No matter how many Shopify eCommerce checkout best practices I write about, it’s never going to be enough.
Your Shopify Checkout is the moment of truth — it’s where rubber meets the road (or checkout buttons meet credit cards?)
eCommerce checkout best practices is primarily a “Conversion Rate Optimization” strategy. If you are reading this, chances are that you are doing everything else (you ought to do) to ensure that you:
- Use a robust platform like Shopify, BigCommerce, Webflow, or well-optimized WordPress eCommerce setup for your eCommerce store. Please note that any talk of platforms is meaningless unless you have numbers for traffic, sales, revenue, and profits to show.
- Site design includes clean, intuitive, fast, and well-spaced content (with focus on both product images and copywriting) — including general copy, product descriptions, and more.
- You do everything you should to ensure fast-loading page speeds. This would mean buying the right themes for Shopify like Booster Theme, optimizing your Magento or BigCommerce platforms for page load speed. For WordPress, this would mean using the right combination of hosting (such as Kinsta, WP Engine, Cloudways, FlyWheel or others).
- Your digital marketing channels are well managed: Including eCommerce blogging, active social media presence, smart email marketing, retargeting, building audiences (including custom audiences), and so on.
- All of your digital marketing efforts lead to dedicated landing pages for eCommerce (using Unbounce, Leadpages, or Instapage). This holds true even if you are using Wix, Strikingly, Simvoly, or any of the 23+ No code website builders for eCommerce.
- Other smart ways to engage customers are already on your site — lead generation popups, live chat software, and others.
- Your analytics are in place: Starting with Google Analytics and moving to other analytics tools such as AnyTrack, SuperMetrics, Databox, Google Data Studio, MixPanel, and several other analytics tools for your business.
If you’ve read through that list above, you are well on your way to dig into Shopify checkout best practices.
Let’s dig right in:
Shopify Checkout Best Practices You Should Get Around To
1. Build Inspiring Shopify Stores
If I were to write this in the year 3045, I’d still write this: “Impressions matter”. Your store — how it looks, how fast it loads, the user experience, what’s written (and how!) on your eCommerce site will all matter.
Knowingly, or unknowingly, these impressions (and the fall-out of these impressions) reflect in branding, sales, and ultimately profits.
If you are looking for Shopify themes, there are free ones. There are paid ones. There are some truly fantastic, all-purpose and loaded themes like Booster Theme.
Then, there are super apps such as Shogun that gives you a “page builder for Shopify”.
Yes, Shogun is a drag-and-drop page builder for Shopify. Instead of getting stuck with a theme, use a page builder or theme builder like Shogun to create experiences that you never thought were possible.
Need Some Inspiration?
32 Best Shopify Themes (After analyzing 13,191 themes out there. Pick the best for a better foundation for eCommerce
50+ Great Shopify eCommerce Store Designs To Inspire Entrepreneurs
34 Top Shopify Stores to Imitate To Boost Sales & Customer Happiness
2. Mobile-optimized and Mobile-friendly Checkout
Accessibility doesn’t get as much importance as it deserves. More than 33% of shoppers in the United States used their mobile devices to shop online.
Mobile or not mobile? It’s not an option. Don’t go asking if “mobile-optimized checkouts” are a “good idea”.
Thankfully, Shopify makes your checkout optimized for mobile already. The default checkout is already battle-tested.
It’s built to fly. Use it.
If you want more, use Shopify Shop Pay — the accelerated checkout. Connect other Shopify native features and apps such as Shopify Forms, Shopify Flow, Shopify Email, Shopify Inbox, Shopify Automation, Shopify POS (if you also have a brick-and-mortar presence) and you get even more bang for your buck with mobile checkout.
It’s there. Most of these are free to use with one-click implementation. So, why not?
3. Make Checkout work Harder Than It Does
How many people add items to a shopping cart? It’s called the “Add to Cart Conversion Rate” and it stands at just under 7%, according to ConvertCart. Meanwhile, the average checkout conversion rate (complete checkout) is at a miniscule 2.12%.
Out of 100 people who visit your eCommerce store, only 2 of them are ever likely to actually make the purchase.
Everyone else has left the building. Say hello to last-minute freezing, cold feet, power cuts, lack of interest, “I’ll think about this later”, Shopping cart abandonment, and more.
Most of these factors might not be in your control. However, how eCommerce checkout is optimized, the platform your eCommerce store is on, and what you enable at checkout will all help reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Here’s what you should do to make checkout work harder (while still being non-intrusive):
- Use elements and features such as Shopify Shop Pay’s accelerated checkout. For WordPress sites, be sure to use advanced WordPress eCommerce technology stack
- Create post-purchase funnels and make highly-relevant and personalized post-purchase offers using a tool like Carthook
- Upsell or Cross-sell related products on checkout.
