fit once the customer receives them. To help ease some of these concerns, make sure to put clear refund policies in place. This way, your customers will always know you have their best interests at heart in case something going awry. A Shopify tool that can help you with this is their Refund Policy Generator.
Turn Your About Page Into a Captivating Story
Whenever there’s a chance to tell a good story, don’t miss it. With this in mind, your About page can become much, much more than just a dry retelling of what your brand does. Your About page should tell a story, but not just any story: It should captivate your audience and help them connect emotionally with the core of your brand’s values.
You should strive to make your About page the go-to resource when customers want to inform others about the mission of your brand. To do this, start by asking yourself questions about your customers such as things like: What’s the thread that connects my potential customers to my products? What’s so special about this connection? How do my customers like to interact with the world and how will my products facilitate that? You could start by simply telling an anecdote about your Shopify store and how it came to be, such as things like coming up with your brand’s name, your mission, and vision statements and then go from there.
Build a Comprehensive Contact Page
If your customers want to reach you, they should be able to do it as easily and as efficiently as possible. Your contact page should be put together in a clear and concise way so that customers can reach you at any time. Whether something goes wrong or they just want to reach out with a question or compliment, your customers should always have the opportunity to engage with your brand at any time of day.
Here’s how your Contact page should look:
- List your company’s email address or have an embedded contact form, or both
- Include your physical address, along with a map and directions if you have a physical store that customers can visit
- Outline your working hours so customers know when they can expect you to be active and available
- Provide links to your social media channels so customers can follow your social channels
- Add any support phone numbers or support emails that customers can get in contact with
Build a Mobile Responsive Website
Having a mobile responsive website in this day and age is an absolute must. If your website is not mobile responsive then visitors will most likely click away and visit another, more mobile-friendly, website. Finally, if your ecommerce store runs on a Shopify theme, every Shopify theme is already optimized to be shown properly on every device—mobile devices included so there’s nothing to worry about.
Want to check? Copy and paste your site’s URL into Google’s mobile-friendly online tool.
Optimize Your Website Speed & Loading Time
In this section, we also turn to Google for help. The most convenient way to check your online Shopify store’s loading time is to plug your URL into Google’s Pagespeed Insights Tool. This tool will give you a detailed look into your page loading times, including page load distributions, page statistics, optimization suggestions, and optimizations already present as well. The good thing about this is that it shows both the desktop and mobile versions of your page. Alternatively, you can also use GTmetrix to compare results and get an even more detailed look at the page speed of your site.
Minimizing the time it takes for your website to load is very important because it massively affects the user experience of your store and it can also have a big impact on your SEO. The size of your images can be one of the major factors that are slowing down your webpage so to solve this, try to compress and optimize your images with tools like ImageOptim and ShortPixel. These apps remove all of the unnecessary data in image files, rendering perfect but significantly smaller copies of your original images. There’s typically no visible difference between the optimized images or the regular images but your webpages will be able to load so much faster.
Finally, Shopify theme owners should also uninstall any apps they’re not actively using on their webpages since these can put an additional toll on your website, even if they’re not active.
With all of that sorted out, it’s time to get onto the actual Shopify themes that are the best for conversion rate optimization.
The Best Shopify Themes for Conversion Rate Optimization
At first glance, Supply doesn’t seem to narrowly focus on any particular industry. This can be good for a variety of reasons: First, it allows additional customizations to adapt it to any sales branches your business is currently exploring. Second, it comes in two distinctive styles: Blue, for a more technological, industrious-like vibe, and Light, for offering more bespoke, modern products. Third and finally, it’s free to use so there’s no risk involved if the theme doesn’t work out as imagined!
With that being said, the Supply Shopify theme does have a few problems that keep it from being 100% conversion-friendly. Here’s how to optimize the theme to get the best performance out of it:
First, the banner is just too small to make a visual impact (especially at first viewing). This size doesn’t give you a lot of room to work with in regards to placing unique value propositions or a call to action inside the banner (you’d have to work your way around it). To fix this, you can insert product images with pre-existing text put over them and forget you had this issue in the first place.
Secondly, (and perhaps the bigger hurdle to overcome) is the so-called out-of-the-box search experience. It’s proven that search traffic on ecommerce websites often converts at a 2-4 times higher rate than the rest of the site, so blending the search bar into the page is not the optimal solution. Plus, the search bar is hidden in the mobile version of this theme, so that’s something to either consider changing or removing altogether and placing it somewhere where it would be clearly visible.
Finally, Style also has the additional issue of somewhat un-optimized search results pages. The grid search format has a limit on how much information it can handle prior to the user landing on a product display page (PDP). On the other hand, a list search format is significantly better since it allows the user to see a detailed product description (including size, color, and price), therefore increasing the chances of someone purchasing that product.
The Venture Shopify theme is an excellent pick for sports stores, adventure stores, outdoor stores, and more.
This theme features some great additions such as its banner: It’s big enough to allow for a good amount of text, including your unique value proposition, call to action, and more. Plus, the sheer size of the banner allows for adding more categories on top, side-by-side, or below both your store’s Unique Selling Point copy and Call-to-Action.
In addition, Venture boasts clean, neat, and fresh-looking product pages native to the theme itself. This is excellent for conversions because you can upload bigger product images and show them with the least amount of distractions on your site. With the Venture theme, users feel like they’re part of a larger community, hence easing them into making a purchase. Plus, with Venture, you can feature your best-selling products on the menu of your Shopify store.
