Shopify CRO Checklist 2023: Boost Your DTC Conversion Rate

August 22, 2023

When it comes to efficiently scaling your brand, your conversion rate is one of the most important metrics to look at. At the end of the day, if your site doesn’t convert, it’ll be very difficult to scale profitably from any of your marketing channels.

Plus, if your store has a low conversion rate, that will have a massive negative impact on every other aspect of your marketing strategy. For example, even if you have the best ads in the world, if you send those people to a website that doesn’t convert, you’re just going to waste your money!

Remember, your website and landing pages need to be built to carry on the post click experience from people after they click on an ad, email, sms, etc.

Before we dive into the nitty gritty details of improving your conversion rate, let’s look at some of the blue sky concepts.

Overall, big picture keys to CRO success

  1. Regularly test your site to make sure that the ordering process is easy and there aren’t any bugs
  2. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and find specific products or information
  3. Ensure that your links work
  4. Ensure that your search functionality actually works
  5. Keep your website in sync with any promo that you’re running and be sure to remove promos as soon as they are over
  6. Make sure the content throughout your website matches your target audience
  7. Use a heat mapping tool, like HotJar, to gather data around how people use your site

Home Page

  1. Strong hero section that shows who you are, what you do, and how to buy from you
  2. Social proof above the fold
  3. Announcement bar with your current offer, or your free shipping threshold as a fallback
  4. Any media recognition that you have
  5. Educational content around your products and/or brand
  6. Value propositions
  7. Best seller quick buy
  8. Testimonials
  9. Collection overview
  10. Lifestyle content to connect with your target audience. Your content should show your audience people that they aspire to be while using your product
  11. Direct chat, especially if you get a lot of questions about your products
  12. Email collection popup with a ~15% off offer and 1-2 questions to help segment your audience. Using a tool like JustUno makes this segmentation super easy!

Collection Pages

  1. Add in filtering for different product attributes, especially if you have larger collections
  2. Simple and organized collections that can act as landing pages for ads
  3. Test different sorting types to sell specific products first and help people find products faster
  4. Keep product photos uniform 
  5. Breadcrumbs to help with navigation and going back to previous pages

Product Pages

  1. Expand your product pages to give people a full product and brand education even if they haven’t been to other pages on your site
  2. Use the best quality product images that you can
  3. Make sure that the image file size is compressed so you don’t harm load times
  4. Your product images should show everything that’s included in the order and nothing more. Showing more can confuse customers and increase returns
  5. Utilize product videos - either short videos within the image carousel or longer video just below the fold
  6. Add contrast to your add to cart button
  7. Clearly show any financing options, especially for more expensive products. 
  8. Utilize out of stock notifications with emails and marketing opt in
  9. Mention shipping expectations (ex. Free shipping, long shipping times, etc…) - do not let shipping rates or timelines be a surprise
  10. Show reviews from customers - bonus points if you utilize UGC within your reviews. Stamped is a great app to use for review collection
  11. Build long form product pages to focus on the benefits of the products while educating your customers about why they need your product
  12. Utilize lifestyle content to show your products in action
  13. Build a FAQs section, especially for more technical products 
  14. Create simple to use sizing guides or fitment guides to help people order the correct product
  15. Utilize a stick add to cart button so shoppers can easily add to cart no matter where they are at on your expanded product page


  1. Your navigation needs to be designed to help your customers find products as quickly as possible.
  2. For smaller stores, simple navigation typically works well
  3. For larger stores, mega menus with images can show people where to go
  4. Navigation tabs should show the most to least popular touch points from left to right
  5. Use your navigation to guide to people to specific products/collections that you want to sell
  6. Create a simple header with either a promo or shipping notes. Use this section to add a little incentive or urgency to purchase


  1. When your cart is empty, offer suggested products such as your best sellers to help people shop faster and easier
  2. Upsells with commonly bundled items in the cart is a great way to help people add to their cart to reach milestones such as free gifts or shipping thresholds
  3. Add in social proof, such as review stars, to continue to build trust
  4. Utilize a slide out cart to reduce shopping interruption


With Shopify, your checkout is fairly locked down, but there are simple things you can do to help streamline your checkout process

