Last updated - February 24, 2020
Either you are new in the business or you are already established, Shopify store optimization is a never-ending journey.
Blogs are overwhelmed with tips on how you must constantly pay attention to changes in algorithms, measure KPIs, be active on social and etc. According to Shopify, the number of merchants in October surpassed 1 million. Think about the other e-commerce platforms and merchants out there and the number becomes infinite. You must distinguish yourself, not by competing, but by optimizing your store to provide a different kind of experience.
Here we are not speaking about your product range, theme, and design. Here we are speaking about the minor things that you are not paying attention to. Those which improvement can actually bring you more revenue.
This post is divided into 3 categories. Each of them is containing tips and tricks with the appropriate tool. If you are particularly interested in one more than another, you can skip since they are not connected to each other.
- Speed up your store
- Optimize for mobile shoppers
- Provide informative content
Let’s dive in and optimize your store!
Optimizing means speeding up your Shopify page load time
In 2020, speed is crucial. Even though you are taking it with reserve, it really is. One of the examples that illustrate it nicely is Amazon. Amazon calculated that for every 1-second page load slowdown they would lose 1,6 billion in sales! Also, if they could improve speed, they found that every 100ms of improvement would bring them 1% in sales.
The situation gets more serious if I tell you that Google is taking speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches. Now we are talking seriously.
You can easily check out what is the time your site loads on a Page Speed test. One of the main reasons for a slowdown we see in results is images.
Shopify has published an excessive blog post on how can you optimize images on Shopify including optimizing for SEO, thumbnails… Here we are going to concentrate only on those tips which can help us reduce speed.
Using too large images
Image size cost us a lot of time to load and is directly affecting the speed test results as well as the Search Rank position and bounce rate. Anyway, we can’t just remove images and trade the lack of them for speed. Images are crucial for overall customer experience and nice images can help with conversions. What we can do is to optimize them in the form of size and format.
Optimizing image size without losing quality can be tricky. Recommendations are going forward with using JPG instead of PNG and having an image smaller than 70kb. Here I will list some of the tools that can reduce image size by 70% or convert to the desired format. The greatest benefit is that they are all free!
In the Shopify app marketplace, there are also a lot of apps offering this feature. Even though it seems easier, try not to use them for this purpose because they add extra code to your shop. And the calculation is simple, extra code can cost you speed which we are trying to gain.
Using too many images
Trying to bring the best possible experience, we sometimes forget to test and see which setup is bringing us most conversions. Sometimes 6 images about one shirt are not necessary. Maybe your customers are reacting better having just one image with the possibility to zoom in, instead of listing through 6 of them to find what they were looking for in your product.
Test, test, test! It can bring you a couple of seconds and also improve the customer shopping experience and you weren’t aware of it at all!
The human attention span is getting lower every year and has dropped to 8 seconds. If you lose a couple of seconds on loading, what time do you have to impress customers? It’s simple, you don’t if you are not optimizing. Google puts it nicely, speed equals revenue!
Mobile Shopify store optimization
Now we have optimized speed, what about mobile searches and mobile customers experience?
Over 86% of all searches on Google are now made from mobile. If you haven’t come up with a strategy for mobile customers, you are probably late. Because your competitors are, and over 80% of the top search results are mobile-friendly.
In 2020, to be just responsive is not enough, you need to think mobile-first and optimize Shopify store for it.
What is mobile-first? Mobile-first design means building a Shopify store like you are building it for the mobile customers and then adjusting it to desktop. It should be built in such a way that it could be extremely easy for using on small screens like on mobile devices. The opposite would be building for desktop and then adjusting to mobile. Hey, 86% of searches are made from mobile, you are doing it wrong if you do the opposite!
If you are already dived into Shopify business, it would cost you time and money to build a shop towards a mobile-first approach or design. What you can do is to find can find alternative ways to get your shop more mobile-friendly. This actually means that all of your shop’s content has to be easily and readily accessible across all different platforms and, most particularly, on the smaller screens like mobile one.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
One of the parts of the mobile-first approach is AMP. According to Google Developers, AMP is a web component framework that you can use to easily create user-first websites, stories, emails, and ads. It is a technology made to improve mobile experiences, and it was first adopted by publishers. Later on, it has found its place in e-commerce industries when giants like Alibaba, or George.com showed impressive results using AMP. That is why BigCommerce, as one of the largest e-commerce platforms adopted native AMP for its customers.
In Shopify, the situation is not that simple and you must be proactive thinking towards building mobile-first. Building an AMP from the ground up can be challenging if you are running a Shopify business. If you are not having an in-house developer or enough time to learn about it, you should consider using one of the automated AMP solutions, like AmpifyMe is. But be careful when adopting any of the automated solutions, don’t trade functionality for speed, have both!
One of the things in our shop we focus the most are informative, like images and description. We are giving our best to show what does the product looks like, trying to make it more and more real. Also, we are giving customers numerous options to choose from, from colors to sizes and many more.
We are forgetting the most important part of it, the value we provide. We are optimizing everything without being concentrated on users.
In the sea of product descriptions and a lot of nice images and videos, we are not speaking our customers’ languages. To give the experience, we must think like them, answer their questions and overcome their fears. What is the purpose of that product? Who sees the most benefit from buying that bundle? How to choose the right option which will fit their needs the best? Speak their language.
The crucial aspect of optimization is creating high-quality, informative content. Create and give customers a useful guide to shop your products. It will not only improve the time spent on the page, but it will also benefit your SEO score. Double-double!
It may take some time to see the results, don’t expect it to show overnight. Your efforts will pay off in the long term.
With these tips and tricks, you are on the right path with your Shopify store business. You just need to choose the right direction with optimization and never stop with it. Good luck!