Shopify Marketing

20 Reasons why your Shopify landing page isn’t driving enough sales

Not driving enough checkouts on your Shopify landing page? We know why. Here are 20 reasons for a low conversion rate on your Shopify landing page. Check it out.

20 Reasons why your Shopify landing page isn’t driving enough sales

The average conversion rate for an eCommerce landing page is just under 10%

There are a bunch of reasons for this low number and it has to do with how well a brand engages its visitors, entices its prospects and retains its customers. 

In this article, we’ve listed 20 reasons why your Shopify landing page may not be converting and what you can do about it. 

1) Looks fancy BUT slow to load

The ideal page load time is nothing more than 3 seconds. But many eCommerce businesses act under the problematic view that visitors are looking for something really fancy. In the process, they overload their websites with inefficient elements - making their landing pages clunky and slow to load. 

What you can do to fix this: 

  • Do a waterfall analysis to gain more clarity on how the elements of your Shopify landing page are doing. The amazing thing about conducting a waterfall test is that in one go you’ll get a better understanding of the performance of CSS, HTML, JavaScript, plugins, images as well as third party content. 
  • Use clean code. This will ensure messy bits like extra line breaks and improper indentations don’t eat away at your page speed. 
  • Take time to compress and resize images. Ensuring that they are the right size and the right file format solves much of the loading speed problem. While PNG as a format works better for graphics, JPEGs are ideal for any form of photography-based images. 

2) CTAs are all over the place

A frequent mistake we’ve noticed in many Shopify landing pages is the random placement of CTAs. Either there are too many, or they are not highlighted well enough to grab the visitor’s immediate attention. landing page - CTA is lost

One look at the landing page and you see how the CTA is completely lost in the mayhem of text and visuals.

What you can do to fix it:

  • Choose strategic locations to display your CTA. “Above the fold” is a phrase often used to describe the position that a visitor sees right after they land on the page. This placement ensures visitors exactly know how to act even before they scroll down all the way to the end. The Biome landing page is a good example of this. 
Biome example of a landing page with a well placed CTA
  • Use different color blocks to ensure that the CTAs stand out. Highlighting your CTA by choosing a color that stands apart from the landing page’s background color, ensures people don’t miss it. Among the many color reference charts out there, this is one you can work with: 
color block chart
  • Get rid of too many CTAs. A study by Mark Lepper of Stanford University and Sheena Iyengar from Columbia University, almost two decades back, showed that the paradox of choice is indeed true. So the lesser number of choices you offer visitors, the more they are likely to feel largely satisfied with their browsing experience. A secondary CTA, on the other hand, offers an additional opportunity for visitors to convert without confusing them. So you can decide to have one, especially if you’re pushing offers and a specific product on the same landing page. 

3) Chunky and robotic copywriting

Going on and on about your product, in a salesy tone, will not necessarily make your visitors sit up and take notice. 

When you convey too much information in a bland, dehumanized voice, visitors might completely miss out on the most critical information. This has a direct impact on readability and how well visitors can process next steps they need to take, to convert. 

What you can do to fix it: 

  • Drill it down to the core message. To keep the copy on your Shopify landing page interesting, carry the traces of the BIG THING you are trying to say. 
    Create a narrative around your product or service but ensure the visitor knows exactly what you are saying and what they’ll be getting out of it. Check out how Lyft does an impeccable job at calling out to people who may want to supplement their income through driving. The writing clearly creates an outline of the narrative and bonds with prospects. 

lyft's landing page - great copywriting
  • List down the benefits. Remember there’s a fine balance between being pushy and being persuasive. By clarifying the benefits, you can tell visitors why they can count on your brand. In the example below, Tuft & Needle approaches this in a way that’s easy on the eye and wedged in between other vital long-form informative nuggets. 
  • Use language that appeals to the senses. Words and phrases that create a resonant emotional experience, can instantly connect your brand with visitors. Here’s a list of ten words/phrases that can truly transform your landing page:
  1. Easy: Life is hard anyway. When you use this word, you subtly convey that engaging with your offering won’t make your visitor’s life harder. 
  2. Opportunity: A word that continues to charm because it creates anticipation about the future. 
  3. Your way: Everyone thrives on agency and choices. The moment this phrase is used, it tells the visitor there is alignment. 
  4. Guaranteed: Trust is at the root of all purchase decisions. And this is a word that talks of the responsibility your business is ready to take, to ensure a smooth experience. 
  5. Results: No matter how non-essential a purchase might seem, it is still helping visitors change something about themselves or their lives. Which is why this word, when used well, is a grab!
  6. Enjoy: Not a tough guess to figure why this word does not get tiring. Everyone is looking for a payoff, no matter how big or small the purchase decision is. 
  7. Discover: People love to get to know about all that which they are still unaware of. To get the curiosity of visitors ticking, this is a great word to use. 
  8. Improved: Whether we readily admit to it or not, we are interested in anything that promises a better state. An improvement in your offering would subtly indicate an improvement it would create in the lives of visitors. 
  9. Now: Talking of payoffs, the human tendency is to want some gratification right away. This is the word that best describes the ready payoff. 
  10. Consistent: No matter what your visitors are looking for in your offering, you can rest assured they are looking for consistency of experience. 

