How to (Conversion Rate) Optimize your Shopify store with a Process in 2024

Growth is the keyword for all CRO processes.

Conversion Rate Optimization has been excessively used in recent years, especially in Shopify, and that’s mainly because: 1. Small and medium-sized Shopify merchants were more interested in catching up with the big corporations, using their tactics for growing and improving their performances through continuous experimentation (the positive reason) and 2. A lot of Gurus have appeared overnight, proclaiming themselves as experts with decades of experience in a field that was almost non-existent decades ago. They have multiplied the cases where conversion rates have increased but overall store performance has declined (the negative reason).

Our approach is different for our Shopify clients. We want to talk about a concept that is a little bit different, improved and brought to the large public by the people at CXL and Speero: Customer Experience Optimization (CXO).

This blog will revolve around CXO and provide an alternative definition for CRO and that is that the ultimate goal of entrepreneurs established on Shopify is to grow, which is not always the same as improving conversion rate.

So, while it might seem strange, Conversion Rate Optimization doesn’t focus on Converting Rate alone, but on the growth of the business, which is the real objective.  That's why people should have the word ”growth” in mind when thinking about CRO/ CXO and not specifically the Conversion Rate alone.

Tailor a Process for Optimization.

To build a CXO/CRO strategy for Shopify stores, you need a structured approach that involves thorough research, strategic experimentation, and continuous analysis of your customer's digital interactions. Here’s how to get started on your path to experimentation:

Step 1: Ditch Your Biases, Start with Research

Why Your Opinions Don't Matter

Your personal tastes may inform your storefront's aesthetic, but they offer no surefire perspective on what facilitates sales. Your biases, assumptions, and intuitions are often disconnected from customer behaviour and may lead you and your Shopify online store down costly, unproductive paths.

Research as Your Compass

Effective research involves a blend of methodologies, all aimed at uncovering the fundamental reasons people do or don't convert on your site. You most likely did research when looking for a Shopify template, different layouts and so on. This step is foundational because you can't find an effective solution until you understand (objectively) the problem. So the first step in your process should be to leave aside your subjective thoughts and start running non-biased research using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Step 2: Research + Experimentation

Building Hypotheses

Hypotheses are the bridge between research and experimentation. They are formal statements about what you expect to find and are crucial for guiding your next steps. Always start by asking yourself: What should we do to fix the issue? And this is how you start making hypotheses.

Utilize a Framework

Implementing a structured framework, such as the ResearchXL Framework developed by CXL, keeps you methodical and focused. It helps you ask the right questions and directs your attention to the most critical areas of your business. If you can not describe as process what you’re doing, then you’re not sure what you’re doing.

Start with Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis is meant to find different technical bugs, that usually are solved quickly or don’t need further validation. This is the quickest way to grow and make more money with your Shhopify store. The most common technical bugs are Device and Browser-based bugs and Speed bugs. Shopify is great at this and is very easy to integrate all sorts of tools for measuring metrics.

Pro Tip: Analyse all high-traffic pages; Make sure the content is loading in less than 3 seconds. Shopify Home, Product and Collection Pages are mandatory.

Continue with a Heuristic Evaluation of the website

Heuristic Evaluation is an experience-based assessment and the elements can be grouped (more or less, based on your own Framework) into Friction, Distraction, Motivation and Relevance. Simply said, thanks to NNN Group, "a heuristic evaluation is a method for identifying design problems in a user interface. Evaluators judge the design against a set of guidelines (called heuristics) that make systems easy to use". Even simpler said, it means that people with experience should perform an evaluation using a set of industry-recognized guidelines and their own experience. With Shopify, is very easy.

Motivation: What is it about your product or service that makes users want to engage? What are you doing to incentivize the user to take action? Understand why people need your product, what problems it solved and reflect on that. Sell the emotions and the experience, just like Apple does. We want to increase the motivation as much as possible because any doubts or friction will be crushed if the motivation is big enough. The user must feel understood if you want to turn him from a regular user into a long-life customer for your Shopify online store.

Friction:  What on this page is causing doubts, hesitations and/or uncertainties? What makes the process difficult and how can we simplify it? Friction can not be removed completely, but it can be minimized. Make sure there are no unnecessary steps in the process, reduce loading time and simplify the interface to make it easier for users to understand. Remember, your goal is to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for users to complete their desired action. We helped a lot of Shopify merchants with that before, so feel free to reach out and have a friendly talk.

