Shopify Expert Insights

E-Com Advice from our experienced in-house team

Let’s set the stage with some stats first. Average checkout drop off is about 50%. If you are between 25-33% that’s considered optimized and you’re doing great. If your drop off is over 50%, there’s an unmet objection somewhere you need to address. Although a lot of the checkout process is controlled by Shopify, there are some strategies you can use to optimize your customer’s experience.

  • Is your check out styled and branded? You want to style the checkout with your store logo, buttons and colors that align with the front end of your website. This is a low hanging fruit optimization opportunity that even some of the biggest players miss.
  • What do your shipping costs look like? Are your customers going to be surprised during check out?
  • Do you have a solid abandoned cart email sequence to address unmet objections? The first email should always be along the lines of….“Hey, did you have a question? Just hit reply and let us know!” You don’t always need to open with a discount. Take this opportunity to listen to your customer.

Keep in mind that if you sell a high ticket item you will probably get a lot more fantasy shoppers and looky loos that drop off. Maybe they need to wait a couple weeks before they can actually make the purchase.

Unite just wrapped up, I wanted to share the highlights with you as soon as I could:

Online Store 2.0

  • Sections on all pages unlock new opportunities to personalize every aspect of a store
  • New editor experience makes it more efficient for merchants to build their storefronts
  • Theme app extensions make it easier to extend and manage apps within themes
  • New default theme that is faster and more beautiful than ever: Dawn.

Metafields and Custom Content

  • With support for additional Metafields, merchants can now add their own attributes to models like products and product variants, with support for other models like customers and orders coming later this year.
  • Custom Content, coming soon, will be built on top of the new Metafields infrastructure and will serve as Shopify's Content Management platform. It will allow merchants to store content of any format within Shopify.


  • Shopify Checkout will be even faster, giving any shop the capacity to handle tens of thousands of purchases per minute. Shopify’s goal is for a single merchant to be able to sell 300,000 pairs of sneakers in just over eight minutes, and for each individual shop to have the ability to handle as much sales volume as we served across all of Shopify at the peak of Black Friday Cyber Monday in 2020.
  • Introducing Checkout Extensions, allowing developers to securely build apps into Shopify Checkout. These checkout customizations will also work in Shop Pay, making the fastest way to pay on the internet another creative brand surface for merchants.
  • Shopify Scripts are now easier to build and more powerful than ever for developers creating unique checkout experiences for Shopify Plus brands. For example, a merchant could customize the shipping options provided by Shopify and create a script that sorts shipping methods based on carbon emissions, allowing customers to pick the most eco-friendly option. With the new and improved Shopify Scripts, we’ve made it easier than ever to extend the business logic of Shopify and build unique checkout experiences.
  • Introducing Payments Platform, a way to integrate third-party payment gateways into Shopify Checkout, unlocking new sales growth opportunities for merchants.


There isn’t a hard and fast rule when it comes to this. It really depends on what your product grid looks like.

Go with one column if…

  • Your product titles might be a little longer (more than 3-5 words)
  • Your product photos are shot in landscape

Go with two columns if…

  • You have shorter product titles (only 3-5 words)
  • Product photos are shot in portrait

Experimenting with which one is best is pretty easy. Depending on your store’s theme, it’s as simple as changing a setting. Take a look at both views and see which one is best.

Collections are groups of similar products in Shopify that help merchants organize and filter their products into different buckets. For example, red short sleeve shirts. When you create a collection there will be a webpage There could be some SEO benefits to creating different collections like this that are worth trying out.

Running in the background of Shopify is sitemap.xml. This is a machine-readable index of every single page on your site. If you create a collection, that collection will be automatically added to sitemap.xml.

Then, when you register your site with Google Search Console, you give it that same site map and it will check that periodically to make sure it has everything indexed. What could happen is that it helps your SEO, rank and the search phrases you are targeting. It may take a bit of time for everything to get indexed and work.

Help Doc: Finding and submitting your sitemap

A valuable email flow that often gets overlooked is the post purchase email series. When a customer buys the item and gets the order confirmation there is a peak of excitement. Then when the product arrives that’s another excitement peak, but there is a lull like trough in between. Maybe your customer is feeling some post purchase guilt you can alleviate them from! The trough is a true value add and customer service opportunity.

