According to the latest online shopping statistics, 1.59 million web websites were using Shopify in 2021, with the global ecommerce platform taking over 20% of the market share in 2020. And in the span of six short years, Shopify jumped from only 28 million buyers to a staggering 457 million buyers—a testament to the success and true potential of Shopify as the top platform choice for online retailers, brands, and other businesses in the ecommerce space.
As digital trends and user behaviors evolve at a breakneck pace, it’s important to keep up to date. You need to make sure your Shopify website is optimized to resonate with the evolving user expectations, so you can boost profits and sell more effectively than your competitors.
With the powerful capabilities of various accounting cloud software options, combined with interactive web design and a simple user flow, your Shopify platform can be geared up to really be its own holistic all in one end-to-end salesperson.
Need a few ideas? Keep reading for a deep dive into a few ways you can improve your Shopify ecommerce website in 2022.
Global Shopify Statistics to Know in 2022
First up, let’s take a look at the bigger picture. According to the recent research on Shopify:
- There were 2,297 million active Shopify websites in 2021 owned by businesses in 175 different countries.
- Shopify received more than 58 million visits in 2020.
- Shop Pay checkouts have a 1.72X higher checkout-to-order rate than regular checkouts.
- The leading countries in terms of Shopify users are, in order, China, United States, France and Australia.
- In 2014, mobile accounted for 50.3% of all traffic. Fast forward to the first quarter of 2019, and 79% of traffic and 69% of orders on Shopify stores were coming through mobile devices.
That’s just a quick overview, but the numbers show there is a huge opportunity to capture new customers with Shopify’s native tools and third party integrations. Want a slice of the pie? Here are a few tips.
Tip #1: Use Minimalistic Product Imagery
As the saying goes, people eat first with their eyes, and this concept is no different when applied to your online store and the digital “window shopping” experience. Especially in the last few years, ecommerce product photography has been trending toward minimalism, allowing the items themselves to take center stage. And the data shows it’s working.
A study by EyeQuant suggests that clean design results in lower bounce rates. Think of those sleek Apple ad campaigns and Google tech product photography and the long-lasting staying power they’ve sustained.
High resolution imagery with bountiful white space will really set your website apart from the competition and the lower-end shopping experiences.
Achieve minimalism in your storefront with the following:
- One primary color paired with neutrals (grays, beiges, etc.) in your color palette
- 1-2 typefaces in your overall web design
- One hero product with a simple color background or blank wall
Additionally, ensure your media files are optimized for the web so it doesn’t slow your site speed and deter users on the go. This means reducing file size to sit comfortably under 300kb and video files that sit under 1mb.
If you’ve nailed the high-end minimalistic imagery direction, don’t let something as silly as file size ruin your Shopify game.
Tip #2 – Show as Much Social Proof as You Can
With software like Photoshop and myriad apps out there that make it so easy to fake it, users are increasingly becoming more skeptical of brands, and rightfully so. It’s very easy to rip the photos off a competitor’s website to claim as your own. So how can you set it straight for your potential customers and instill trust in your Shopify website effectively? Lots and lots of social proof.
People might be hesitant to trust their own judgment, but they’re a lot quicker to take other people’s word for it. Think about it this way: If you have the time and aren’t in a rush, are you more likely to join a line outside a busy restaurant or a quiet one?
It makes sense when you consider that the majority of people—88% of consumers, in fact)—trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So many brands out there are tooting their own horn, “Our product lasts the longest” or “Our product cleans the fastest” but the source of these claims render them white noise to most consumers. They’re biased, subjective opinions. To back up your claims and truly convince your target audience, implement social proof throughout your website.
Examples of social proof to improve your Shopify website:
- Detailed written customer feedback that speaks highly of how your product changed their life or solved a problem that other consumers can resonate with.
- “Before” and “after” image testimonials.
- User-generated video testimonials where customers show the ease of using your product.
- Third-party testimonials that you can’t control. (Bonus: Show even more authenticity by embedding Google or Trustpilot reviews.)
Great social proof is a proven strategy to improve your overall brand presence and quality. You’ll also boost your bottom line, especially when you consider that customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
Tip #3 – Have Your Most Important Information Above the Fold
…or, at the very least, close to it.
Studies show that over the last decade, user attention spans have almost halved from an average of 12 seconds to a mere 6. It’s not that humans have the brain capacity of a goldfish, as sometimes claimed, but more so that they are not willing to spend much time on anything online that is not immediately captivating. This is understandable, given the influx of digital content that now saturates our daily online experiences. But it does impact ecommerce websites. Scroll depth analytics correspond with this lower attention span, showing that most users will typically exit a webpage before they’ve scrolled all the way to the bottom.
