At Render Better, we specialize in website performance. Still, we understand that a lightning-fast site can only take you so far. That’s why we’ve compiled over 30 case studies and deep dives surrounding the innumerable ways in which you can optimize your Shopify store. Whether it’s your first day using Shopify or you’re a Shopify Plus veteran, this list of eCommerce optimization tips, tools, and strategies will surely help to boost your overall revenue.
A quick note about this list:
It’s very rare for eCommerce optimizations to happen within a vacuum. All pieces of the eCommerce puzzle work together to create the overall picture. Still, we did our best to segment these use cases and case studies based on specific tools or strategies that have helped real-life brands grow their online businesses.
You should always think holistically about your marketing efforts, but oftentimes there are quick and easy optimizations that can immediately drive more revenue for your Shopify site. This list runs the gamut from one-click solutions to year-long campaigns, all of which are applicable to practically any eCommerce store, regardless of size, budget, or platform.
Princess Polly is an Australian clothing brand that specifically targets Gen Z consumers. This younger demographic is well-known amongst eCommerce brands for being particularly difficult to retain as loyal customers. According to Kim Zorn, Head of Performance at Princess Polly, “[Gen Z consumers] don’t mind whether they get a red dress from us or a competitor, as long as they get a red dress.”
Princess Polly knew that they needed to create a heightened experience for returning customers to incentivize stronger brand loyalty. They decided to utilize Yotpo, an eCommerce marketing platform that specializes in loyalty programs and customer retention. Through Yotpo, Princess Polly was able to create a point-based rewards system with VIP tiers that resemble music festival passes. For example, the first tier is labeled “General Admission” for 1-299 points, then “Front Row” for 300-699 points, and eventually, customers reach “Backstage Pass VIP” status where the ultimate perks live.
After implementing this retention strategy, Princess Polly saw a 74% VIP participation rate for returning customers, a 66% repeat purchase rate for loyalty redeemers, and a 15.4x ROI for the loyalty program as a whole.
Key Takeaway: Use a loyalty program that resonates with your target customers and makes them feel special. You’ll likely see a much better CTLV than you would with an out-of-the-box loyalty points system.
Holabird Sports is a Baltimore-based eCommerce retail site that offers sports and fitness gear. They’ve achieved consumer trust at their brick & mortar location via experienced staff members, indoor demo courts, and nearly 40 years of family-operated expertise. Still, that sense of in-person customer confidence was not translating as well as they’d hoped to their newer eCommerce site.
Holabird decided to work with TrustedSite, a cybersecurity and certification platform that protects customer data. After getting certified, Holabird leveraged the help of Blue Green, a marketing solutions provider, to implement the TrustedSite badges strategically throughout their eCommerce checkout flow. Blue Green implemented an A/B test on their site to determine exactly what kind of effect these “Certified Secure” badges would have.
After the month-long A/B test was finished, Holabird Sports found that their new TrustedSite badges gained them a 16% lift in total conversions, a 22% increase in new visitor conversions, and a 21.3% increase in revenue generated.
Key Takeaway: According to TrustedPilot, roughly 60% of abandoned carts occur due to security concerns about sharing personal information on a new site. When you strategically implement certification badges at various points throughout your checkout flow, your consumers will have multiple subconscious reminders that your site is trustworthy and secure. Always remember to implement A/B testing whenever possible to measure real results.
Pooch Bandana sells handcrafted dog neckwear, i.e. bowties and bandanas, through their eCommerce site. They were struggling with cart abandonment and discovered that their potential customers were getting confused along their checkout journey. The biggest roadblock involved site visitors being unsure about the correct size of bandana to order for their pups.
Pooch Bandana decided to use Tidio, a chatbot platform, to implement a customized chatbot that would provide an interactive and engaging experience. Their goal was to gently guide their customers in a fun and easy-to-understand process. With that in mind, they designed their Tidio bot to engage with visitors while they’re viewing their product size guides, just before they make a purchase.
After 1 week, Pooch Bandana saw a 104% increase in average session duration and a 72% lift in conversion rates. They managed to effectively double their overall revenue and gained 4000 new leads through their Tidio chatbot email capture.
Key Takeaway: Understand where your site visitors are dropping out of your purchase funnel and implement a chatbot or similar feature to guide them through those final steps. Be sure to customize your bots to fit your brand identity and add in email capture, cross-selling and upselling, and other engagement features when and where they make sense.
Fandomaniax is an anime-themed merchandise store that sells custom designs made by freelance artists around the world. They were challenged with penetrating a target market that’s notoriously based around bottom-up community engagement. They quickly realized that influencer-based marketing via Instagram and TikTok creators would be a great place to start. However, the various hurdles they were met with while organizing and structuring direct deals with these creators made it difficult to scale their influencer strategy.