- Upsell smart add-ons, subscriptions, and other products or services. Learn how brands use upselling in eCommerce.
4. Upsell and Cross-sell on Shopify
Upsells and Cross-sells for eCommerce are a slam dunk; something that you should do just as naturally as you brush, floss, walk, sit, and stand.
The success probability of selling to existing customers (even those who moved mountains enough to push an item to a cart and are considering a purchase) is at a healthy 60-70%, according to SmallBizGenius.
Upsells and Cross-sells are also one of the most sought after ways to increase AOV (Average Order Value)
For products, you could have layers of add-ons, subscriptions, 1:1 service, consultation calls, guidance on call (free or paid) and upsell all of these (or some of these) at Shopify checkout.
Or, use product recommendations, “people also buy”, “best sellers you should consider”, and other cross-selling techniques at Shopify checkout.
There are several apps on the Shopify App Store to help as well.
How to Upsell and Cross-sell on Shopify
5. Provide Free Shipping
More than 58% of customers don’t mind adding more products to their cart to hit the “free shipping” threshold like “Free shipping for orders $100 and more”.
Meanwhile, a consumer trends report reveals that more than 80% of your customers expect “free shipping”. according to the Baymard Institute, Shipping Costs are the biggest reason why customers abandon their shopping carts.
Nudge Customers To Hit Free Shipping Threshold by recommending highly-relevant products to their cart (while shopping). Or upsell. Or Cross-sell.
However, “free shipping” itself is a no-brainer motivator and a stress reducer while customers shop. It also helps increase your average order value (AOV) and boosts conversion rates.
Note: If you’re selling in the US, Canada, or Australia, you also have access to Shopify Shipping — it offers discounted carrier rates (up to 88%), whether you offer free shipping or not. Shopify Shipping also allows you to use a single solution for all your shipping needs. Ship products faster with a built-in $200 insurance, at lower rates. Learn more about Shopify Shipping.
How Free Shipping Increases Your AOV (Average Order Value) and Conversion Rates
Shipping Strategies: How to Offer Free, Flat-rate Shipping, and More
7. Iterate on UX/UI Design to Improve User Experience
Customers abandon about 70% of potential purchases. As the folks at Webflow put it:
“… Checkout page should help finalize their purchase — not drive them away”
There could be all sorts of reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. Whatever those reasons are, it should never be about issues with your shopping cart, UX/UI issues, navigation, and because the pages didn’t load properly (among others).
The basics of good eCommerce checkout design will kick in here: making sure costs are front and center. Reduce the number of form fields (if any), lack of an outline of the checkout process, site security, and others.
How to Optimize Checkout Pages: 10 UX Design Tips
8. Use Transactional Emails to Sell More
Say goodbye to boning transactional emails. Give them a visual makeover and make transactional emails bring in additional revenue (the kind you’d never get if you didn’t think about this).
Transactional emails are usually cut-to-the-bone. With nothing more than a logo and “this is what you ordered, here are the details”, there’s not much going on for transactional emails.
Most eCommerce brands completely ignore transactional emails while these are specifically the type of emails that have maximum open rates and click-through rates. Almost every single transactional email is opened (and read).
Makes sense to use transactional emails to your advantage then, right?
Use an app like Uporder for Shopify to make your Shopify Email notifications bring in revenue and sales.
Uporder helps you transform those boring “this this so so” emails into fully-branded complete sales machines which can include product recommendations, dynamic discounts, upsells, and cross-sells.
7. Live Chat Small Talk, Just Before The Sale
Use live chat software. Use bots. Use FAQ pages (but that’s a little too passive).
Pick up the phone and call. Sit at your command station and manually respond to inbound emails if you have to.
No, this isn’t a little something you do to the actual checkout page, checkout element, or the “cart”.
It’s that “something” you have to do when inquisitive customers come calling, ask questions, get some clarity, and more. Oh, yes, you could create an FAQ page and dust your hands off (but that’s just the mistake you do).
Use live chat and a whole world of revenue opens up. Proactive customer service is the new growth strategy for eCommerce, as the folks at Gorgias put it.
Generate consistent revenue just by doing customer service and customer interactions right. See this Performance Flywheel resource to learn more.
More than 9000+ brands generated billions of dollars just by “doing the small talk”.
Use live chat. Shopify also has Shopify Inbox to make it easier for you.
Checkout pages on ecommerce sites make or break sales. Learn how to maximize conversion rates by improving the user experience.
See how your sales soar with these Shopify checkout best practices. They are best practices for a reason.
What are you doing to optimize your Shopify Checkout? What are some Shopify Checkout best practices you follow?
Tell me all about it on Twitter, LinkedIn, or my LinkedIn Brand page.