Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization Guide: 3 Ways To Get Started

Doki Nguyen
Jun 14, 2024
3 min read

Say, if there are 100 people visiting your store but only 2 of them buy something, as the owner, would it make your morning coffee a little more bitter? Assuming that you’re driving quality traffic to your store but there are almost no sales, you might want to take a look (again) at your Shopify conversion rate optimization.

Well, it may not be the first time you’re reading about Shopify conversion rate optimization (CRO) but with so many factors at play, it can take time to figure out what is not going well in your Shopify store and where to start.

That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you optimize for a better conversion rate as well as achieve your targeted revenue.

Now, let's dive in and get started!

Back to basics: what is conversion rate?

Conversion rate is a sales & marketing metric that measures the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as:

  • Making a purchase,
  • Filling out a form,
  • Adding an item to cart
  • Or signing up for a newsletter, etc.
  • depending on the final sales & marketing goals you want to achieve

In other words, the conversion rate indicates the percentage of website visitors who become customers or take any other desired action on your website.

A high conversion rate means that your website is thoughtfully designed and formatted for the customer shopping journey.

what is conversion rate

What is a good Shopify conversion rate?

According to LittleData, in 2022, the average Shopify conversion rate was 1.4%. The best 20% of Shopify merchants achieved a conversion rate above 3.2%. Only 10% of Shopify stores could attain a conversion rate of more than 4.7%.

If your Shopify conversion rate is lower than 0.4%, you are among the worst 20% of Shopify merchants. So, regardless of niches and industries, the healthy average conversion rate for Shopify stores is from 0.4% to 3.2%.

However, determining a good conversion rate, in general, depends on your store's niche, industry, business goals, traffic sources, traffic quality, audience demographics, and many other factors.

In general, converting a window shopper into a customer involves these key areas:

  • Eliminating friction in customer’s shopping journey to seal more deals
  • Delighting and engaging shoppers as much as you can when they’re on your website
  • Building trust and setting the foundation for a long-term relationship with customers

And all of these come to one single point: boosting customer experience as high as you can.

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action. CRO involves analyzing website data and user behavior to identify areas of improvement and implementing changes that encourage your shoppers to take action (for Shopify merchants, mostly it will be “making a purchase”).

Your CRO should be considered and applied everywhere on your Shopify store- from the homepage, product pages, collection pages, and search pages, to the blog, landing pages, and more.

The goal of CRO is to increase the overall conversion rate of your website and improve the return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts. CRO strategies can include optimizing website design, improving website usability, testing different headlines and copy, and using data analytics to track user behavior and make data-driven decisions. There are just so many aspects to look into.

By implementing CRO strategies, you can improve your website's effectiveness in converting visitors into customers, increase revenue, and grow your online presence.

conversion rate optimization (CRO)

How does Shopify calculate conversion rate?

Shopify calculates the conversion rate by dividing the total number of completed transactions on your website by the total number of website visitors within a specific time frame.

The formula for calculating the conversion rate in Shopify is:

shopify conversion rate formula

For example, if your store had 1,000 visitors and 20 of them made a purchase, your conversion rate would be: Conversion Rate = (20 orders) ÷ (1,000 visitors) x 100% = 2%.

Shopify provides analytics reports that show your store conversion rate, as well as other important metrics such as average order value, number of visits per customer, customer lifetime value, etc. By analyzing this data, you can identify areas for CRO improvement and implement strategies to optimize your website's conversion rate.

Why does your Shopify store have a low conversion rate?

Shopify conversion rate is the backbone of your business so having a low conversion rate is exactly the same as hitting a dead-end. There can be many reasons why your Shopify store can only gain a low conversion rate.

  • Wrong targeted visitors: before looking into any other data, make sure you have quality traffic to your website (quality traffic means those who actually have an interest in what you offer and are likely to buy your products).
  • Unattractive products or landing pages: people buy with their eyes - if they like what they see, they’ll buy. If you let your visitors land on an unattractive landing page or offer, it’ll be a big turn-off and they’ll simply just leave.
  • Poor on-site user experience: difficult-to-navigate site or slow page load times will definitely leave visitors frustrated and shoo them away without making any purchase.
  • Inadequate product information: generic product descriptions or the lack of high-quality images make customers can’t deliver the value of your products nor connect to customer’s need
  • Limited payment options: many customers abandon their purchases due to the limited payment options. Offering just a few payment options is clearly not how to seal a deal effectively.
  • High shipping costs: no one wants a high shipping fee. Customers will surely abandon their carts or look for alternative stores with lower shipping costs if you don’t offer free or at least, reasonable shipping costs.
  • Lack of trust: customers are not lamps and they need proof, reviews, security guarantees, and more to have trust in your store before making a purchase.