Eventually, Fandomaniax decided to implement a full-scale affiliate marketing program with the help of UpPromote. With this platform, they created a tiered system that incentivized affiliates to increase their commission based on their total dollar amount of sales. This promoted a “win-win” relationship where affiliates felt more and more encouraged to perform better as they received a higher commission. Affiliates were also granted store credit as a payout option, which flowed a certain percentage of revenue directly back into the Fandomaniax bottom line.
In a year-over-year analysis, Fandomaniax found that using UpPromote to implement their affiliate marketing network resulted in a 15-25% increase in monthly revenue and a 10-15x ROI overall.
Key Takeaway: Certain target audiences require some form of encouragement from peers or influencers in their communities before they can trust a new brand. While direct-to-influencer marketing is a viable option, it is not as scalable as automated affiliate programs. Leverage your customers to become advocates for your brand and be sure to incentivize them appropriately for your efforts.
Proozy is a Minnesota-based wholesaler that offers sports apparel and athletic gear, with a primary focus on golfing equipment. They had been struggling with how they varied their messaging for their unique customer segments. All of their customers or subscribers received the same emails and texts, regardless of their past purchases or specific types of website engagements.
Proozy decided to use Klaviyo, an email and SMS marketing platform, to create automated flows and customized segmentation to communicate with their consumers in a more individualized fashion. As Alex Case, eCommerce manager at Proozy, stated, “making sure that our customers are seeing the products that they actually want has been a game-changer.”
After segmenting their audiences and creating custom flows to deliver them relevant messaging, Proozy saw a 1000% increase in revenue per SMS recipient, 6,512 new SMS subscribers, and a 30% click-through rate. They now send fewer overall messages and get an average order value of $74 from new SMS customers.
Key Takeaway: All brands have distinct types of customers, but this is especially true when you offer a large variety of commonly used products. You can’t expect to get great results when you communicate with each segment as though they are all the same. Be sure to segment your consumer profiles and send emails or SMS messages accordingly.
Lucyd is a smart sunglasses brand that offers virtual try-ons, free eye doctor consultations, and customized lenses at competitive prices. They had already added several eCommerce optimizations to their site which were performing well, but they wanted to include some type of cross-selling/upselling feature to improve their average order value. The issue was, Lucyd didn’t want to complicate their checkout flow by adding unnecessary friction to the process.
Using ReConvert, an upselling and cross-selling eCommerce solution, Lucyd was able to implement personalized recommendations and countdown timers in order to boost their order values while actually improving their customer experience. Rather than interject upsell or cross-sell recommendations during the checkout, Lucyd decided to place them on their “Thank You” page immediately after an order was completed.
After creating this custom upselling and cross-selling experience, Lucyd saw a 5.6% growth in revenue that was directly attributable to their new “Thank You” page, with a 4,601% ROI and an average order value of $106.
Key Takeaway: Upselling and cross-selling are obvious ways to increase average order value and total revenue. However, you should always consider how it affects your overall customer experience. Be sure to create the least amount of checkout friction possible while providing personalized recommendations so each customer sees exactly what they need at precisely the right time.
Murdy Creative sells hand-crafted leather-bound journals. They had previously used a static newsletter form on their site to capture emails and retarget site visitors. With their former situation, they were seeing about 5-10% of their revenue derived from email marketing efforts.
Murdy Creative wanted to generate more email subscribers using pop-ups on their homepage and during their checkout process. The issue was that they needed these forms to be personalized for segmented customer experiences rather than generic and potentially bothersome popups. They eventually decided to use Privy, an eCommerce platform for customizing SMS & email captures throughout your site.
After strategically placing an incentivized email capture halfway through their checkout process, Murdy Creative managed to boost their email-generated revenue to 25-30% of their overall sales. They also saw a 5-7% boost in their email subscriber conversion rates.
Key Takeaway: Capturing emails for retargeting site visitors and past customers is nothing new. Still, it’s the ways in which you implement this email capturing strategy that can make all of the difference. Try using order discounts to incentivize email captures during the checkout process, so that even if your visitors abandon their cart, you’ll still be able to retarget them at a later date.
Turum-burum is a UX design agency that previously worked with Intertop, a shoe retailer hoping to increase its eCommerce presence. Intertop came to this UX agency with the hopes of simplifying its customer journey and increasing conversion rates. In turn, Turum-burum devised an Evolutionary Site Redesign (ESR), which is essentially a fancy way of saying that they used A/B testing and analytics to prove out their iterative redesign process.
In order to successfully implement their ESR model, Turum-burum leveraged Hotjar, a website heatmap and behavior analytics platform. With this tool, they were able to receive valuable user feedback with custom surveys and discover crucial pain points in the consumer journey. For example, they found that almost half of their 444 survey respondents identified a broken page in one part of their checkout process.
These types of pain points are often hidden to website owners, especially those with large product offerings and varying checkout flows. With Hotjar, Turum-burum was able to pinpoint the broken sections of the consumer journey while also discovering various opportunities to input strategic CTAs, cross-selling/upselling recommendations, and email capturing devices. As a result, Intertop saw an increased conversion rate from product page to cart by 31%, an increased cart to checkout conversion rate of 36.6%, and an average order value increase of 13.3%.