Of course, Venture can be also be optimized to make better conversions than what its initial design can do on its own.
As far as its disadvantages, the Venture theme does come with detailed product pages, but just not detailed enough. This is an important point to emphasize because the more information about the product a product page features, the greater the chances of that product being bought. To add, highlight, or customize with things like your price range, add-to-cart button, and more, you’d need to add some additional code or have an expert customize it for you instead.
If you’re looking for a more modern approach to ecommerce, then Retina has all the latest bells and whistles plus more. It features large images, social media buttons, and other additions that make this theme the perfect pick for the contemporary online seller.
One of the best features of the Retina theme is the so-called “quick-shop” buttons featured on the category pages. When clicked, these buttons drive the customers towards a simplified product page from which they can shop. If your business is based on selling low-priced products, the “quick shop” button can increase customers’ add-to-cart actions significantly.
Plus, Retina has one of the best filtering options a Shopify store owner could possibly want. Retina offers several filters that address the real crux of things in regards to what your customers really land on your site for.
With all of that being said, this theme can be additionally tweaked to improve conversion rate, better its visual appeal, and make it more “alluring” to buyers all at once.
First of all, the Retina theme is not free. It comes at a price point of $180, which is considered reasonable for themes of this nature. However, if you’re bootstrapping your business, this would be yet another expense in the never-ending list of expenses while running an online store.
Additionally, the add-to-cart button has been designed to be below the fold upon page load. Although this allows for a distraction-free above-the-fold experience, it means that customers are not immediately prompted to take the action you want to take which can impact conversions overall. For example, if only 20% of users scroll down a page to be able to see the add-to-cart button, this could negatively impact your conversion rate percentages.
Fashionopolism is a versatile, rich, and creative theme that boasts features that aren’t so readily available on other, more simple Shopify themes. One of the excellent things about this theme is the fact that it features a wide banner for promotions across the site. If your business is based on promotions and similar offers then the Fashionopolism Shopify theme would be a good starter theme.
Additionally, this theme has a sticky header menu, which stays on top of the page as users scroll down on their desktop devices (the sticky menu doesn’t operate on mobile devices). The sticky menu is a great solution for users who often jump from page to page looking for their preferred product. Not being able to access the menu is a big source of frustration on long pages, so with the Fashionopolism theme you’ve already tackled one issue you won’t have to worry about anymore and you’re virtually solving a user-experience problem right out of the box.
This theme also features highly effective product flags (corner banners, on sale banners, product banners, etc.) which is perfect for those merchants who have large amounts of returning traffic as this helps returning users identify which product prices have changed since their last visit.
One of the major drawbacks of this theme is the lack of callouts to draw the user’s attention to the category pages. If we consider these category pages to be very important assets for the user, this could present itself as a problem for business owners with sites that have multiple large-scale categories.
Additionally, one of Fashionopolism pluses could be also considered as its drawback as well. Placing the cart button in the middle of each page during a mobile visit is excellent, however, the search bar is hidden within the menu—users would have to click twice to get to it! This design alone has the downside of potentially losing 15-40% of your total sales. If you have a mobile-first Shopify store and your store needs to be highly searchable then consider tweaking the search bar to appear without users having to take any actions to get to the search bar.
Vantage has become a sort of the go-to theme for businesses and startups that need to get their store up and running quickly but still in a way that’s done well and high-quality.
Part of the success and popularity of the Vantage Shopify theme are some of the universal elements that we’ve already touched upon when discussing the previous themes. For instance, Vantage offers a sticky menu for users accessing the site via desktop devices, a pencil banner for promotions, and an easily accessible cart banner on mobile.
In fact, Vantage can possibly even boast that it has the best search bar out of any of the other Shopify store themes in our lineup. The search bar features an icon at the top of the page that opens the search options when tapped on mobile so it’s quick to access and it’s user-friendly for visitors to use.
Probably the biggest downside of Vantage is its lack of drop-down options in the main menu, making the theme very hard to use from a user-experience perspective. You may want to try tweaking these drop-down menus to make them work for your store and make them bigger than the stock option in the theme.
This theme describes itself as an editorial-inspired design made to accommodate bold imagery. With this in mind, Maker’s creators designed the theme so that the first thing visitors notice when landing on the page is the prominent subscription opt-in bar that stands out from the bottom of the screen.
Additionally, there’s a product (albeit, only one) boldly displayed, while scrolling down reveals more space for fitting additional images—plus an area to add your product description(s) as well.
One of the best things about the Parallax Shopify theme comes in the form of it featuring a blog. This option allows business owners to do more than just add new products to their site and provide visitors with promotions without also telling their brand story and engaging with their community.
Because of this, the blog feature offers the opportunity to build a loyal fan base around your brand, which can compel customers to become involved brand advocates later. Having a blog is also a great way of cementing your presence online via employing good SEO practices and including multiple keywords for the terms/products you want to be found.
Increasing your conversion rate is hard; if it weren’t hard, anyone could do it. However, as we’ve discussed throughout this article, it’s possible to optimize your store for conversions using strategic Shopify themes that have been created with user-experience, website design, and ultimately, driving conversions in mind.