Key factors that affect your Shopify conversion rate

Your Shopify store’s performance

Web UI and navigation

A clear and user-friendly website interface with easy navigation can make it easier for online shoppers to find the products they are looking for in your store.

Good navigation also encourages them to explore your website further. An intuitive and well-designed store interface can also increase engagement, reduce bounce rates, and improve the shopping experience.

Loading speed

Fast store loading speed is essential for providing a satisfying product browsing experience. Slow page loading can frustrate your shoppers and make them bounce away, which can negatively impact your conversion rate.

It is important to optimize your website for fast loading speed to ensure that visitors can easily navigate your site and find the products they are looking for.


The "mobile-first" experience is not merely a slogan. It's the goal every Shopify merchants need to aim for because nowadays, your shoppers buy on their smartphones.

mobile first

Mobile-friendly interface with a screen-wide search bar to encourage visitors to search on Fenton & Fenton

Customer experience & personalization

Smart Shopify search

An effective onsite search function allows your shoppers to quickly find the products they are looking for, even if they don't know the exact wanted product in mind. The best Shopify search experience makes customers feel understood and taken care of.

Product data

Only present high-quality product images in your store. Also, you need well-crafted product descriptions with effective CTAs that talk directly to customers’ needs. Do not use copied or AI-generated content for your product information, which hurts your customer’s experience.

Social proofing

Social proofing, such as customer reviews and ratings, can help build trust and credibility with your shoppers. A trusted customer review section, for example, can increase customers’ confidence in your products and encourage them to make a purchase.

Checkout and payment method

The checkout process should be simple, streamlined, and user-friendly to reduce cart abandonment rates.

Offering a variety of payment options can also help accommodate the payment preferences of different customers. You should always offer secure and trustworthy payment methods that are widely recognized and accepted like Shopify Payments, Paypal, Stripe, etc.

Product proposition

Price range

High product prices will leave customers hesitating and cause longer product consideration, hence, lowering the possibility of a purchase. Going for a high AOV (average order value) is better than setting a high price range for your products.

Scarcity and urgency

Always go for time-sensitive or limited product drops to encourage customers to buy immediately.

Shipping and other fees

48% of customers leave their cart unpaid due to additional costs like shipping, taxes, and fees. Providing clear and upfront shipping costs and delivery times can help reduce cart abandonment rates and increase conversion rates.

How to optimize Shopify conversion rate: 3 strategies to get started

Since there are many aspects and areas to dig down into in your CRO strategy, we recommend the following 3 strategies you can take action upon right away to improve your Shopify conversion rate. These 3 strategies hit right the most crucial element of a highly-converting website: customer experience and personalization.

Power up Shopify search with AI-powered search to squeeze more sales

ai search by Boost

Most of the time, your visitors leave your store because they don’t find what they need. Therefore, bringing an intuitive search experience for your shoppers is crucial.

The Shopify default search alone is not enough. AI-powered search is an optimal weapon for leveraging your potential customers’ product discovery journey.

What’s in an AI-powered search tool that can do magic to your Shopify conversion rate?

  • Query understanding: a query is what a customer enters into a search bar to search on your site. AI search uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand the intent behind this search query to provide more relevant search results. Thanks to this, your customers can always find what they want, lowering the risk of leaving your store.
  • AI synonyms: AI-powered search can recognize synonyms and related terms for a given search query. This means that even if the search query is not an exact match for the keywords in your website's content, customers can still be able to get relevant search results.

For example, if a shopper searches for "white tee," the search results can also display "white t-shirt” or “white shirt”.

  • Partial search: AI-powered search is excellent at recognizing partial search terms so your store visitors don’t have to think or type the full keywords into the search bar.

For example, if a user searches for "house," the search engine can also return results for "household" and "housing."

This can help users find what they are looking for even if they don't know the exact word in mind.