Key Takeaways: Whether you use Hotjar or some other form of behavior tracking and heatmapping, it’s vitally important to understand exactly how users interact with your site. Through these analytic platforms, you can identify critical pain points and opportunities to add engagements or interactions to increase conversions and average order values.
Orka is a Canadian-based online retailer that offers tools and electrical parts. This eCommerce retail enterprise had two primary goals in mind; expanding their reach and improving customer experience. They ultimately wanted to simplify their navigation while providing relevant recommendations and other engagements along the way.
Orka landed on Boost Commerce as a tool for adding product filters and search optimizations to their eCommerce store. This app enables advanced customization of Orka’s large SKU count to ensure that they can continue to scale up their offerings without diminishing their overall site experience. Specifically, they used Boost Commerce to install segmented filter trees and personalized search recommendations.
After using an optimized navigation feature like Boost Commerce, Orka saw a 9% lift in overall revenue. They also noticed that visits with searches converted 6x more frequently than those without.
Key Takeaway: Site search and product filtering are an often-overlooked asset of eCommerce stores. Many store owners make the mistake of oversimplifying or removing features for aesthetic or design-oriented purposes. The truth is, most consumers are disoriented upon entering a new site for the first time. It’s vitally important to give your site visitors a proper road map to navigate all of your offerings upon arrival.
Headphone Zone is an Indian-based online headphone retailer that specializes in high-quality gear for audiophiles. They had a goal of reducing their abandoned carts via push notifications on web and mobile devices. With the help of PushOwl, a push notification eCommerce platform, Headphone Zone managed to recover nearly 1.4K abandoned cart sales.
Headphone Zone’s original intention was to identify a new and exciting avenue to deliver promotional material to its subscribers. They had roughly 97K email subscribers but needed to improve their campaign performance. PushOwl’s push notifications have provided 3x more clicks versus their standard email delivery methods. From those clicks, they’ve generated nearly $130K in recovered sales after users had already abandoned their cart.
Key Takeaway: Retargeting and reminders need to be implemented in a way that reaches the customers when they are most ready to convert. Oftentimes, an abandoned cart email that’s sent 24 hours after the fact won’t cut it. Try using push notifications to your customers or subscribers to achieve optimal timing on your message delivery.
Good Cup Coffee (GCG) is a coffee delivery company based in the Philippines. They wanted to replicate the in-person recommendation experience that coffee aficionados often get when shopping at their local roaster. GCG understood that providing a better customer experience and increasing average order value goes hand in hand.
With that in mind, GCG looked to Wiser, an AI-based product recommendation app, in order to engage their store visitors with relevant and engaging shopping guidance throughout their site. GCG decided to integrate Wiser by displaying best sellers on their home page, showing “frequently bought together items” and “items others also bought” on their product description pages, and “top-selling items” on their product catalog page.
While these product recommendation integrations might seem simple enough, they’re an oft-neglected tool for most eCommerce brands. Most online shoppers enter your site with a specific product or type of product in mind. This type of purchase behavior can limit time on site by fostering a kind of unfruitful tunnel vision. Showing personalized recommendations along the customer’s journey is proven to improve overall engagement and increase their shopping cart sizes by gently guiding them in the right direction.
After installing Wiser at these various stages in their checkout funnel, Good Cup Coffee saw a 34% boost in customer engagement, a 24% increase in average order value, and a 16% increase in overall sales. And while the metric of customer lifetime value was not tracked during this case study, it’s safe to assume that engaged customers will more likely return to an online store when they know they can expect helpful recommendations along the way.
Key Takeaway: Personalizing your shopping experience is key to differentiating your brand from your competitors. Use personalized recommendations to give your site visitors an engaging experience while upselling and cross-selling items they might’ve otherwise missed out on.
NEIWAI is a Shanghai-based clothing company primarily focused on lingerie, loungewear, and activewear products. NEIWAI’s offerings are often personal and intimate, designed for daily wear and as they say, “made to live in.” They had fostered a sizeable community of loyal customers within China and were hoping to translate that type of excitement into US markets.
NEIWAI understood that they needed to generate “good faith” with new audiences by showing “social proof” that they had loyal and happy customers of all shapes and sizes. In order to achieve this goal, they turned to Okendo, a customer review platform that specializes in content-rich testimonials. NEIWAI used Okendo’s review request emails and review capture widget on their site with discount-based incentivization to start gaining more user-generated content in the form of written and photographic testimonials. They also worked with Okendo’s Foursixty integration to capture and repurpose any organic user-generated content that was posted to Instagram.
After implementing this new customer review strategy, Okendo received an additional 1,925 reviews and 552 UGC image submissions. This new social proof was then proudly displayed throughout their site and ended up increasing their overall conversion rate by 3.33x.