Distraction: Is there anything on this page that might be taking attention away from the main purpose? What element from the page is distracting the user from taking our desired action? Have you installed a lot of apps in your Shopify store and now there are 50 different pop-ups running in the background? Distractions can come in many forms, from flashy advertisements to cluttered interfaces. It's important to consider the user's focus and prioritize what elements are necessary for them to complete their task. This could mean removing unnecessary information or simplifying the layout of the page.

Relevancy: Does the page meet your user’s expectations in terms of the design and content? How can it match what they want even more? In short, if I were the ideal client, why should I purchase the product right now?  Ensuring that your page is relevant to your target audience is key to converting regular users into loyal customers. This includes having content and design elements that align with their interests and needs, making it more likely for them to take the desired action. Using a premium Shopify theme can help. Consider conducting user research and gathering feedback to better understand what your target audience wants and how you can tailor your page to meet their expectations.

Step 3: The Power of Digital Analytics

Data-Driven Decision Making

Just like I said at the beginning of this blog, your decisions must be informed by real data. Digital analytics tools give you a 360-degree view of your customer's online behaviour, but only if configured and utilized correctly. Using Shopify analytics, for instance, enhances the understanding of ecommerce interactions on your Shopify store.

Health-Check Your Analytics

Before you trust your data, make sure it's accurate. Data integrity is paramount; otherwise, you're basing decisions on quicksand. Regularly inspect your Shopify analytics setup for errors.

When analyzing the data found inside the digital tools, make sure to do something called a health-check. You need to make sure that everything is being measured, that you can trust the collected data and that nothing is broken. If there’s something fishy, find the specific pages or elements that show wrong data and fix those. Specifically, in a Shopify context, ensure your Shopify dashboard reflects accurate ecommerce metrics.

Leverage Insights from multiple sources

Once you’re done with the Shopify Analytics health check, you can start leveraging the analytics data. Check the funnel performance on your Shopify store and see where people drop off because there is something you must fix there.

Always segment data so it can be easy to understand. Lastly, you must understand the correlations between the metrics and the user actions you’ll see through heatmaps and surveys.

Each data source offers a distinct viewpoint, offering valuable insights into different aspects of user interaction and engagement on your Shopify site. By integrating information from your preferred analytics tool with additional data from heatmaps, which visually represent where users click most often on your Shopify pages, and behaviour flow analysis, which tracks the paths users take through your Shopify store, you gain a deeper understanding of user behaviour. Incorporating these varied data sources provides a holistic view of your target audience's preferences, behaviours, and needs in a Shopify environment.

Furthermore, leveraging multiple data sources not only enriches your analysis but also serves as a method for cross-verification of your observations. This approach helps in confirming the accuracy of your insights and uncovering any inconsistencies or anomalies that may emerge. This comprehensive and validated understanding of your Shopify audience can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your strategies and decision-making processes.

Step 4: Start A/B Testing

Setting Up Your Experiments for Success

Before launching your experiment, it's crucial to define the structure of your A/B/N test meticulously. This involves deciding on the number of variations you intend to test against your control version. Unlike a simple A/B test, which compares a single variant to the original, an A/B/N test allows you to examine the effectiveness of multiple new versions simultaneously on your Shopify platform.

To ensure the validity and reliability of your results, adhere to the following stopping rules for your Shopify A/B testing:

  • Sample Size: Determine the minimum sample size needed to achieve statistically significant results before starting your test. Utilizing tools like Sample Calculators can streamline this process by providing an estimate based on your input parameters, such as the expected effect size and baseline conversion rate on Shopify.
  • Business Cycles: Account for the impact of business cycles by running your experiment over a complete business cycle or ensuring that your testing period covers typical variations in your Shopify business (e.g., weekdays vs weekends, seasonal highs and lows). This consideration helps in mitigating the effect of external factors on your test outcomes.
  • Statistical Significance: Establish a threshold for statistical significance in advance, typically set at 95% confidence. This threshold will dictate when you can confidently conclude that the differences in performance between your variations and the control on your Shopify store are not due to random chance.

By carefully planning these aspects of your Shopify A/B/N test, you position your experiment for success, ensuring that the insights you gain are both reliable and actionable.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the details of the Conversion Rate Optimization processes, consider hiring experts that can leverage their experience and get the best out of your Shopify store. Get in touch with us!



April 27, 2024

Wrote by

Paul Pîrvu
Shopify Expert



April 27, 2024

Wrote by

Paul Pîrvu
Shopify Expert