4) Headlines that focus on just the product

Your Shopify landing page might have some amazing product(s), but having it talk about just the features and specifications, is a no-gamer. 

Put simply, they are looking for benefits.But that’s missing on most Shopify landing pages we’ve come across, causing visitors to jump off and never return. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • A straight, simple and direct approach. Cut to the chase, as they say. Because nothing beats simplicity, as you can see in the following example. 
Pinterest example of home decor
  • Highlight the core selling point upfront, instead of it lingering within a block of text, where the visitor can easily miss it. 
  • Ask a question that a visitor would. This is a powerful method because what this does is it subtly acknowledges the visitor’s doubts, while subsequently answering them. 

5) Confusing hierarchy of information

Most Shopify stores offer confusing information hierarchy that can turn off even the most patient visitor, simply because it fails to address their concerns in a logical flow. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Address a pain point in the headline. How you put this across through communication can decide how fast your visitors connect with your offering(s). 
  • Talk about the benefits next. Remember your business and your offering are there for the sole purpose of improving someone’s life. If that does not stand out, visitors will not be interested to engage further. 
welly example of a landing page that talks about benefits
  • Don’t waste time around the CTA. Find a way to introduce it right at the beginning, either in the headline or the one following it. In fact, let it come as a solution to the pain point you’re trying to solve. 
Airbnb's landing page - great CTA

AirBnb are layering their information for the current (Covid-19) context. Since there’s no getting out and traveling at a time like this, their “get inspired” button drives visitors to explore deeper. In the process, they are also reinstating some of the lost confidence in travel. 

  • Offer social proof to build confidence. Based on your business context, you can offer such proof through recommendation snippets, star ratings or even a list of clients and partners that have trusted you in the past. In the examples below, Paintable does their social proof in two ways - client testimonial as well as a user expectation that the brand can meet. Such a neat job!
example of a customer review
creative social proof

6) Optimizing for algorithms but not humans 

Marketers who have been working with paid search know how important it is to optimize landing pages based on search engine algorithms.

However, many also make the mistake of optimizing ONLY FOR algorithms, forgetting the most important target in the process - customers. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Focus on user intent. The optimization scenario has undergone deep change after Google announced the BERT update in 2019. The update firmed the need for conversational language and context-setting. 

    Consider the example of HelloFresh. The chief highlight here is the way they have focused on user intent - the web version offers an attractive discount while the mobile version speaks in a dynamic style (where “we save you serious stress” changes to “we save you serious time” and so on). 
HelloFresh example of humanized copy

  • Tackle user queries with some personality. Instead of paying too much attention on what keywords and phrases to use, see how best you can tweak your content to answer the needs and curiosities of your visitors. And it doesn’t hurt to add some personality or humor to your copies - keeps things engaging.

7) Not thinking mobile first

One of the biggest mistakes that Shopify store owners make is to think desktop first when building their site. They don’t analyze how visitors behave across devices, leading to poor experience and low conversion rates. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Reconsider using plugins mainly meant for the web. Many of them like flash, frames as well as certain image formats don’t work for mobile. Consider using mobile-friendly technology such as jQuery, HTML5 and GIF or JPG image formats. 
  • Optimize mobile page load time. According to a 2019 Portent report, the first five seconds of page load time have maximum impact on conversion rates. You don’t want to miss the bus because most eCommerce landing pages now aim to load as fast as possible. 
  • Run site performance tests across devices. They can reveal fixes that you need to conduct based on page speed scores and waterfall tests. 

8) Overusing stock footage

Many Shopify stores make the mistake of overusing stock images, leading to visitors and prospects feeling disconnected. It’s not that stock footage is a terrible thing, but you must take care in assessing exactly what kind of stock images and videos will suit your context. 

What you can do to fix it: 

  • Remember the human factor. Images and videos that bring to life the human experience is a good idea. Consider the example of Medalia Art doing a small experiment featuring some paintings they wanted to sell. As a control, they displayed the paintings, whereas in a secondary version they featured the artists behind the paintings. For the first the conversion was 8.8%, but with the second featuring human faces, the number had climbed to 17.2%. 
stock footage with illustrations

stock footage with human faces
  • Avoid shoddy cut & paste additions. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a designer who can give you stunning visual characters or photographer for a high profile shoot. Combining elements that are originally not together and making it seem like a bad Photoshop effort, is worse. 
  • Say no to low resolution footage. Granted such images and videos can seem budget-friendly, but they won’t do much to enhance what you have to offer as a product.  