Key Takeaway: Most online shoppers look to reviews for guidance when deciding to choose a new brand. This is especially true when your product offerings are something as intimate and personal as lingerie. You can prove to new audiences that you provide awesome products that people love by incentivizing your past purchasers to submit UGC and testimonials. This also helps build stronger relationships with those past customers and improves their LTV.
Brandini Toffee is a family-owned and operated handmade toffee company based in California. With four brick-and-mortar locations and an eCommerce site, Brandini Toffee was looking to engage their customers online in the same ways that they were able to in person. They were specifically hoping to tie their email marketing and loyalty rewards programs by implementing an omnichannel approach that would generate a consistent brand experience.
Brandini Toffee eventually found Marsello, a loyalty and email automation service with a focus on omnichannel marketing strategies. With Marsello, Brandini Toffee was able to create a cohesive experience between their in-store and online loyalty programs through the use of email automation. They used a 1-to-1 point-based system and incentives for email signups in order to reengage past purchasers with reminders to redeem their loyalty rewards. Their customers were then able to shop in person or on their eCommerce site while gaining and claiming these rewards every step of the way.
After solidifying their customer experience across multiple channels, Brandini Toffee was able to double their email list and saw a 120% increase in email-generated revenue. They also enjoyed a 90% reward redemption rate and an 18% repeat purchase rate within 8 months. Overall, Brandini Toffee’s ROI from using Marsello to foster this new approach was 114x.
Key Takeaway: The consumer journey is becoming more and more spread out across multiple channels, be it in-person, on your eCommerce site, through third-party retailers, or social media apps. It’s vitally important to create consistent messaging and marketing programs across all of your active channels in order to capture consumer interest at exactly the right place and time.
Meraki is a bracelet company that makes beaded bracelets with a purpose. Each type of bracelet is tied to a charitable organization so customers can decide to support planting trees, saving sea turtles, ocean conservation, animal rescue, or breast cancer research depending on the item that they buy. They had a goal of increasing conversions on their site and decided to incentivize their site visitors with free gifts at checkout.
In order to achieve this goal, Meraki utilized the Free Gifts app created by Secomapp, a Shopify-based app developer. This made it easy for them to offer a free “Travel Stacks” bracelet with the purchase of more premium items on their site. These “free gifts” incentivized their customers to select the products Meraki was hoping to sell the most while also improving their conversion rates across the board.
Meraki used Free Gifts to offer a free item with the purchase of another item, but they could have also set up the reward to trigger after reaching a certain order value or number of products in the cart. In the end, they saw a 30% increase in sales after installing the app.
Key Takeaway: BOGO deals and discounts are always a great way to drum up more eCommerce sales. However, you don’t always need to discount or give away your premium products in order to create that same type of incentive. Consider adding bonus items to your product catalog that reward your customers without breaking the bank.
Yotpo is an eCommerce marketing tool that specializes in customer reviews and loyalty rewards. We referenced them in our first tip as a platform that Princess Polly used to accelerate and optimize their loyalty program. Yotpo’s internal sales team faced the challenge of efficiently qualifying numerous inbound leads without diminishing their customer experience.
Charlotte, a salesperson at Yotpo, decided to use Tolstoy, an interactive video platform, to engage with inbound leads in an automated yet personalized fashion. Tolstoy enabled Charlotte to create an interactive choose-your-adventure-style video that functions similar to a chatbot but uses face-to-face video content rather than impersonal text messages. Would-be customers could then click through the video funnel and receive questions, answers, and directions that are relevant to their specific use-cases.
Yotpo was able to further automate its sales processes, improve outreach, and streamline onboarding through the use of interactive video onboarding. While Tolstoy didn’t provide specific metrics for this case study, we do know that they are a rapidly growing eCommerce marketing solution that raised $176 million in funding as of August 2020 and is on track to hit an ARR of $100 million in 2021.
Key Takeaway: Video marketing is all the rage these days and for good reason. Short, personal, and engaging videos are the most consumed form of content on the internet. Creating a sales funnel that incorporates this type of content with embedded interactivity is a great way to automate the sales process without reducing the quality of engagement.
Flex Arcade is a retrogaming arcade machine manufacturer based in France. They offer a type of product that takes up a significant amount of space in your home, similar to a standard piece of furniture. At the same time, Flex Arcade allows consumers to customize the dimensions and shapes of their products. Considering this, their customers obviously need to understand how their arcade systems will look and feel within a selected area before they’re ready to complete a purchase.
Rather than simply provide product dimensions and let the consumer figure out the rest, Flex Arcade decided to integrate 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) into their eCommerce site. They utilized Zakeke, a product visualizer that helps stores create 2D, 3D, and AR visualizations of their products. This tool enabled Flex Arcade to show realistic depictions of customized products both on their site and in-the-home via augmented reality.
