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The Ultimate 13-Point Shopify Checkout Optimization Checklist

Do you have a Shopify store? Checkout process not performing as well as you’d like? If so, then this blog post is for you. In this article, we will go over Shopify checkout optimization strategies that help increase conversion rates and sales!

1. Add a countdown timer

Urgency is one of the greatest motivators for online shoppers. If a customer can only finish their purchase in a certain time window, they will be much more likely to checkout. This is why countdown timers are one of the most effective strategies for increasing conversion rates and sales.

On that note, have you ever heard of the “cookie jar experiment?” This is a famous study that took place in 1975. It was lead by Worchel, Lee, and Adewole to understand how scarcity influenced people’s behaviour.

The study was simple: place two cookie jars in front of volunteers. One had ten cookies and the other had two. The researchers discovered that more participants rated the nearly empty jar as more valuable.

You can see how this relates to urgency, countdown timers, and e-commerce. If you want to increase your Shopify checkout page conversions, then it would be a good idea to put up a countdown timer on your store’s homepage as well as its product pages.

The goal here is to let customers know that they have limited time in order to complete their purchase or else they will miss out on an exclusive offer. For instance, you can install an app like Countdown Timer Bar.

After adding it to your store, click “Install app.”

Select “Create New Bar” on the app’s dashboard.

Choose between one of the templates on the next page.

Adjust the content section according to what you would like to offer customers. This might be a limited time sale, product, etc.

You can then adjust the timing of the countdown bar if you would like it to appear during certain hours/days. You can also set the countdown timer to display on certain pages like the cart page, checkout, etc.

Click “Save” at the bottom of the page and your countdown timer will be published!

2. Simplify the forms

Did you know that checkout forms can be killing your e-commerce conversion rates? When left unoptimized, checkout forms can be tedious and lengthy. As a result, customers experience one of two things. 1) They feel like you’re collecting too much information and leave. 2) Checking out takes too much time and they exit. In either instance, shortening forms can increase conversion rates.

Navigate to Shopify’s settings to begin.

Click “Checkout” on the next page.

We recommend enabling the “Accounts are optional” setting so customers can create an account or checkout as a guest.

Under “Form options,” keep the default “Require last name only” option enabled. Company name and address line 2 should be optional as well.

Optimizing these settings will speed up how fast customers can check out while also making them more comfortable. With 74% of internet users more concerned with their online privacy than they’ve ever, it’s essential to take these steps.

3. Add guest checkout

Similar to the last point we made, not every customer wants to create an account while they’re checking out from an online store. In fact, 34% of people abandon checkout when they are forced to create an account.

If you make people do so, you may experience a drop in conversions. That’s why it’s worth adding a guest checkout option. Reference point #2 of this article and follow the steps we outlined to enable this on your Shopify store.

4. Include trust badges

48% of people say that trust badges reassure them that a website is secure and trustworthy. They are a great way to increase conversions for this reason. You can add trust badges to your online store by navigating to Shopify’s theme builder.

Click “Footer” and enable the “Show payment icons” option.

This will add payment icons that customers can recognize like PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and others. We also recommend installing trust badge apps if you wish to add icons to other areas of your store like product pages.

5. Add a progress bar

People want convenient and fast online shopping experiences. Adding a progress bar is a great way to communicate to customers how far they are from completing their purchase. You don’t have to be a developer (or need to hire one) to add this feature. Simply install a Shopify app like Upsell Progress Bar to do the trick.

This app enables Shopify store owners to add a progress bar to the checkout process while upselling relevant products. The end result? Increased average order value, higher conversion rates, and a better user experience! Learn more about Upsell Progress Bar with this video.

6. Display your money-back guarantee or warranty

Offering a money-back guarantee or warranty is another great way to build trust and show your customers that you stand behind the products you sell. Even if there’s nothing wrong with their items, some people may still want an assurance before making payment for any reason. Luckily, Shopify has policy page generators that will automatically create terms of service that customers can read to understand your refund and return policies.

The first step is to enter your company information. This includes your email, location, etc.

Afterward, add your shop’s URL and confirm whether or not you use cookies as it will change the policy. Click “Send me my return policy” and it will be emailed to you shortly!

Create a page on your Shopify store titled “Refund Policy” and paste the policy you generated. Link to this page in the footer of your website and, optionally, product pages.

7. Add social proof

People are more likely to buy from brands they recognize so it makes sense to add social proofs like product reviews and ratings of your store on Shopify’s checkout page. Adding these elements will give them peace of mind knowing they’re buying from a trusted seller/brand thus increasing conversion rates significantly. We suggest asking for reviews as a regular part of your marketing plan. Using tools like Mailchimp or Klaviyo, you can create sequences in which one of the emails asks customers to leave a review. You can also repurpose reviews on channels like Google and Facebook on your store.

You can use Shopify’s official review app to display testimonials and star ratings to improve conversions.

Copy the code Shopify provides you with.

Navigate to your theme’s product-template.liquid file and paste the code under the product.descripton tag.