So what is ‘above the fold’? A term coined as early as the 1700s in the emerging era of print, ‘above the fold’ referred to the desirable real estate of the upper portion of newspaper that would be easily seen on a newsstand. Centuries later, this still relevant term now refers to the section of a website that a user is able to see before having to scroll below.
It’s important when considering that it takes only around 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like it or not, and whether they’ll stay or leave. Thus, the header of your website and what users see on load is extremely crucial to determining whether they will choose to engage and continue to scroll.
Content layout tips for ecommerce pages:
- Reduce excessively long pages of content
- Prioritize your best imagery to be shown off at the top
Tip #4 – Simplify Your Checkout Process
Remember the last time you went to a doctor’s office and had to fill in a page of questions, stuffed with 50 form fields? Although this is a form most would fill out, even if begrudgingly, walking out of a doctor’s office is not really an option. This is very different in the world of ecommerce—lengthy forms don’t fly here.
This really is an essential nugget of information for you to capitalize on to beat your general competitors. When customers have made it through your website to the checkout, they are really at the end of the sales funnel and at the last final hurdle. This is where you want to make it easy for your customers to help close the sale.
A long form is a great way to capture more information about your customer and learn about your target audience, and especially invaluable to your marketing team. You might remember seeing questions like “What is your reason for enquiring” or “Where did you hear about us?” or “What service are you interested in?”.
However, more form fields correlates to more effort required by the user. These are deterrents which increase the likelihood that a user will abandon the form. Studies show that the average number of form fields is 11. Another study shows that reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 can result in a 120% increase in conversions.
Here are some of the latest statistics to help decrease form abandonment:
- The average form length is 5 form fields, which usually results in the highest conversion rates.
- The top three reasons for abandonment include unexpected costs (shipping, taxes, fees), required account creation, complicated checkout process.
- Multi-step forms in WordPress can lead to 300% more conversions.
- 12% of people will abandon a form during an online checkout if there are no trust badges.
- Using a quiz-like form to capture information has the potential to triple conversions.
Tip #5: Utilize a Shopify QuickBooks Integration
Scaling an ecommerce operation comes with a multitude of complex challenges, but many business owners find themselves weighed down by simple administrative tasks. In fact, research from Sage shows SMBs spend 120+ working days on these tasks each year. Just think—what could you do in that amount of time to grow your Shopify business?
Automating some of the most time-consuming busywork is an effective way to reclaim your schedule and return your focus to growth strategies. Bookkeeping, inventory updates, and tracking all of your income and expenses can easily be handled by technology, simply by connecting Shopify and QuickBooks. Though the two don’t connect on their own, there are powerful Shopify QuickBooks integrations that auto-post ecommerce data directly into your preferred accounting system.
Some of the workflows you can automate with a Shopify QuickBooks integration include:
- Post journal entries from Shopify to QuickBooks
- Post more complex accounting data (seller fees, sales taxes from multiple jurisdictions, payment processing expenses, etc.) to QuickBooks
- Synchronize my inventory across multiple channels and marketplaces
- Capture and organize shipping data from multiple sales channels
Small Adjustments Make a Huge Difference
These tips will improve each step of your Shopify experience, from the beginning to the end. Start with a header that captures users’ attention, build trust in your products and brand, and reduce the difficulty of your checkout process.
Through making small adjustments to your current Shopify portal, you can easily track and see the improvement through conversion rates. After you’ve optimized, you can continue to track these recommended ecommerce metrics to continue to improve the customer experience.
Whilst there are a few big brands like Nestle and Pepsi using Shopify, a finding from Wall Street Journal showed that most Shopify sellers are in fact first-time sellers, so don’t be afraid to take risks and try out new strategies. After all, that is where innovation begins.
P.S. If you enjoyed these tips and want even more expert guidance, don’t miss this advice from these expert ecommerce sellers and industry insiders.
About the Author: Irwin Hau is the founder of Chromatix, an award-winning web design and conversion design agency based in Australia. Since 2009, he has analyzed 60,000+ websites and gone on to amass over 78+ industry awards and mentions for his work. Alongside running a busy digital agency, Irwin also manages Irwin Hau – Business Coaching & Digital Consultancy, where he specializes purely in independent digital transformation strategy and business efficiency utilizing custom web solutions.