9) Not highlighting social proof

In eCommerce, social proof supports the visitor’s intent of making a purchase. 

However, many businesses miss out on putting this crucial factor to good use. This leads to prospects feeling vague about whether they should believe your statements. 

Your brand’s integrity also may also go unnoticed because of the absence of proper social proof. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Feature relevant social proof. There are so many ways of highlighting social proof on your site that knowing what will work for your business is essential. Based on what you are trying to sell, you can choose from customer reviews, client logos, case studies, client quotes, embedded videos etc. In some cases, even a combination of the choicest methods might work well.

    Lush does social proof exceedingly well. 
Lush's example of good social proof
  • Avoid negative social proof. Unlike positive social proof, negative social proof works in a roundabout way. The language is typically dismissive and doubt-creating, which can put prospects off. Imagine telling someone, “x number of people have regretted doing this. You don’t want to be one of them.”

10) The page is too long

Many Shopify stores have endless scrolling with heaps of information that needs processing, driving visitors crazy. 

Even if your Shopify landing page features a great narrative, beyond a point, it can disrupt visitor experience. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Run a heatmap analysis to find out where your visitors are most active and accordingly set the length of your landing page.
  • A/B test your landing page. A study comparing different versions of your Shopify landing page can reveal what your customers want in real-time. This enables you to test a specific element and accordingly judge what improvement it requires.

11) Lengthy forms that disrupt experience

Shopify stores make the mistake of introducing lengthy forms, without analysing the context. 

Visitors and prospects find this intrusive or effort-intensive and can exit your landing page in no time. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Limit the number of required fields. Consider it a need-to-know basis. Even if you have, say, 15 fields that need filling up, is it necessary that a prospect gives all the information right away? See if there is a way to balance out what you label as required* with what you label as optional*. After 7 fields, conversion rates seem to drop off by at least 4% with every field. 

    Notice how well the following form has been designed. Along with a limited number of fields, it features radio buttons so that people don’t get tired or bored of typing. 
Modernize example of smarter lead generation forms
  • Clarify the precise reason for the form being there. You can treat this as a step to make visitors and prospects aware of what they will get out of filling the form. Is it a newsletter? Is it a special offer that’s available only for a week? Calling the benefit out is a great idea. 
  • A/B test your form layouts. It is difficult to arrive at the right guess about how your landing page forms will perform without visitors making real inputs. An A/B test can reveal what your visitors’ preferences are more effectively. 

12) All about the business, not the customer

Many Shopify sites make the mistake of thinking that if they highlight what is so great about them, visitors will naturally convert. So they make their Shopify landing pages about product features, why their establishment exists and why visitors should trust in them. When customer -centricity is missing from the landing page, it’s likely visitors will not feel it is meeting their needs. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Understand your buyer persona (and their challenges). Considering how vast the eCommerce landscape is, this is essential. Think of buyer personas as a map that will enable you to speak directly to your target audience. And when you do establish a dialogue, you’ll be able to address their needs, preferences and challenges. 
  • Bring out the benefits loudly and clearly. Because that’s what will inspire visitors to explore your website and product(s) further. This is a surefire way of convincing visitors why they ought to stick around. 
AXIS example of benefit focused copy
  • State why you are passionate about the solution. eCommerce prospects are constantly checking in to see why they should believe in you. They are also (even if unconsciously) testing why you are offering the specific thing that you are offering. A passionate vouching from your end will only give them more confidence. 

    Check out the kind of language Blue Apron uses to pull the visitor on boa
Blue apron's example of a landing page that tells a story

13) Not giving a damn about the Thank you page

It’s common for many eCommerce businesses to think that since the “thank you” page comes right at the end of the sales funnel, it doesn’t hold much value. This is a mistake because this sort of thinking misses out on the opportunity of convincing and converting a visitor. 

What you can do to fix it: 

  • Introduce “thank you” even at unlikely steps. While intuitively it may make sense to acknowledge only when a visitor has made a purchase, there are more opportunities to say the two magic words. Here’s a quick example. 
Sally's thanks you page
  • Give them a reason to talk about their purchase. There are times when people are so thrilled by what they have bought, along with a “thank you”, you can enable sharing across platforms. Here’s an example. 
Marshall's thank you page
  • Send out a “thank you” post-purchase email. In addition to a page that’s devoted to acknowledgment, an email works wonders. In such a piece of communication, you can put extra information without sounding like it’s jargon. Here’s an example we found to be doing just that. It has a personalized touch without sounding unprofessional. 
example of post purchase thank you email

14) The one-size-fits-all approach

A one-size-fits-all approach can be confusing for visitors and they could potentially end up missing the point you’re trying to make (be it an offer or the launch of a new product line). 