What to include in a post purchase email series:

  1. How to use the product
  2. Everything the product can do
  3. How to take care of the product
  4. How it will make the customer’s life easier
  5. How to return it
  6. Cool product accessories with a 10% off coupon

Give your customer’s the opportunity to ask you questions as well in these emails. This will help head off bad reviews if they know you are communicative.

Pro tip: Looking for some great examples to get some inspiration from? Check out Outdoor Voices. They have a reputation for having great transnational emails and products.

First off, this is really hard for businesses across the board to figure out. It’s part art and part science. I’ve seen several companies go bankrupt because they ordered too much based on the current demand, then the current demand dried up. I’ve seen businesses flooded with demand and rush order a lot of units at a much higher cost. To try to avoid some of these extreme scenarios, take a look at sales data over the last few months to predict how much you’ll need for the next few months ahead. Take into account all events, promotions, holidays and stops in production.

When you have new products though, you really don’t have any data yet. In this scenario it’s good to keep it small, unless you’re really really confident. Buying inventory is investing in your business and like all investments, there’s some risk there.

As a business owner there are so many things that become your job. My general rule of thumb for outsourcing in general is - delegate the parts of the business you hate doing, when the business has the means and extra revenue to do so. So when is it time to outsource marketing? When the business has spare revenue to pay for it and you don’t enjoy doing it.

I really recommend doing a DIY marketing strategy at first if you have the time, energy and inclination; then outsource it. The advantage to learning to do it yourself is that you’ll be able to talk the talk and have a better understanding of how it works. That way when you hire someone to take over, you can communicate and manage them better. Who knows, maybe you get lucky, you love it and are good at it.

Heatmapping is a way to analyze your website’s traffic. It will show you the differences between how you think people should use the website vs. how they actually use it. I like using Hotjar but a lot of people use Lucky Orange too.

Ask yourself these four questions and follow ups to optimize your website’s user experience and create more conversions.

  1. Are people clicking on things that do nothing?

    Follow up: If so, can you make it clickable in a way that makes sense? Or can you eliminate it to reduce confusion?

    For example: You might have product photos in a hero section, but clicking does nothing. In that case link out those products.
  2. What elements of the website are being ignored?

    Follow up: Are these areas just taking up space and increasing load time? Can you remove those areas to streamline the page?
  3. What are the priority areas that 80% of people are going to?

    Follow up: How can you make those high traffic areas easier for the majority of people?
  4. Did people scroll all the way to the bottom of your page without taking action?

    Follow up: What did they click on in the footer? Is that something you can make more obvious at the top of the page?

Why did I agonize over purchasing a Chateau Picard hoodie from the official CBS merch store?

Strap in 'cause we're going to space in this entirely unsolicited screencast of a 38-year-old man buying some Trekkie gear.

$0 - $100K

Nail the cornerstone of your messaging and positioning. Who’s buying this? Why are they buying it? What pain am I solving? When you understand and can communicate that, then you can target your customer. Life gets a lot easier. Plaster this cornerstone messaging everywhere so it’s clear to you, the customer and everybody else. All of this assumes you’re offering something that people want. Until you put your product out there and ask people to buy, you’re not gonna know if they want it or not.

$100K - $1MM

This stage is really about finding a traffic source that scales and works for you. Let’s say hypothetically the right channel is Facebook ads. You can outsource the content and figure out what works and then bring it in house. After that, you can make and churn out content nonstop. Double down on the right channel, get really good at it and just scale, scale, scale with laser focus.

Pro tip: Get your email right at this stage too. It’s an owned channel and the engine of your business machine. You might be able to get to one million without email, but you won't be able to get to five million without it.

$1MM - $5MM

You broke one million and you are ready to keep your business growing. Make sure you pause to celebrate and acknowledge all the small wins along the way. To keep things flowing at this stage you will want to build solid systems, processes and teams.

For the readers: I recommend these books, in this order, to help you through each stage of your business.

  1. E-Myth
  2. Ask
  3. Product Launch Formula
  4. Traction