Reviews will then be displayed under each product’s description, helping to move more people to the checkout process.

8. Offer free shipping

26% of consumers say that a lack of free shipping is what prevents them from buying from a brand most of the time. We recommend offering free shipping for all customers, select locations, or during certain promotions with this in mind. However, also consider profit margins and whether or not free shipping would impact your Shopify store’s profitability.

You can create a free shipping option by clicking “Settings” and “Shipping and delivery” from the Shopify dashboard.

Choose an existing shipping zone or create a new one then select “Add rate.”

Click “Done” when you’re finished. Customers will now have a free shipping option based on the settings yo’ve created.

9. Give customers discount codes and coupons

93% of people use discount codes and coupons when shopping online. Heck, they’re practically expected at this point. That’s why we recommend Shopify store owners create a discount code for shoppers. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme. You will need to calculate the numbers to get the best results but 5-10% is a good start. You can also consider creating larger discounts for special sales and promotions (25-50%+).

You can create your first discount code by clicking “Discounts” on the left sidebar of Shopify.

Click “Create discount code” next.

Edit the discount code’s settings, such as the amount saved, active dates, etc. Click “Save discount code” when you’re finished.

10. Increase pagespeed

The longer a web page takes to load, the more likely a customer is to leave. One way to increase the speed of your store is by using a free Shopify app called GTMetrix. This tool will help you improve pagespeed and page load times so that customers are more likely to stay on your site longer. A.K.A it’s a must-do for Shopify checkout optimization. Simply enter your store’s URL and click the analyze button.

This result give you various scores and metrics based on your site’s performance. The higher the grade, the better. Green also signifies good performance.

Scroll down to “Top Issues” to discover what speed bottlenecks you’re experiencing.

Click an issue to see a recommendation on how to improve it. Many of the fixes that need to be applied can be done by yourself or your team. For example, you may have to compress large images, minify JavaScript files, or enable browser caching. All of these can be applied with an app. However, some changes may require you to hire a developer if it involves editing and adding code, especially to a Shopify theme.

Nonetheless, increasing your Shopify store’s speed doesn’t just benefit the checkout experience but everything else too. People will be able to navigate products, content, and other pages more conveniently. As a result, they may add more items to cart, checkout, etc.

11. Optimize your theme and design

Another important aspect to optimize your Shopify checkout is the theme and design. After all, customers get a first impression of your website within milliseconds of seeing it. If it is modern, professional, and easy to use, users will be more likely to effortlessly navigate to check out. Otherwise, they may drop off and you’ll lose revenue. Here’s a list of optimizations to consider for your store:

  • Take advantage of whitespace to put significance on products, calls to action, and other important elements.
  • Use social proof like awards, testimonials, reviews, and trust badges to boost conversions.
  • Keep a consistent branding, voice, and color scheme across the entire website.
  • Create content like blog posts to educate customers and build trust.
  • Reduce the amount of apps you use to increase page speed.
  • Improve site navigation and footer links.
  • Include category filters and a custom search function.
  • Add high-resolution photos of products from different angles.
  • Create an about page to show your brand’s history and team.
  • Make the cart and checkout pages uncomplicated and easy to understand.

12. Clearly display shipping rates and total

Do you know what’s one of the most common reasons for people leaving during the checkout process? Unexpected shipping costs. Imagine it from their perspective: you’re excited to buy an awesome product but then you’re hit with unwanted fees that you didn’t expect. That’s why it’s crucial to display shipping rates and the customer’s total as early as possible during the checkout process.

13. Upsell and cross-sell

Upselling can increase revenue by 10-30% on average. For example, if your store is generating $500,000/year, upselling could increase that by $50,000-$150,000! Imagine how big a difference that would make in your growth and success. And, it’s all thanks to one strategy.

To recap, upselling is the technique of recommending more expensive products once customers have converted or during the checkout process. This is effective because people have either already purchased a product or are interested in doing so. Thus, they will be more likely to take the item you suggest.

Luckily for you, Shopify offers several different free apps you can install to quickly add upsells to your store like:

Shopify checkout optimization recap

Optimizing your Shopify’s checkout store is essential for success. If your revenue and conversions are low, one of the most likely culprits is a poor checkout process. This causes customers to abandon cart, become frustrated, and visit a competitor’s shop instead. Here’s a reacp of today’s article so you can improve the conversion rate of your Shopify checkout process:

  1. Add a countdown timer with an app to create a sense of urgency.
  2. Simplify the forms and ask for less information while enabling guest checkout.
  3. Add a progress bar so customers know how long checking out will take while gamifying the process.
  4. Clearly display money-back guarantees and warranties.
  5. Add social proof like testimonials, reviews, star ratings, and trust badges.
  6. Offer free shipping globally or for specific regions.
  7. Create discount codes and coupons.
  8. Increase the speed of your store to enhance the user experience.
  9. Optimize your store’s design and theme.
  10. Display shipping rates, fees, and the customer’s total so they aren’t given any surprises.
  11. Upsell related products to increase average order value.

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