With their 3D and AR custom product visualization experience, Flex Arcade makes the customer feel like a real-time creator. Since implementing Zakeke, they’ve seen a significant increase in overall sales and have had a sizeable uptick in positive customer feedback.
Key Takeaway: 3D and AR product visualizations are becoming the norm for larger, more permanent, and customizable products. While currently dominated by furniture and fashion, visualization software can be creatively integrated into almost any product offering. If you offer customizable products of any kind, consider providing a more engaging consumer experience with a visualizer tool.
Lily Charmed is a sustainable jewelry brand based in the United Kingdom. Like a majority of eCommerce brands, Lily Charmed was experiencing a rather unfortunate number of cart abandonments. They had a goal of improving their cart-to-purchase rate without being too aggressive with cart abandonment emails or SMS messaging.
Lily Charmed set their sites on Growave, an eCommerce marketing platform with products ranging from loyalty rewards programs to Instagram integrations. They utilized Growave to implement a Wishlist feature in their online store. This allowed them to place a subtle “heart” button at the top corner of all products and gave users the ability to quickly add items to their wishlists with a simple tap or click.
After integrating their new Wishlist feature, Lily Charmed saw a 22% decrease in cart abandonment followed by a 45% increase in Wishlist users during the holiday season.
Key Takeaway: Sometimes adding products to a shopping cart is a step too far for online shoppers. Using a Wishlist feature allows consumers to take a “baby step” towards purchasing items while also liberating them to add products that they might not even be in the market for. This makes retargeting, cross-selling, and upselling a much more streamlined process further down the line.
LostGolfBalls.com (LGB) is a sustainably-focused company that recovers and resells pre-owned, used, and recycled golf balls at a discounted rate. They wanted to incorporate an email marketing strategy into their sales funnel while offering promotional incentives to generate leads and increase overall engagement. Rather than simply provide discounts on their golf balls, they decided to use branded partnerships and event-based rewards as their incentives.
Eventually, LGB chose Viral Sweep, a viral marketing platform designed to grow lists, followers, and sales, as their email marketing solution. They decided to create six sweepstakes within a six-month period with the goal of gaining new emails and social media followers while obviously, generating more sales. Each sweepstake campaign included five automated emails that would slowly introduce leads to the LGB brand. Viral Sweep enabled them to quickly and efficiently implement this strategy while keeping track of their submissions and rewards.
After the six sweepstakes were completed, LGB had gained 33,679 entries, 10,400 of which were considered leads, and 757 immediate new customers. Their Facebook following grew by 37%, Twitter by 56%, Pinterest by 70%, and Instagram by 88%. Overall, LGB spent a total of $7,029.58 on both prizes and the cost of Viral Sweepp’s services while seeing $53,500.05 of total revenue generated, creating a 661.07% ROI.
Key Takeaway: Creating viral sweepstakes is a great way to kill two birds with one stone: generate leads/followers and boost your overall revenue. Consider offering unique and engaging experiences or products as your prizes in order to truly add to the potential virality of your giveaway. Be sure to introduce your brand with consistent messaging during your sweepstakes to drive more conversions and brand awareness.
Frank Body is a coffee-based skincare brand with a focus on body scrubs. Their skincare company started as an offshoot of their co-founder’s Melbourne-based cafes. They noticed a significant number of customers were asking for leftover coffee grounds to repurpose as exfoliants. That sparked a simple idea and lead to them building a $20 million business over the course of five years.
With a starting budget of only $5,000, Frank Body needed to grow its audience as strategically and efficiently as possible. Rather than spend their cash on advertising, they chose to invest in a multi-pronged content marketing campaign. They utilized a combination of organic social media, influencer marketing, user-generated content, and creative blogs to build a thriving online community.
Of course, having a large and robust organic following is the dream of almost every eCommerce brand. However, getting to that point requires a strategic approach to content that goes beyond the average IG post or blog article. Frank Body accomplished this by being hyper-specific about what they offer, relating to the lifestyles rather than the consumer demands of their audience, working in conjunction with the ethics and morals of their customers, identifying key influencers that would actually enjoy using their products, and incentivizing user-generated content through social media promotions.
For example, at the start, they only talked about coffee-based face and body scrubs. They created social media and blog content that highlighted fashion, beauty, natural products, and coffee, without explicitly discussing skincare. They leveraged their all-natural manufacturing to point out their sustainability and acceptance of all skin/body types. And they created organic brand ambassadors by constantly promoting posts from users who tagged their products, creating a positive feedback loop, and solidifying the strength of their online community.
Since its start, Frank Body has gained over 800k IG followers, over 80k monthly site visitors, over 100k user-generated images, and over $20 million in annual revenue as of 2017.
Key Takeaway: Most marketers and business owners understand the power of good content. The issue is, how do you invest in content marketing that actually resonates with your target audience? Consider following in the footsteps of Frank Body by keeping things simple, focusing on lifestyle, leveraging social issues, and building brand ambassadors through a combination of paid and incentivized tactics.
