The secret to boosting your Shopify conversion rate is understanding why people buy your products. The best stores know exactly how their customers think – but you don’t need an army of analysts for that. These tips for boosting your conversions are based on psychological research and the science of consumer behaviour.
4 Ways To Boost Your Shopify Conversion Rate With Science
- Use FOMO to Increase Conversions
- Set Conversion Deadlines To Create Urgency
- Build Trust With Social Proof
- Create CX Moments For A Memorable Store
Ecommerce is full of metrics and measurements, but they can’t change how your store works. Moving those dials in the right direction is about getting inside your customers’ heads. So, whilst your aim is to increase your Shopify conversion rate, your focus should be on your customers.
We are helpless to resist the power of scarcity. When something is rare, its value goes through the roof. Not only does that make it more valuable, it also shapes the choices people make. The “Fear of Missing Out” can turn a difficult choice into a no-brainer.
The Science of Scarcity
- Adewole, Lee and Worchel, “Effects of Supply and Demand on Ratings of Object Value,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32 (1975) – Research paper.
In an experiment conducted in 1975, the psychologists Adewole, Lee and Worchel showed that supply has a big impact on the way people value an object. 200 female students were asked to guess the value of cookies in two different jars: one where the cookies were “running out,” and one where they were overflowing. The results showed that…
- When cookies were “running out,” they were valued higher than the others
- This effect was increased when the cookies started to run out over time
- When the cookies were thought to be in high demand, rather than just being scarce, they were even more valuable
As this famous experiment demonstrates, scarcity is a powerful way to increase the value of an item. That means you can use it to make people want your products more.
How To Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate With Scarcity
One way to leverage scarcity and FOMO to increase your Shopify Conversion Rate is to display stock levels on your product pages. This edit will mean adding a small piece of code to your product page template (this is the template labelled product-template.liquid). Once you’ve done that, you can manage your stock levels using Shopify’s product editor.
Another way to add some of that last-chance excitement to your store is to incorporate scarcity into the copy. Customising your product titles and descriptions is a quick-and-easy way to play hard-to-get.
For the biggest impact, though, you can highlight an item’s scarcity with a personal message. A Fomo notification shows your customers when a product is low in stock and even when it’s likely to be sold out. Because this message is based on real stock levels, it can create serious consumer desire.
Retailers have a hard time turning interest in action. With so many options available, it takes a lot for someone to commit to an offer. So, as a store owner, it’s up to you to add some urgency to the situation and help your customer stop procrastinating.
The Science of Procrastination and Urgency
- Steel, “The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure,” Psychological Bulletin, 133 (2007) – Research Paper.
Neurobiological research suggests that procrastination may be affected by the structure of the brain. In short-term situations, the limbic system (where pleasure, anxiety and emotions occur) is able to overpower the pre-frontal cortex (which is associated with planning and decision making). The real-world situation is more complicated than this, because different parts of the brain work together in complex ways. However, the conflict between long-term planning and short-term behaviour helps to explain why people delay making difficult decisions.
Introducing a deadline creates an emotional reaction. Rather than agonising over a decision, often putting it off until later, a deadline encourages people to decide immediately. It also prompts a more emotional response.
How To Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate With Urgency
To add a sense of urgency to your Shopify store, you need some triggers. By presenting a customer with their “last chance” to get a particular deal, you encourage them to make a choice immediately and engage their emotions.
Adding time limits to your offers is easy on Shopify. The simplest approach is to use your product title, image and description.
This technique means the time limit is visible in your product page’s Meta Title and Meta Description. An internet search that displays your product will show the Meta Title and Description in the results page, so customers see it straight away.
To enhance the urgency, you might consider adding a countdown timer. The Shopify app store contains a number of countdown plugins that can be attached to buttons, installed as a widget or used as a header bar. In fact, there are over 50 specialist apps designed to create urgency.
All of these plugins use deadlines to create urgency and boost your Shopify conversion rate.
Other people have a big influence on our opinions and our choices. This effect is known as Social Proof, and it has become a major part of eCommerce. To see Social Proof in action, all you have to do is look at a product on Amazon. Each one has countless reviews and star-ratings, designed to build confidence in the seller and the product.
It’s the same story when you view a hotel on Booking.com. In this case, Social Proof is often combined with a deadline and visible scarcity (“Only 2 rooms left on our site!”)
