We consistently see the same errors on most new Shopify stores We audit or even on established Shopify sites. In this article, We will give you an overview of these different mistakes, especially how not to make them have an online store optimized for conversion from the start.
Overload your Shopify store design
The number one mistake We see in Shopify store design is overloading the design.
The goal is not to put as much as possible or to try to look pretty; it’s quite the opposite. Your online store must be incredibly easy to use and for the user to learn. Consumers don’t want the hassle of figuring out how to use your site, which is why a well-used free theme is much more effective than any overloaded paid theme in Christmas tree mode. A free theme is much more limited in design customization but has the advantage of offering a quick and simple store that users are familiar with.
In e-commerce, the goal is not to offer an innovative design to convert. You would be surprised to see how some very simple-looking e-commerce sites can achieve very large turnovers. The key is to deliver a consistent brand image and build trust. Take the example of Amazon; they do not offer an innovative design but rather sober and, above all, simple and intuitive. Everything is done to make life easier for the consumer so that he always buys more.
Not paying attention to the loading speed of your Shopify store.
Your Shopify store’s performance and page load speed are key success factors in e-commerce. If you overload your store in terms of design and functionality, you will necessarily impact the loading speed, and a slow site leads to a high bounce rate, a drop in traffic and, therefore, a negative effect on your sales.
Statistically, more than 50% of internet users will abandon a page that takes three seconds or more to load. You should, therefore, absolutely monitor your site’s performance with tools like Google Pagespeed Insights or GTmetrix, which analyze the speed of your pages and give you recommendations for improvement.
Here are just a few of the most important points to consider when designing your Shopify store:
- Optimize images before importing them with tools like Tinyjpg or directly to Shopify with apps like CrushPics.
- Use a fast and responsive theme and keep it up to date.
- Favour a clear and relevant hero image to a slider with multiple images that weigh down the home page
- Reduce the number of installed apps, remove unnecessary apps and any unwanted code
- Use Google Tag Manager to store and organize your tracking codes.
Do not focus on the mobile version of your Shopify store.
The third error that I often see and directly related to the first two is not focusing on the mobile version of your store. Yet most users now access sites or purchase products from their smartphones and expect pages to load quickly and be optimized for mobile. From this observation, it is obvious that you must design your Shopify store with a mobile-first approach.
Here are some of the best practices for mobile e-commerce:
- Use mobile-friendly images and layouts.
- Support zooming of images produced by pinch and double-tap gestures.
- Use descriptive, well-labelled and mobile-optimized forms.
- Prioritize research, which should be easily accessible above the fold.
- Provide intelligent auto-suggestions and errors in forms.
- Instil a sense of security and trust by displaying badges, reviews and testimonials.
- Ensure a smooth, easy and fast checkout.
The choice of your Shopify theme will have a major impact on implementing these best practices, and you will probably need to hire a shopify developer if you want to go even further in the mobile optimization of your Shopify store.
Not having a clear value proposition and call to action on your homepage.
The next mistake is not having a clear value proposition and call to action above the fold on your Shopify store homepage.
It is probably the most common mistake; many online stores offer a hero image or a slider with images of their products but without any value proposition or call to action, while this upper section above the fold is the first thing your visitors see will see from your homepage. So building trust, making it clear to visitors what you’re selling, and making it easy for them to find what they’re looking for is key.
Know that the average attention span of a prospect on a web page is 8 seconds, so it is necessary to deliver an impactful message. In seconds, a unique value proposition should explain to your prospects the specific benefits and added value of your business and your products. I also advise you to watch this video by Simon Sinek, which explains through the concept of the “golden circle” that you must define why your company exists, the values it defends and transmit this information on your Shopify store.
Once you’ve worked out your Why, here are some steps to help you write your value proposition.
The first step is your business purpose. Why did you enter this market? Why do you sell this type of product? It is the justification for everything you do and will do.
The second step is your ideal client’s needs, expectations and problems. Here we place ourselves from the customer’s point of view to understand what his interests are. Who do you want to help with your business? Who are your products for? What are the benefits he will get if he trusts you?
