Improving Shopify conversion rates with Shaun Brandt from Oddit

Also available as a podcast.

Shaun Brandt from is an expert in website conversion. Trevor talked to him about boosting the conversion rate by removing barriers to the online purchasing experience.

Problem with Shopify templates

As themes are easy to install on Shopify, there is a tendency to think that the themes are optimised for conversion. Many themes are aesthetically pleasing at the expense of the user experience.

Choosing a Shopify template

Using a template which advertises itself as having a high conversion rate is an excellent place to start when choosing a template. 

Whilst themes do go through a vetting programme to be accepted in the Shopify store, this does not include usability testing other than passing some basic tests.

Speeding up your site

Site speed is a vital factor in conversion rate. Factors which slow the site down include:

  • Images which are not web optimised
  • Unused javascript from uninstalled apps.
  • Front-end apps, e.g. reviews, sliders etc

Benchmarking site performance

Your conversion rate will depend on your traffic source and add strategy. For example, if you get your traffic mainly from SEO or social or paid search, you will have very different conversion rates

The best way to benchmark your site’s performance is to stop looking at the site yourself and do some user testing. Set users tasks on the site, e.g. add a product to basket and look at where they are struggling. If you have a limited budget, there is no need to get people from your target audience, just people with no site experience.

Solving usability issues

Shaun recommends the following process for solving issues with the site

  • Perform usability testing
  • Make a prioritised list of issues with the site as identified in your testing
  • Use A/B testing to try out different versions of the target page(s) and identify solutions

Make change incrementally and do not make too many changes simultaneously (the fewer, the better). If you make too many changes at once, you will not know what caused any changes.

Low hanging useability fruit

  • Site speed. There are a lot of simple things which can be done to improve speed quickly, e.g. optimising images
  • Copywriting. Create clear copy. Cut the fluff! Tell the user what you make, not the problem you solve
  • Calls to action. Make these clear and descriptive
  • Don’t overwhelm the user. Don’t give them too many options.



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