Your Essential Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

June 29, 2023
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Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist For Your eCommerce Store

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Nine Conversion Optimization Essentials

The #1 fear for any new e-commerce business has to be missing something important during early implementation stages. If you're a perfectionist like myself, the thought of skipping a critical step could drive you mad. 

Having a well crafted Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) checklist sets you up for success and provides some well orientated direction. Keeping one handy can help you track your progress and mark your finish line.

Conversion rate optimization is, in short, a cyclical process of hypothesization, testing and integration.
This checklist is made to help you with that so let's dig in! 

1. Homepage optimization checklist

Homepage is the doorstep to your website, the first impression that your store will make on your customer, so optimizing it can be an essential in CRO.

homepage optimization
Sleek homepage design from Haus
So here's a rundown of things you should check:
  • Does your homepage have a clean design that makes it easy to scan and absorb important information? Before you quickly give it a nod, conduct a small survey among your team or your friends.
  • Are your website colors well-balanced? Are the colors of background, banner and fonts well-contrasted to bring out the Key message and Call-to-action buttons? 
color psychology image
Be mindful of color psychology
  • The header section is the first thing people, see so having a crisp image can communicate your brands values and start off with a positive first impression
  • Does your homepage have enough white space or negative space to keep important elements in focus and increase legibility?
  • Are your headlines just boilerplate headings with no meaning? Are they persuading enough? Are there any typos and grammar errors? Use online tools like plagiarism checkers to avoid plagiarized and AI-generated content for your product pages.
  • Are the best-selling products placed at your homepage to maximize conversion rate? Use analytics to find out the most viewed products or pages where people spend more time

2. Product page optimization

Product Page - where product is evaluated, trust is strengthened, engagement is deepened and conversion happens. This is where each touch must be tailor-made and embroidered with absolute accuracy and thoughtful calculation for your ultimate goal.

Product page optimization
The checklist for Product Page Optimization:
  • Do your product pages have product search and easy navigation between pages? Just by making it easier to navigate around your product pages you can find a 76.1% increase in revenue, a 26% increase in conversions, and 19.76% increase in shopping cart visits
  • Start with great product photography. This can cultivate the much needed trust in shoppers, especially when they can’t see the product, product images speak for your brand
  • Do you have a photo gallery for each product to aid customers in visualizing your product better? 
  • Have you made good use of compelling product videos to explain your product offer clearly and build business credibility? 
  • Do your product descriptions speak to your target customers, understand their needs & pain points, and communicate products value clearly? 
  • Have you created urgency for your products and tapped into FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) to shorten your shoppers' decision making process? 
  • Do you have cross-sell and up-sell sections within your product pages to increase average order value? 
  • Are your product pages mobile-optimized? There is more to being mobile-friendly than just ensuring they’re bug-free. You need to tailor your product pages to the tiniest details to create a smooth-sailing experience for mobile shoppers to avoid letting important sales from slip through your fingers.

Product pages with long text are a common point of customer drop-offs. Shoppers are found to be the most engaged while scrolling through images. With product feature cards, you can:

  • Convert long and boring text into a snappy picture using a combination of text, icons, and product images
  • Set yourself apart from competitors by showcasing your unique selling proposition upfront
mobile optimization
Mobile optimization is important!

3. Checkout page optimization

Out of 100 customers with products in their shopping cart, only 25 make purchases. That's three out of four customers that will never complete their purchase.

reasons for cart abandonment
Why people abandon their shopping cart
Ways to optimize your check-out page: 
  • Is your checkout process too lengthy? Do customers have to navigate to more than two pages to get the checkout process done? The goal is reducing the number of pages involved down to one.
  • It's important to remove any unnecessary navigation and keep distraction at minimum. This will also improve the overall shopping experience if done correctly.
  • Resubmitting details can be a pain when the check-out fails. Don’t you hate it when you have to refill the checkout form over and over again just because you changed your mind on the shipping address?
  • Are you transparent about your data collection? To make your store GDPR compliant, tell them where their data goes, what data you collect and why you collect it. 
  • Can Single Sign-in be enabled for quickly logging in and performing a purchase? Many customers abandon their cart because it requires them to sign up for an account, which takes up their time and eventually bombards the customer with newsletter and countless promotions. 
  • Can a guest checkout system be implemented? Sometimes, customers just want to grab something real quick, pay for it, and leave. Guest checkout pages allow customers to minimize necessary information and head straight to checkout, which secures their excitement for their purchase.
  • Smart forms can be anything from address predictor tools to auto error indications tool. The less typing work your customers have to take, the better the experience.
error indication
Error indication example

4. Personalization

After observing countless e-commerce stores, we’ve noted poor personalization in most stores, which is odd because of how important it is for customers. After giving it a good bit of thought, we’ve concluded that it must be difficult to implement. Nonetheless, we can make a few suggestions that can help you fine tune your recommendations.