Finally, the third step concerns your products. You can look at 4 main factors on which to play to create a different or better product than the competition. And those factors are design, time, function and price.
For example, a big design trend is a personalization. Then, if we consider the time, we could play on the rarity with a limited-time offer or a limited stock. When it comes to functionality and ways to change it, it’s important to look at solving a problem that exists in the market. Finally, when it comes to price, you need to consider whether you’re going to price above or below market, so below to be a more affordable option, of course, or above to be some high option. More exclusive range.
Always remember this: a customer buys a solution to their problem, not a product.
Now is the time to formulate your value proposition
This Value Proposition meets 3 specific criteria. It must be Relevant, Specific and Unique.
- Relevant: Your Value Proposition should explain how you will solve your target customer’s problem.
- Specific: Your Value Proposition promises a substantial and tangible benefit to your target customer.
- Unique: Your Value Proposition shows your target customer why they should buy from you and not go to your competitor. It highlights your uniqueness.
Finally, a Value Proposition must be clear and, above all, easy to understand by your target user. It would help if you never forgot that this should be the first thing your visitors see. It must contain:
- The main title expresses in one sentence the ultimate benefit of your offer. It can be an imperative verb associated with the major selling point.
- A subtitle or a short text that explains more specifically the content of your offer, for example, in the form of bulleted lists or diagrams.
- A visual, usually in the form of a hero image or banner. To capture attention, a picture is worth 1000 words. To enhance its effectiveness, choose an image consistent with the message expressed.
- A call-to-action button consistent with the value proposition and prompting action
All according to an attractive design that highlights it. Stay modest: avoid unnecessary and often misleading superlatives. A value proposition is like a promise you make to your customers. If you don’t deliver what’s promised, customers will be disappointed, and your reputation could hit you. You must therefore make sure that you can deliver what you promise.
Not providing clear and intuitive navigation on your Shopify store.
The fifth recurring mistake is providing confusing navigation that will require visitors to find what they are looking for. We see all sorts of miscellaneous and random links in the main navigation menu, like “Contact Us”, “Blog”, “Customer Reviews”, “Order Tracking”, “About Us”, etc. All of these links should be placed in your footer, except possibly your about page, if your story is a core part of your brand and a major reason your customers buy from you.
In the same vein, there are main navigation menus filled with all the categories and products existing in the store, even if they do not earn money. Do not put links to categories or products in your main navigation if they do not bring you anything. They just become extra items for your potential customers to process, making them a distraction.
Follow the 80/20 rule; only include links to collections/products in your main navigation that generate more than 80% of your revenue. Do not put links to collections of which you sell one or two products from time to time. Clear navigation is targeted navigation. Focus your primary navigation on what generates the most revenue, and take care of the rest with optimized search functionality.
For on-site research, it must be visible and easily usable from the header to allow visitors to search whenever they want. It is essential if you focus your main navigation on what earns you the most, so the search functionality will take care of the rest if necessary.
Finally, you will display in your footer navigation links to all your informational, legal and content pages so that they are easily and constantly accessible if your visitors wish to consult them. It has become natural for consumers to go to the footer to access information about the company and its customer service. However, remember to continue to make it easier for the user by sorting and organizing your navigation into several intuitive menus.
Not clearly displaying your contact information on your Shopify store.
The sixth mistake I often see on Shopify stores is not displaying customer service contact information. Still, it’s essential to build trust in your online store; you need to give your customers a way to contact you with any questions about the products or their orders.
You can provide contact information, such as a phone number, email address, and a contact form. Finally, you can set up a live chat application or Facebook messenger if you are ready to be reactive on this type of channel.
Not using quality product images.
We now arrive on the product pages for this seventh error. Again, I can’t understand why many online stores use poor quality or blurry images. Poor quality images make your site look amateurish and hurt your brand credibility…
Your product images are crucial; they are your first selling point because your visitors cannot physically touch and try the products you sell. It is recommended to have several photos showing different angles of the product. This way, your visitors can inspect the product thoroughly.