Amerisleep is a direct-to-consumer mattress brand with products manufactured in the USA. They were facing a copywriting conundrum that was contributing to a significant drop-off in their customer journey. Specifically, they needed to find a way to optimize their product detail pages so that it drove home their core benefits and got rid of the unnecessary jargon.
Once they identified that their copy was the issue, Amerisleep turned to Growth Rock, a conversion rate optimization service focused on A/B testing. With Growth Rock’s help, Amerisleep reworked their product detail pages to include key copywriting tactics like leveraging loss aversion, avoiding generic benefits, and intelligent competitive comparisons.
Amerisleep refocused their messaging away from broad statements like “get better sleep” and towards more specific, health-centric phrasing like “what would you do with more energy and less pain?” They also pinpointed the various losses that their potential customers would incur if they didn’t complete their mattress purchase, i.e. “if you just keep things the same, you’ll keep getting the same disappointing results.” And lastly, they used intelligent comparison phrases with faux comparatives to place themselves above their competition without making outlandish claims. For example, they state that “no mattress is more carefully engineered,” meaning that other mattresses might be equal but no one is better.
After publishing this new copy and performing an A/B test, Amerisleep saw a 13.9% increase in cart-to-purchase conversion rates on their product pages.
Key Takeaway: Writing eCommerce-optimized copy is more challenging than it seems. The biggest hurdle is standing out from your competition and creating a sense of need within your potential customers. Consider using the above tactics of focusing on loss aversion, cutting to the deeper core benefits of your products, and using intelligence comparison statements to lift yourself above the crowd.
While no longer technically active, Highrise was a CRM platform that spun off of Basecamp, a project management and team collaboration toolkit specializing in optimizing remote work situations. In 2018, the Highrise platform was folded back into Basecamp, ending a ten-year experiment in brand segmentation. During the time that they were active in a separate capacity, Highrise produced a valuable case study around the benefits of using lifestyle or person-centric imagery over text-heavy or graphics-based designs.
At the time, Highrise was hoping to increase conversion rates on their signup page. They had a fairly standard design layout with multiple graphic elements, text snippets, featured images, and several calls to action. As a whole, their page design provided a good amount of detail and was seemingly easy to navigate. That being said, it severely lacked the human element that’s fundamental to CRM.
With this in mind, Highrise set out to do some A/B testing with a new design that simplified their text elements and incorporated a background image of a smiling woman with a bold testimonial quote at the top of the page. After doing so, they saw a 102.5% increase in lead generation versus their older design. They then went on to test several other background photos of similar smiling customers and found essentially anomalistic differences in performance. Highrise concluded that adding the human element, regardless of the person, was the key to increasing conversions.
Key Takeaway: Oftentimes, consumers respond better to lifestyle or human-based imagery because it offers a sense of realness and relatability that text elements and graphic designs lack. Consider applying this concept to some of your landing pages wherever it makes sense and be sure to A/B test your designs to fully understand the impacts of your changes.
Card Payment Guru is a payment solution service used to identify the best card payment providers to meet your unique business needs. They were suffering from extremely high bounce rates and realized that most of their bouncing traffic was coming from mobile-device users. The obvious conclusion was that they needed to redesign their site to work better on mobile, but they weren’t exactly sure where to start.
Card Payment Guru eventually decided to use Hotjar, a behavior analytics and heat mapping platform referenced in Tip #8, in order to identify mobile-user pain points. They found several issues including site speed, a lack of responsiveness, and a poorly designed user interface. Specifically, their UI design included small buttons, unnecessary scrolling, and keyboard layouts for number-only inputs fields. All of these elements made it challenging for site visitors to complete their online forms and receive the benefits of their services.
After discovering these issues, Card Payment Guru went on to remove those small buttons and replace them with automatic swiping. They also fixed their responsiveness issues to eliminate the need for tedious scrolling and replaced their keyboard layouts with number-only interfaces for relevant form fields. After implementing these simple mobile-design optimizations, Card Payment Guru saw an 18% increase in conversions and a 20% decrease in CPA (cost per acquisition).
Key Takeaway: Over half of all internet users are operating on mobile devices. As shown above, even the simplest changes to your design can improve mobile experiences and boost your conversions. Even if you don’t have the resources to fully reimagine your eCommerce store for mobile users, you should try your best to identify severe mobile UI/UX pain points and adjust your designs accordingly.
Performable is a marketing automation company that was acquired by HubSpot back in 2011. Although Performable’s technology was folded into the larger HubSpot platform, they previously released a case study on A/B testing button colors that’s still relevant to current conversion rate optimization techniques.
At the time, Performable wanted to see which CTA button color would generate more clicks. They decided to test a bright green versus a bright red button on an otherwise identical landing page. Red has the advantage of being eye-catching and evoking passion, while green connotes concepts of “moving forward” and generally feels more natural or organic to the average viewer.