  1. If you have it available, and you haven’t already, upgrade your store to Shoify’s one-click checkout
  2. Add trust building information, such as reviews, subtly into checkout to reconfirm that your audience is making the right decision
  3. Make account sign up optional
  4. Make the guest checkout easy to see 
  5. Make sure your checkout page is branded with your logo and colors
  6. Make sure your marketing newsletter is defaulted to opt in
  7. Reduce links away from checkout as much as possible. Think of your checkout as a tunnel with the only way out being to complete purchase
  8. Show your shipping rate or free shipping rates clearly
  9. Show your different payment methods, but don’t overdo it

Value-Add Pages

  1. Value add pages such as look books, podcasts, resources, etc… can help bring people deeper into your ecosystem
  2. For more technical products, create post purchase pages (such as install guides) can be very help to bring people back to your store
  3. Make sure these pages have calls to action to guide people to relevant collections/products


  1. Use your value-add pages to help with your SEO campaigns - these can help with your organic traffic to bring people back into your ecosystem
  2. Dial in your title tags and meta descriptions to improve your click through rates from Google
  3. Use blogs to your advantage. Not only can these help get people to your site, but write your blogs to educate or inspire people while helping them feel more connected to your brand. Blogs can also be used to build trust! Don’t forget to add a call to action to encourage action after education
  4. Make sure your alt tags are correct for your images
  5. Use tools such as Semrush to track your website health then improve accordingly

Integrations And Apps

  1. Every store is unique and needs unique apps for the user experience
  2. Utilize email platforms like Klaviyo and JustUno
  3. Bundle apps can work well for increase average order values easily
  4. Add a review app that you like and you can afford. There are a lot of review apps, so find one that fits your needs!
  5. Add financing apps like Klarna or Affirm - especially for more expensive products
  6. Don’t overdo your apps. Apps will slow down your site and most of them are overkill!


  1. As we all know, email is one of the best ways to save a sale, so make sure all of your abandoned cart flows are dialed in 
  2. Build popups with segmenting questions to be market to your audience more efficiently
  3. Sync your popup with a simple auto responder email that matches the offer you are pushing
  4. Make sure your shipping notification emails are sent in a timely manner to reduce returns and customer service inquiries


Ship is one of the most common pinch points for brands thanks to Amazon, so it’s crucial to dial in your shipping rates and process

  1. Take time to balance your margins with shipping and try to avoid price gouging people with shipping
  2. If you have a special shipping offer (ex. free over $50 or free for a specific product) push it throughout the site so people are very aware 
  3. Offer free shipping whenever possible 
  4. Free shipping is not possible for all brands due to margins and shipping rates, so if you can’t offer free shipping, offer as low as possible
  5. Offer multiple shipping options only if you can actually ship quickly. 2 day shipping doesn’t matter if you take 7 days to fulfill orders
  6. A good rule of thumb for free shipping starting points is 10-20% over your average order value - this only applies if you’ve never offered free shipping
  7. Shipping thresholds in cart are a great way to encourage people to spend more


  1. Search functionality, especially for larger stores
  2. Test your upsells. For some brands, upsells won’t affect your conversion rate very much but will improve your average order value. For others, it’ll have a larger impact on your conversions
  3. Popups can be incredibly useful, however they can also be a detriment to your customer’s experience. Reducing popups can speed up the actual purchase time due to less clicks
  4. Reduce unnecessary code to improve speed
  5. Make sure all of your links are working properly 
  6. Build your 404 page to help people find what they are looking for

As you focus on your conversion rate, keep in mind that having a holistic growth strategy on your site is crucial. Even if you gave away free money, your site still wouldn’t convert at 100%! With that in mind, it’s important to think about other wins as well.

In addition, when it comes to CRO for your ecommerce brand, a major factor in fluctuation is your audience quality. If you are struggling with your conversion rate optimization, take a look at your traffic, where it’s coming from, and that audience's stage of the buying journey. All too often, brands focus on their website performance when in reality they need to be focusing on audience quality or even where people are being sent from a given traffic source.

A win could be an email sign up or even a form fill out from someone that just needs a little more nudge before buying.

Lastly, remember that every brand is unique and not all of these points will apply to your brand so be mindful of your historic performance and keep focusing on growth!

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