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Optimize your Shopify store by focusing on key metrics

Let's talk about a request I get from most of my clients. And something we work on together throughout their projects. OPTIMIZE ME, please.

But what does optimize really mean?

In short, make it better. Generally we’re referring to improving key metrics like conversion rate (the percentage of people who purchase after visiting), average order value (how much customers spend on average) and return customer rates (what percentage of customers come back to buy again). 

Those metrics are so important to the health of your business. So let’s break them down and talk about how they can be improved. 

Conversion rate

An average e-commerce conversion rate, according to Shopify, is 2.86%. So out of 100 visitors, if 2-3 buy, you’re on par. 

But conversion rates need a lot of caveats. 

The industry you’re in and your price point make a great deal of difference. A mattress company’s conversion rate will be much lower on average than a hair accessory company. The mattress purchase is a much bigger investment, has a lot more at stake and will require a lot more research.

I love to look at websites that I know have an uphill battle with conversion rate to see what they’re doing specifically.

Casper is a great example. They’re the original direct-to-consumer brand that disrupted the mattress industry with online sales. So let’s take a look at the top of their homepage.

casper homepage

Here’s what stands out to me:

  • Priority on navigation: the main navigation is front and center, making it very easy to 1) see the categories they sell and 2) shop them
  • Objection busting: The bar below the navigation addresses top concerns with online shopping: free no-contact delivery, 100 night risk-free trial, and a 10-year limited warranty. 
  • Chat with a human button: They’re making it clear that customer service matters to them. In their category, it’s also normal to have pre-selling questions and they want to be able to answer those before someone leaves their website
  • Affirm bar: They’re utilizing installment payments (if you’re not, this is the first thing I’d add to your site no matter your price point) 

These are all elements that you can consider adding to your site to help improve your conversion rate.

Average Order Value

This is such an important one to focus on and can make a big impact on your revenue. By increasing your average order value, you’re making the most out of the traffic you have. 

If you offer free shipping at a threshold, make sure you’re considering your average order value when you set that amount. Typically, you want to make your free shipping threshold something a little bit above your average order value. 

Next, focus on selling more products. 

lively screenshot

Lively makes bundles the first thing you see on the homepage (in the top notification bar) and mentions bundles again below the “Our Story” section. Their product makes a lot of sense to encourage multiples. If you have the same, you can do bundles in a few different ways:

lively bundles

If your products aren’t something people typically buy in multiples, you can still use bundles to incentivize customers to add more to their cart. Here’s an example from Asutra’s product page:


They have a “Frequently Bought Together” section that gives you choices of other products that can go in your cart for a 10% discount. After taking a peek at the code, it looks like they’re using this app.

Below the product form, they have a “Pair with these products” section. Most themes have this capability, but if you want even more control with it you could use an app for this too.

Repeat customer rate

When we consider how hard we may have to work to get a customer in the first place, it makes sense to try to keep them coming back. 

The first time someone buys from you, they need to have a good experience to want to do it again.

When people order from a new brand they may have some concerns, like:

  • Am I really going to get this product/was this the right decision to buy?
  • When will I get this product?
  • Will I like this product?

Email marketing automations can address these questions!

Start with answering “am I really going to get this product/was this the right decision?” in your Order Confirmation email.

Use this as an opportunity to help your customer feel excited about their purchase and answer any questions they may have. I love this confirmation email from Urban Walls.

urban walls

They’re building excitement with photos, they set expectations at the top with production time, they recommend you double check your shipping address and then they give you links to their blog, FAQ, tips & tricks and more. 

Next is an example from Daily Harvest when the order is ready to ship:

daily harvest ready to ship

The email is designed to prepare the customer for a slight delay but assure them it’ll be fine, get them excited with yummy pictures, and track the order. I love Aftership for order tracking and have used it with a few clients now. 

And here’s another example from Atlas Pet Company for a product that required a little bit of education. This email prepares the customer so they know exactly how to set up the product when they receive it. It heads off questions and continues to build excitement to receive the product.


Now your customer has received your product. Keep the communication going. You can set up review request emails, thank you emails from the owner where you continue to tell your story, and general marketing emails. You also want to think about “customer winback” emails.

Here’s an example from Peach & Lily, sent when a re-order would be anticipated.

peach and lily

The bottom line:

There are so many opportunities to improve your store metrics -- consider all of the different touch points you have with your potential customers and customers alike. How can you make them a little more special?