Sadly we’ve many Shopify sites make this mistake. 

What you can do to fix it: 

  • Highlight why the customer is where they need to be. This is one way of ensuring you’re putting all your Shopify landing pages to work effectively. Consider the following example of a landing page of The Lip Bar. If someone is looking for a makeup kit without the hassle of going through separate products and making individual choices, this is ideal. The information on the page appears in stages and there’s something stunning for almost every complexion. 
TLB example of crisp copywriting
  • Create a landing page for almost every possible high ranking source. Because you want to catch your prospective customers wherever they may be spending their maximum time. In the digital context, people are constantly switching between PCs and mobile devices. When you tailor your landing pages, it ensures you are able to reach out to your target audience irrespective of where they are hanging out. 

15) The page and the ad don’t tell the same story

This is something that too many landing pages suffer from. 

Mismatched messaging confuses visitors and prospects, while increasing the chances of them dropping off. 

What you can do to fix it: 

  • Check the visual and tone of language. If one or the other or both don’t match, you have a problem. In the following example, the visual and the voice are both off, leading to confusion and maybe even an amount of distrust.

    The following example shows how well an eCommerce brand can do this. The PPC ad headline and the landing page headline speak the same language, leading to a cohesive experience. 
example of google ad
example of landing page that matches with the Ad
  • Create a separate landing page for each ad variation. Depending on what offer or incentive your ad is communicating, create a separate landing page to address it. This will avoid duplication and confusion. 

16) Giving blank statements that don’t add up

Granted that every eCommerce wants to make it big in their audience’s eyes. However, how many of them do it is flawed from the start. 

Generic information without any fact-finding or proof is a real issue. If you want your target audience to consider you seriously, it’s best you take a different approach. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Back your claims with researched data. No matter how wonderful your product is, visitors and prospects are interested in why they should believe in your claims. Well researched-data, especially with relevant links, can convince them faster and for good. 
  • Use actual customer data to support your claims. If you have A/B tested your landing page variations and arrived at certain insights, feature them openly. You don’t know who is reading and who may get convinced, because real customer data is a kind of social proof. 

17) Featuring too many products

The point where businesses lose clarity about what sets a product page apart from a landing page, is where this mistake happens. Featuring too many products takes away from your Shopify landing page’s main intent - to narrow down the offering and create a clear call-to-action. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Stick to one product category. There’s a reason you have targeted a specific audience to come on to this page. Don’t cram it. Have a look at what Stylebygg has done with this PPC landing page. While there is no one hero product, the page clearly focuses on summer wear. 
stylebygg ppc landing page

18) Overloading with navigation options

Another common mistake that many Shopify stores make is to overload the page with navigation options. 

Because of this, visitors and prospects feel easily distracted. This further leads to them dropping off or just exploring without converting. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Remove all unnecessary links. Remember that a specific Shopify landing page is for either one product or a series of products and nothing beyond. Even the CTA needs to revolve around this. This quick example will show you how a single, highlighted CTA along with a subtle top navigation menu can work rather well. 
single, highlighted CTA along with a subtle top navigation menu

19) Does not feature a live chat

Shopify stores aren’t getting in with the times. Offering 24/7 assistance is necessary but many fail to do so. 

You can always offer personal support. The live chat feature replaces that support and it is essential for visitors and prospects to feel they can take their doubts to somebody, without making the process complex. 

This is a big opportunity missed by many eCommerce sites out there. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Feature live chat on your Shopify landing page. It can just be embedded within a subtle symbol on the bottom right of the page, which when someone clicks, expands. Here’s an effective example:
live chat on a shopify landing page

Use tools like Drift to enable this for your store without the hassle of coding. 

20) Not saying goodbye to footers

One of the most neglected portions of a landing page is the footer. This means many eCommerce businesses tend to push down excess links from the top to the bottom. 

This is a big problem because it invariably plays around with search rankings. They can also be distracting for the end user. 

What you can do to fix it:

  • Remove links that are not needed. If it’s a campaign specific landing page, notice which links you really need to feature in the footer. Take out what has no relevance to keep the experience on the page neat and easy. 
example of clean footers

To sum it up

It is clear that you’ll need to strike a nuanced balance between several elements for your Shopify landing page to keep converting at better rates. If you have several Shopify landing pages, a full site audit could well be what you need to make the first right move. 

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