It is particularly important for ready-to-wear gadgets and all products that are not dietary supplements or cosmetics. Images for supplements and products such as skincare, shampoo, toothpaste, etc., are very important but not as much as for other industries because the appearance of a cream or powder supplement does not matter (as long as it does what it promises to do ).
For these products, the ingredient and nutrition facts label is usually much more important than having multiple images of the container. It’s always good to have a picture-based nutrition label on these products; make sure it’s mobile-readable.
Also, consider showing your product in use to increase transparency and trust. For example, if you sell clothes or sports equipment, your customers want to see themselves using your product. This type of image also makes it possible to evaluate the size of your product and, therefore, remove any ambiguity on this subject.
The last point is to optimize your images and always use the same dimensions. Your images must be square except in special cases and with a size ranging from 600×600 to 1200×1200.
Not writing clear descriptions and focusing on benefits.
The eighth error that is recurring is the poor quality of product descriptions. They are sometimes absent, sometimes undrinkable, do not highlight the product or do not provide all the necessary information to the visitor.
Still, there are only two reasons your visitors won’t buy from you: they don’t trust you or have questions you haven’t answered yet. The product description is how you answer these questions, it’s your sales text, and you should provide at least the minimum amount of text a customer needs to make a buying decision.
There are 2 components to consider for your description: the content and the form. You may write the best description in the world, but if it is unreadable or illegible, no one will read it and, therefore, will not buy your product. Conversely, you can have a very clear description, but if it doesn’t sell your product and doesn’t answer all of the visitor’s questions, you won’t sell.
Concerning the substance, know above all who you are addressing to write in your client’s language. Speak to him as you would in a face-to-face physical conversation. Your text will be much more fluid and authentic.
Then, highlight the product’s benefits and validate them thanks to the associated characteristics. Features are something your product is or has, while benefits are the solutions your product brings to the customer. You can optionally use bulleted lists at the end of the description to complete the product characteristics. Finally, do not forget to indicate the delivery information on the product page; it is also a critical point in the purchase decision.
Regarding the form, first thing, absolutely avoid walls of text. It is a big problem that I see all the time, huge paragraphs of text that no one will read. Instead, prioritize your text with titles, subtitles and paragraphs of 3 or 4 lines maximum so visitors can easily scan your description.
The second thing, avoid using fonts that are too small. The font size of all your texts must be at least 16 points (up to 18, depending on the font family). It is all the more important if your target is over 40 years old. A size of 16 points is usually perfect on most websites. To continue on typography, stick to one font style and one colour, and be careful not to use fancy or handwritten fonts that are unreadable.
As I said before, pictures and descriptions are what will sell your products. And if these elements are not optimized to make life easier for visitors and convince them, you will lose a lot of sales.
Do not include social proof on your product pages.
The ninth and final mistake is not using social proof. You want to get reviews, customer feedback or even reviews on your products. All of this social proof creates authenticity and instils buyer confidence because no one wants to be the first to test something and take the risk of getting ripped off.
First, you need to collect these reviews. To do this, you can set up an automatic feed to collect as many reviews as possible. Shopify applications like Loox, Stamped.io, Judge.me or Yotpo will help you set up this process. Just be sure to ask for minimal information from customers who leave reviews but not too much; the more information you ask your customers for, the lower the form fill rate will be. So please keep it simple.
These applications will also help you manage and display customer reviews. In particular, it will be interesting to place rating stars under the titles of your products to increase trust and credibility. These reviews displayed under the title will be linked to the reviews widget in the product description. Users can view a summary of the overall rating left by customers or even sort and filter the most relevant customer reviews.
Ultimately, social proof aims to help shoppers feel like they’re making informed buying decisions that align with other people’s positive experiences.
We are coming to the end of this article. To sum up, if you avoid these 9 mistakes on your Shopify store, you will necessarily improve the user experience and increase your conversion rate!
If you need help correcting or implementing these different points, We also offer personalized support to help e-merchants optimize their online store and maximize sales. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your project.