You know that your site’s revenue depends on the amount of traffic you get, but also on the rate with which people turn into customers.
To understand what influences the conversion rate of your Shopify store, we must first talk about friction. Friction is the resistance that one object encounters while moving over another object’s surface. Put in simpler terms, friction is what slows you (or even stops you!) from getting from point A to point B.
When you are trying to cross the street, friction is everywhere—resistance of air to your body moving forward, the resistance of the pavement to the soles of your shoes and the friction of your clothes gliding over your skin. Too much friction in these areas and your forward motion will be impossible.
On the other hand, in an ideal environment without any friction, nothing stops you to reach your goal. That’s why in a vacuum, a feather falls down as quickly as a stone.
Your Shopify store visitors exhibit friction, too. Say your end goal is to move them from the start of your funnel to the checkout. Landing on your site is their point A, getting them to survive checkout is point B.
The following list (which is by no means exhaustive) will point you to possible friction points people can exhibit on their way towards purchasing from you:
1. Trust friction
- Lack of essential information
“I don’t know anything about this website—who are they serving, what is this site for?”
- Unclear content of your store policies (privacy, delivery, returns) or unfavorable terms in the same policies
- The content of your information pages is unclear, filled with errors, confusing
- The content of your product pages is more confusing than useful:
– descriptions are not available or not incomplete
– images are unprofessional, not from angles that can answer visitor’s questions about the product
- Bugs, glitches and visual inconsistencies are present around the site
(“This site is broken. I doubt my product will come without issues either.”)
If absurdly low—“Rolex™ on sale! Just $19.99”—will create doubt
- Does your logo look amateurish or inadequate to the niche? This is the grain of salt that starts the doubt in your business.
2. Usability friction
- Asking for too much info during checkout
The more fields to be filled in, the quicker purchase motivation evaporates
- Asking for irrelevant info during checkout
- Is your layout confusing? (“I’m having a hard time finding the description on this product page”, “Where is the cart?”)
- Navigation is confusing
— Placement—if people don’t find the elements they are used to, they’ll think they are not present.
— Naming—if they don’t understand what you mean with your category titles it is less likely they’ll click
- Lack of search
“I can’t find what I’m looking for, but I can’t find the search field either.”
- Tapping a button requires effort
— Poor coding makes tapping require wait before the tap is registered on mobile devices; this makes people think the site is broken
— Poor design may make the buttons unrecognizable
— Poor design may make the buttons untapable—putting buttons too close to other buttons makes hitting them without errors harder
— Too small buttons may even be impossible to be tapped on mobile, because fingers are not as precise as the mouse pointer
— Broken buttons that do nothing
- Last but not least, your site takes ages to load
People are far too impatient, especially with online shopping. Don’t expect them to wait 10s for your product page to load when they can search google for 2s and be on a competitor website in another 3s.
These are some of the places to look for unnecessary friction in front of your potential customers. Finding and removing/reducing friction points will undoubtedly increase your conversion rate.