  • Typo tolerance: AI-powered search can be trained to recognize and correct typos in search queries. For example, if a user searches for "search engine," the search engine can still return relevant results for "search engine."
  • Numeric and special character search: this special feature in AI search let shoppers search by a numeric query like price range or age… For example, “costume for kid age 6”, “women shoes size 38”, “coat under $30”.

This type of search functionality tailors very closely to your shopper’s search intent and helps raise the chance of making a purchase.

AI-powered search allows you to make your online visitors happy right from step one: product discovery.

Happy searchers = Happy customers.

How to use AI-powered search on your Shopify store? You may wonder.

The easiest way is to use an AI-powered Search tool for your store. With Boost AI Search & Discovery, all the hard parts of technology and algorithms, are cooked and done, ready to be served full-course on your table. You have everything in an AI search tool to level up your Shopify search and boost up your sales.

🔥 Read more on Boost AI Search & Discovery here:

Sneak Peek: What To Expect In The Epic Release Of Boost AI Search & Discovery

Personalize shopping experience in your Shopify store


If you don't show your customers that you know them well, they won't stay. Personalizing their shopping experience helps Shopify merchants build stronger relationships with customers, and increase sales and revenue.

How to nail customer personalization on your Shopify store? Here are some ideas to start:

  • First, collect your customer’s data: learn what is inside your customer’s mind by digging into your site’s visitor behaviors, including search queries, purchase history, and demographics, etc. This data is perfect for making recommendations and tailoring promotions to your online shoppers.
  • Use product recommendations: AI-powered recommendations are tried and true tools because they convert. There are many types of product recommendations to test on your site and all of them help you suggest products that are relevant to each user based on your store’s purchase history, search queries, behaviors, and more.
  • Customize promotions and discounts: use data on customers’ behaviors to create personalized promotions and discounts. For example, if a user has abandoned their cart, you could offer them a discount to encourage them to complete their purchase.
  • Personalize the shopping interface: take advantage of AI-powered technology to personalize the shopping interface on your Shopify store. For example, you could show different product categories based on a user's browsing history or highlight products that are frequently purchased together with items already in a user's cart.
  • Offer personalized customer support: with AI-powered customer service tools like a chatbot, you can offer personalized support to any visitors in your store whenever they need it. This can improve the user experience as their questions and concerns are quickly resolved and increase the likelihood of a conversion.

Be creative in adding value to offers and services

When your Shopify store is finished with its look - including UX and UI, page designs, and all - you might need to make some tweaks to improve your customers' experience to excite and delight them into making a purchase.

There are many tried-and-tested ways to add value to your products and incentivize customers to make a purchase:

  • Offer coupons and discounts: this tactic can be particularly effective for first-time customers or for customers who have abandoned their carts.
discounted price

Nine West incorporates the discounted price right in the instant search results dropdown.

  • Provide free shipping: cutting extra costs like offering free shipping can be a powerful motivator for customers to complete their purchases. You can do the math and decide to provide free shipping for orders over a certain amount, or for a limited time period.
free shipping

Esportsgear promotes Free Shipping on their site

  • Offer free returns: having a free return policy helps build trust with your customers and makes them more likely to complete a purchase.
  • Bundle products: use data from old customers to offer bundle products together. You could offer a discount for customers who purchase a bundle of products instead of purchasing each product individually.

Lacoste encourages buy by bundles with Complete the look section

  • Provide exclusive content: exclusive content, such as ebooks, webinars, or tutorials, can be a good tactic to make customers feel special and buy from you.
  • Reward loyalty: offer rewards and incentives to loyal customers, such as discounts, early access to sales, or exclusive products so you can build a relationship with customers and encourage repeat purchases.

This is not the end!

The art of Shopify conversion rate optimization is all about understanding what’s in their mind, what they look for, and fulfilling their needs. With this CRO walkthrough, from the basics to the most effective strategies to go for, we hope you have a direction in mind to kickstart your own CRO path.

There are no right formulas for Shopify CRO because each store is different in its niche, size, customer segment, and everything else.

Let us know if you have any questions, and don’t forget to come back for our next (and more detailed) lessons learned about Shopify conversion rate optimization.

Talk to you soon!

Doki Nguyen
Content Marketing Specialist
June 17, 2024
6 min read