Our first goal in this process is constructing customer personas. What we definitely do not want is random recommendations which are actually useless. Customer personas are a great starting point because they give you a good idea of how and what to communicate. The trick is knowing how to group your customers and what indicators you want to use.

example of a personalized email campaign
How to create customer personas:
  • If you keep a customer database, you can look into what sort of items individuals purchase over their history to identify trends
  • Than you need to try to draw circles around groups of shoppers trying to rationalize common behaviors
  • You can enrich your personas by asking for extra information when registering shoppers
  • You can implement review requests to get some valuable feedback, which can help you dig a little deeper into your customer base
  • If trying to identify customer trends proves difficult, a simpler solution is using sales data to construct product performance strategies
Where to use personalization:
  • The simplest way to use personalized recommendations is through email marketing. You can include products that you know will have a high chance of converting based on individual buying patterns or that fit your customer personas
  • You can add product carousels with personalized recommendations across your website. The same principle can be used under product pages and during the check-out process
  • If you want to get fancy, build bundles with products that you think will combine well. This can be a great way to drive average order value or drive sales on slow converting products
  • Offering discounts on the right products is another way to really spur shoppers into action. Picture seeing the dress you always wanted going on sale or a fashion trend that you always wanted to try
  • Combining personalized products with customer reviews is another great approach. A strategically placed review can improve your chances of conversion and only make your personalization efforts more pronounced

5. Re-marketing shoppers

Retargeting shoppers is an optimization strategy that attempts to persuade shoppers to return to your store after having been exposed to your brand. This is typically done by running ads or sending out email attempting to persuade shoppers to return. The main issue is that we have no clue how many shoppers fell through the cracks with out any indication. In an attempt to salvage what could potentially be massive value, we attempt to re-engage with shoppers that we earmark as meeting our customer profile.

A major issue in ecommerce happens to be cart abandonment. An example of a high potential campaign would be to implement a trigger for a cart abandonment workflow. You can't win them all, and sometimes customers abandon their carts for reasons that have nothing to do with you. A cart abandonment email can help you plug the hole in your sales funnel. In fact, recent research found that cart abandonment workflows generated over a quarter of all revenue generated by marketing automation. It's worth it to set up cart abandonment emails – else you're leaving money on the table.

Graph of revenue generated from marketing automations

Ways to use retargeting:
  • Start off with a welcome email and don’t forget to include additional information about your sales and brand values. This is a perfect start to a fruitful relationship with your shoppers
  • Remind shoppers about browsed products and abandoned shopping carts, notify them when those items go on sale as well
  • Set up emails to send out around holiday seasons and special events, these could prove effective at re-engaging shoppers. Shoppers are much more active around the holiday seasons
  • Loyalty programs are the ideal foundation for re-marketing to customers as these programs track order history and have the ability to reward customers for repeat purchases
  • Using email marketing, its possible to integrate discounts and also gather feedback, and the ways to use them is almost endless. Its highly advised to utilize re-marketing as its likely the most cost effective marketing and can be easily automated.
  • It's also possible to leverage paid ads to retarget shoppers that have reached certain milestones, although many would consider it expensive there is a lot of value

Suggested Reading: Complete guide to email marketing

6. Reviews, testimonials and referrals

Reviews and testimonials are one of the most important e-commerce tools we have available to us, as trust is our most pressing issue. They help drive conversions by reducing or potentially eliminating doubt about the legitimacy of our e-commerce store. Leveraging reviews or testimonials correctly can help us build a trusted reputation and make it easier for us to convert reluctant shoppers visiting our store for the first time.

Example of Jay S. Knipel's reviews used for marketing

Pro tip: Testimonial format is important: Testimonials with numbers are amazing since they directly explain the value your products offer, while those with headshots add a genuine human touch and ultimately, add weight to your offer. 