After the test was finished, Performable discovered that the red CTA button dramatically outperformed its green counterpart. In fact, the red button gained 21% more conversions than the green. This isn’t to say that red will always outperform green or other colors. It merely showcases the advantages of A/B testing simple, yet powerful changes to your site colors.
Key Takeaway: While it’s tempting to think of colors as just another facet of your brand, it’s important to remember that they can create powerful subconscious effects on consumer activity. Consider A/B testing different colors on the CTAs or other specific elements of your eCommerce site to guide your visitors to take actions when and where you’d like them to.
ÉLÉVATIONE is a beauty brand that offers beautiful, artistically-made products designed for skincare aficionados. They had previously been using a standard shipping insurance policy which enabled their customers to financially protect their deliveries. However, they recently realized that these “out-of-the-box” insurance services were essentially taking money from both them and the consumers, without really offering anything substantial in return.
If you want something done right, then you have to do it yourself! That was the mantra that ÉLÉVATIONE decided to follow when they went down the path of creating their very own shipping protection app for Shopify stores. Basically, their Navidium Shipping Protection app asks customers to “opt-in” to an additional fee for shipping insurance during checkout. At the end of the day, ÉLÉVATIONE will have to incur the cost whenever a protected shipment goes haywire. Still, they were able to eliminate the unnecessary middleman in this scenario and found no increase in claims or degradation to their customer experience after implementation.
After installing their internally-developed shipping protection app, ÉLÉVATIONE found that 60-75% of customers opted-in to the service with no increase in claims. That enabled them to generate an additional $100k+ in 2021.
Key Takeaway: Customers want peace of mind, even if they have to pay a little extra for it. And if you’re willing to incur the costs when things happen to go wrong, then you might be able to win big during the times that things go right. Consider utilizing this Shipping Protection app to give assurance to your customers while avoiding unnecessary costs of traditional insurance plans.
As mentioned in Tip #24, ÉLÉVATIONE is a beauty and skincare brand operating on Shopify Plus. They had a goal of increasing their average order value throughout the course of 2021. After attempting site-wide discounts of 20, 30, and even 40%, they realized that broad-spectrum price reductions weren’t creating the positive results they had hoped for.
ÉLÉVATIONE ended up using Ultimate Special Offers, a Shopify app built by Pixel Union designed for creating custom discounts and deals on select products. Rather than provide site-wide discounts, ÉLÉVATIONE decided to take 12-15 products that were typically offered for $65-$80 and place them in a discounted collection. Their customers could then purchase any two products within that collection for the aggregated price of $100.
Instead of seeing multiple one-off purchases with 20-40% discounts leading to lower-order values, ÉLÉVATIONE was able to dramatically increase their AOV by forcing their customers to spend at least $100 to activate the deal.
Key Takeaway: Discounts and deals need to be implemented with precision in order to work properly. If your goal is to increase Average Order Value (AOV), then you should consider combing certain products into a discounted collection and requiring a certain spend threshold before any deals are activated.
At Render Better, we specialize in optimizing site speed performance for eCommerce stores. Almost every source will plainly tell you that a faster site leads to a better user experience. That’s pretty self-explanatory. What people often forget is how vitally important site speed can be within the realm of eCommerce. According to a study performed by Portent, conversion rates can drop by an average of “4.42% with each additional second of load time”.
Unlike the average car’s rate of acceleration, site speed isn’t just some superfluous feature of an online store. It’s more like a critical function of the eCommerce engine. The time it takes for pages and content to load can dramatically impact your bottom line. And that means your slow site could potentially be costing you huge revenue losses without you even realizing it.
We decided to put our methods to the test with one of our Shopify Plus partners. So, we A/B tested their site with “pre” and “post” versions after we made our speed optimizations to their Shopify theme code. At the end of a two-week period, our partner saw a 6.4% conversion rate increase and an 8.7% increase in revenue per session.
This improvement was solely based on our client’s site speed performance. No other alterations or updates were performed on their eCommerce store. The truth is, most online shoppers are incredibly impatient. A potent combination of general consumer uncertainty, an overabundance of alternative options, and the entire concept of mobile devices most often leads to fast-paced online visitors that would much rather bounce out than sit for even 3 seconds waiting for a page to load. Put more plainly, a faster site makes the customer journey that much easier. And that subtle amount of easiness can create drastic improvements to your overall revenue.
Key Takeaway: Speed up your site. Whether your goal is better SEO, better user experience, better conversion rates, or simply more revenue, a faster website is proven to improve those vital KPIs by a significant measure. Render Better is here to help you achieve the site speed optimization you didn’t know you needed.
Free samples are often considered the exclusive realm of Costco-style brick-and-mortar locations. Considering the cost of shipping and the general fragility of user engagement within an eCommerce situation, giving away free products doesn’t appear to make as much economic sense as it does when you’re inside a grocery store.