The Science of Social Proof
The impact that other people have on our decisions has been demonstrated by a number of famous experiments.
- The Moving Dot Test – Muzaffer Sherif (1935) Groups of three subjects were placed in a dark room and asked to watch a dot of light (this dot was actually static but appeared to move due to the auto-kinetic effect). Subjects were allowed to discuss the dot’s movement during the test and were then asked to estimate the range of movement individually. The estimates given by subjects tended to match those of their test groups – despite the fact that the effect was entirely imagined.
- The Standard Line Test – Solomon Asch (1956) Subjects were asked to guess which of three different lines was equal in length to a fourth “standard” line. They were then placed in a group that disagreed with their guess and encouraged to changed their opinion. Only 25% of subjects did not conform to the group’s decision.
- The Hotel Towels Test – Cialdini, Goldstein and Griskevicius (2008) Hotel guests were shown two different signs prompting them to recycle their towels. One group (A) were told that it was better for the environment and the other (B) was told that the other guests had chosen to recycle their towels. Group A recycled 35% of their towels, whilst Group B (the Social Proof condition) recycled 40%.
Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate with Review Apps
Because Social Proof is such a powerful influence on your customers decisions, the most effective form of marketing your products will ever get is customer reviews. You can add and manage these with the Shopify Product Reviews app, which is free to download and use. By turning on email alerts and disabling the auto-publishing of reviews, you can easily monitor the comments for your products.
Add Social Proof With Notification Apps
Social Proof apps are now some of the most popular Shopify apps in the “Sales and Conversions” category. There are over 212 different solutions, which vary from simple review widgets to full customer engagement apps. As important as the app you choose, is the way you use it. These are some “best practice” guidelines:
- Always use REAL Social Proof. Fake Social Proof (through false data, fake customers or fictional reviews) is usually obvious and a big turn-off for customers
- Quality is important, as well as quantity. A long and detailed review is just as valuable as another 100 sales
- Authority is a big factor; if you can get someone on your side, their word is worth a lot
- Interact with your reviews. This allows you to enhance the good ones and reduce the effect of bad ones.
We tend to believe that our memory is an accurate record of our past experiences. However, not all memories are equal; certain types of memory have a much bigger impact than others on our overall perception. We pay more attention to unusual or spectacular things, and remember a new experience in more detail than subsequent ones. Because of this asymmetry, a few truly remarkable experiences can make a big difference to how we see things. By improving your customer experience, you can earn better reviews and more repeat customers – increasing your Shopify conversion rate in the long-term.
The Science of Experience and Memory
- In 1933, the early psychologist Hedwig Von Restorff conducted a series of experiments that revealed a peculiar feature of memory. When an item in a list is “isolated” in some way, so that it stands out, it is far more likely to be remembered. Although a number of other researchers have proposed cognitive or neurobiological explanations for the Von Restorff Effect (based on surprise, attention or processing) there is no definitive explanation for the mechanism involved.
- The psychologist Daniel Kahneman ran a set of experiments in the 1990s highlighting an effect known as the Peak End Rule. Experiences that cause strong emotional effects are given more importance in our memories than those which have less emotional impact. Similarly, things that occur at the start or end of a sequence, and those which mark the “peak” of an experience, are remembered more clearly than others.
Increase Your Shopify Conversion Rate With CX Moments
Because memory is asymmetrical, you can create even more positive customer experiences (and reviews) by focusing on one or two key moments. The first few seconds after someone arrives on your Shopify store are critical – so you need to make sure you have a fast-loading landing page. Shopify gives some simple instructions on how to improve your site speed.
After that, you need to think about the last contact a customer has with your store. This could be a thank-you page, a re-marketing email or a digital receipt. Whilst receipts used to be a formality, they can now be used as a fantastic marketing opportunity. Open rates for email receipts can be as high as 70-90%, which makes them more valuable than sales emails. They can also be targeted more easily with upsells and recommendations.
The important thing for CX moments is to offer something unexpected and give some value to your customer. By focusing on a few memorable experiences, you can enhance your customer journey and multiply your Shopify conversion rate.
Why Consumer Behaviour Is The Shopify Conversion Rate Shortcut
The most successful Shopify stores know their customers the best. For established businesses, that should involve techniques like customer journey analysis and building customer profiles. However, any store can increase their conversion rate by focusing on how people make choices. Consumer psychology and behaviour is the fast-track way to understanding what makes your customers tick.