Ways to use reviews, testimonials and referrals:
  • The first place we recommend implementing reviews is directly under products, a very natural location. This can bolster customer confidence and help you complete your sale
  • Use reviews in your email marketing to help your emails make a greater impact
  • Use banners to showcase any mentions we might have had on review sites, on news agencies or partners
  • Consider also setting up case studies of how your product was used in the past by a special customer, and take the time to describe how it was used as well
  • Consider also finding influencers to promote your product to their direct follower base, which can also help educate shoppers about your store. Influencers are trusted for their knowledge in their niche and can help you create trust
  • Look at possible apps that can make it easier and quicker to collect reviews from customers and that help improve the way that they are displayed
  • Referrals are a great source of additional traffic that is shared between loved ones and friends, a trusted source for product recommendations

7. Loyalty and rewards

As a crucial part of any conversion optimization checklist, we need a way to retain customers for the long-term. Rewards are an engaging way to motivate customers to choose your brand over alternatives with additional benefits. By offering customers the ability to accumulate points at your store you elevate the shopping experience and make it a worthwhile option.

Ways to reward customers:
  • Offer customer free shipping on their purchases
  • Offer first time shopping discounts
  • Set-up tiers and make them exclusive
  • Reward customer for leaving reviews
  • Use rewards in your email marketing
  • Offer special access to limited editions catalogs
  • Boost your social media by rewarding follows and UGC

Suggested Reading: Complete Guide to Loyalty Programs

Description of loyalty programs by Growave

8. Proactive customer service

Proactive customer service can be a great way to boost your chances of converting your shoppers. By making yourself more available, by providing solutions to possible issues in advance and by quickly moving to resolve their issues. You pave the perfect foundation for a high converting e-commerce store. Slow reacting and poorly communicated customer service is generally a warning sign for any shopper.

Ways to improve your customer service:
  • Provide clear shipping, return and refund instructions. Send that information right away through email once their transaction is complete
  • Leverage on-page chat or chat bots to speed up the rate of response
  • Collect feedback from shoppers and use that information to provide relevant information for shoppers
  • Give customers styling tips or instructions on how to better use your products
  • Improve product descriptions and displays to give customers better understanding of what they are buying
  • Work to meet your obligations in a timely manner with accurate delivery updates and delivery times
  • Most of all, demonstrate understanding and gratitude!

Suggested Reading: The best customer service in 10 steps

9. Search engine optimization

SEO is a broad topic that can include multiple factors from page performance to the quality of organic visitors you receive. As an example, shoppers can make up their mind in a matter of seconds, if the website operates poorly. While organic traffic usually represents one of the largest portions of leads to any e-commerce store, there is no point if we do not correctly identify search intent. Keyword research and its correct implementation can help us narrow down our traffic to the intended demographic and improve the quality of the traffic we generate organically.

Ways to include SEO:
  • Research tools like Ahrefs or Semrush can help you identify the keywords your shoppers are most likely to search
  • Identify primary, secondary and LSI keywords and use them on-page or in your product descriptions. Proper keywords can improve the quality of leads you generate
  • Use engaging images, reduce their download size and use alt descriptions. Images can slow a website down if they are not reduced in size and stock images are considered duplications. Custom images are always preferred
  • Think twice about the architecture for your site and focus on making it more usable for shoppers. One major indicator for a successful website is the amount of time a person spends on a page which is a strong indicator of its growth potential
  • Blogging is great for generating keywords and driving organic traffic. Try blogging for an area of interest to your brand and build a conversion funnel around it.
  • Build internal and backlinks, link building is a great way to raise the profile of your website. This can help you drive more leads to your store, while also signaling to search engines about which pages are most important to your store.
Keyword Clusters: How to Level up Your SEO Content Strategy
Keyword Clustering Diagram

Wrapping Up

Conversion rate optimization is a never-ending marathon, but the steps are not beyond our reach. With the endless potential of e-commerce, also comes challenges that make it worthwhile in the end. That is exactly why we highly encourage you to follow these steps because of what they could mean for your business. It makes to put in the effort in something that you believe in!

About Growave

If you are looking for super simple solution to integrate to your Shopify store, we at Growave believe we have one of the best marketing apps in the official app-store. We encourage you to explore our feature, knowing that any one of our features will help you along your journey! If you want to learn more about Growave, you can book a free demo here!

Frequently asked questions

What is Growave?

Growave is a bundle of apps built for Shopify stores to increase conversion rates. You can upgrade your Shopify store with a simply install the app and test out the entire bundle of apps for 30 days with out charge. You can build a complete marketing strategy using Growaves apps.

Does Growave offer free trails?

Promotions varry from time to time. Growave currently offers a 30-day free trail on all plans and an generous annual discount.

How do I install Growave into my Shopify store?

You can find Growave in the official Shopify app-store: simply log in to your store, click install and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the onboarding process. Once you complete the onboarding, you will find yourself in the Growave admin panel where you have full control over your bundle of apps.

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