According to Statista, 34% of online shoppers cited free samples as “the biggest incentive” for completing a purchase with eCommerce retailers. The key is to take the in-store free sample paradigm and turn it on its head. Rather than offering free products upfront before a true conversion happens, you should consider placing samples from within your catalog in each package to generate more customer loyalty and entice consumers to return to your site for more. This is a tried and true method for brick-and-mortar locations like Costco and there’s no reason it should be neglected by online stores.
A survey performed by Marsh Supermarkets found that 68% of consumers said that sampling persuaded them to make a purchase. That same market saw increases in sales ranging from 600% to 2,000% after offering samples of their signature product lines. While these metrics are all based on in-store consumer behavior, the same practice can still be applied to eCommerce contexts.
Key Takeaway: Consumer uncertainty is one of the primary forces behind lost conversions. Giving your customers samples is a great way to ensure that they know about key products and can significantly bolster their loyalty to your brand.
LOLA is a reproductive care and feminine product brand launched in 2014. They quickly realized that a subscription model was right for their products, but the structure they had been using wasn’t scaling properly. For example, in order for customers to pause, cancel, or restart subscriptions, they would have to reach out directly to LOLA’s customer service.
The issue that LOLA faced wasn’t just around scalability. They wanted to ensure that every aspect of their customer journey was true to their brand DNA. Eventually, LOLA made the choice to utilize Recharge, an eCommerce subscription platform that specializes in customizable and easy-to-operate subscription models. Recharge allowed them to add a calendar feature to their site, where customers could easily modify their delivery schedules with one simple step.
After making the switch to a more robust and scalable subscription model, LOLA saw a 35% increase in average order value and a 23% increase in customer lifetime value.
Key Takeaway: Subscription models are a great way to retain customers and extend their lifetime value. However, you often risk losing customer loyalty if those subscriptions are hard to modify or cancel. Be sure to make the entire signup process, delivery modification, and cancellation options as easy as possible to improve your customer experience and avoid negative responses.
A Box of Stories is a book delivery subscription service based in the United Kingdom. They had been relying on Facebook advertising as their primary way to gain new customers. This was costing them a lot for new subscriber acquisition and the changing tides within Facebook’s ads platform (i.e. iOS 14 updates) had made things even harder for them.
They eventually turned to ReferralCandy, an eCommerce referral platform, to expand their organic customer acquisition channel. They decided to offer 25% off of each current customer’s next delivery for every successful referral they made. The new subscribers that were referred then also received 25% off of their first box.
After 4 months with ReferralCandy, A Box of Stories saw a referral rate of 3.38%, 5,000 new subscribers, and a total ROI of 3000%. Their organic customer acquisition channel now accounts for roughly 60% of their new subscribers.
Key Takeaway: Referrals are a great way to build LTV for current customers while expanding your reach to new audiences. In many cases, these programs can dramatically reduce customer acquisition costs and have the potential to scale rapidly. Consider implementing a referral program to supplement your paid acquisition channels if you’re starting to see your CAC rising.
CYSM is a Columbian-based undergarment brand that offers “body shapers” for women. They were hoping to learn more about their customers and found that social media communication was disjointed and unengaging. Their main goal was to increase the personalization of their product recommendations by discovering the unique needs and desires of their site visitors.
CYSM decided to use Octane AI, an eCommerce consumer intelligence platform that primarily helps brands embed quizzes in their online stores. With their new Shop Quiz installed, CYSM was able to gather valuable zero-party data (voluntarily shared customer information) in order to expand their recommendations and retargeting strategies. Using a combination of popups, Facebook messenger flows, and SMS marketing, CYSM gained over 21k+ data points from their current customers and website visitors.
With this new wealth of consumer intelligence, CYSM saw a 57% increase in revenue over a 60 day period with a 7,100% ROI. They also received over 50k opt-ins for email, SMS, and Facebook Messenger which enabled them to establish a robust and personalized retargeting strategy.
Key Takeaway: Learning about your customers is absolutely critical to successfully running an eCommerce business. It can be challenging to gain that consumer intelligence without being off-putting or diminishing your overall customer experience. Embedded quizzes and surveys that offer opt-in incentives are a great way to learn more about your current and future customers without going overboard. Be sure to use this data to personalize your customer journey and update your messaging wherever it makes sense.
There are countless ways that you can optimize your Shopify or other eCommerce site and the customer journey that comes with it. Most of these tips are applicable in some fashion to any and all industries or product/service types. Still, you’ll never know how these strategies will impact your business until you give them a try.
At Render Better, we make sure to A/B test our site speed optimizations to get a clear understanding of how exactly a faster site will impact your bottom line. Web performance optimization is proven to benefit SEO rankings, conversion rates, and customer experience. However, you won’t know precisely how much your site will benefit until you give it a try. Our clients typically see a 6–18% increase in conversion rates after using our services. You can check out our nifty ROI calculator to get a better understanding of the added revenue that Render Better can generate for your Shopify store.