🥗 Just Checking In

4 ways to improve your checkout conversion rate

Hey there,

Welcome back for another bite to chew on.

So you’re getting traffic to your store, add-to-carts left and right, you’re seeing customers get to the checkout zone

Aaaand they’re gone.

So you’re going back to marketing asking “Why are we not converting?”

If you’ve ignored your checkout journey, then there’s your answer. 

We know this is a huge topic, though…

It requires more detail and discussion given the breadth of information that surrounds checkout optimization. 

So if you’ve got 30 minutes to learn about improving your brand’s CRO…

Then check out our latest Chew On CRO episode — diving into every metric from analyzing declining conversion rates, adjusting content strategy, tracking new user behavior, and more.

Ok back to the newsletter — let’s break down the biggest pitfall of the customer journey and a couple of ways you can improve it.

Damn…We Almost Got ‘Em

The main topic we get questions on — and what is honestly the key metric for checkout optimization

Is cart abandonment.


Because it helps you understand what an appropriate baseline is in terms of those who enter checkout and complete a purchase 

And if you’re not within that baseline — there are optimizations to be made

If it’s a matter of poor UX, a broken sales funnel, a bad design, or poor display of branding 

Then here you’ll learn why orders go to die in your cart — and what you can do to seal the deal.

There are a couple factors that go into this that we want to highlight from our own experience.

  • Design

Other than making it look pretty, you need to make sure that branding is fluid from top to bottom and the tools within the checkout zone are frictionless.

What we mean by this is that all cart upsells, shipping info, product info, and every piece of information listed on the checkout page needs to align with your brand, be clear, and be easy to understand.

It builds trust in the customer because branding consistency demonstrates legitimacy

It creates loyal customers by having a seamless and easy UX. 

And that overwhelming feeling & confusion from distracting headers, confusing upsell offers, or unclear shipping info? Gone.

Speaking of shipping info — let’s talk about how people have no patience these days.

  • Shipping details

You know when you’re on Amazon and you see that promised delivery date and feel a combo of excitement and comfort?

So do your customers.

And if they see this on your site – they’ll feel the same and be more inclined to buy, just like you.

In fact, 27% of customers are more likely to buy if they see a promised delivery date. 

AKA people don’t like to wait, period. 

They want to receive things seamlessly and FAST.

So whether it’s giving them a specific date, offering same-day delivery to those that qualify, or giving easy-to-understand shipping options for them to choose from at their convenience

They’ll be way more comfortable and secure in buying from your brand. 

PrettyDamnQuick is the tool we use to optimize our checkout conversion rate.

They drill down into our 3PL data, so we can improve communication with our shipping, delivery, and returns.

And since we started with them, we’ve been able to really understand our shipping situation AND add over $30 to customers’ LTV.

So we partnered up with them and created a resource all about premium delivery – what it is, why it’s important, and how to effectively implement it.

Ok shameless plug over

While the above points are vital, there is a hidden hard spot that you may even be facing

This is the industry-based problem - for add to cart and AOV

Best way to explain this is with a quick example:

So let’s take the fashion industry

If you’re on H&M’s, Zara’s, True Classic’s, or whoever’s site

How many times have you done this yourself: you go on, browse and shop around, add a bunch of stuff to your cart, and exit. 

We’ve done it and you know you have too. 

This is a version of cart abandonment called the wish list

Where people add items they’d like to have and maybe they’ll buy them…maybe

And what happens to you?

Your add-to-cart rate is inflated 15 - 23% vs the general rule of thumb of being between 12-18%.

So depending on your industry, you need to work within your own guard rails, keep in mind where your brand lies, and if you’re over or under-indexed on add to cart.

You Need To Prove Yourself

Now what do we mean by this?

Social proof!

If you’re thinking “We’ve done this, we have customers that love our products and enough reviews to prove ourselves.”

Well, you need to take that, and plaster it on your checkout zone.

Ok…not plaster…but make it seen.

You’re reminding them that whatever your product does, it does it well and it’s worth buying 

Because think about it – they’ve done the research, they’ve looked at reviews, and they’re inclined to get it

So to secure that purchase, give ‘em a nudge and remind them why they wanted the product in the first place.   

So for Obvi, for example, our products revolve around collagen and weight loss

What works for us is showing real customer submissions of their before and afters and then testimonials/reviews.

If you look at Obvi’s Collagenic Burn, scroll down the page, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

A bonus way to prove yourself is the money-back guarantee feature

Show how confident you are in your own product by telling your customers that in 90 days if the product is not working, you get your money back.

The security this gives customers is outstanding – and your checkout rate will show it. 

We’ve seen these as the easiest ways to build trust with your customer.

Show real people using the products, show a sense of community, and give them a way to clear any doubt or worry in purchasing – your conversion rate will thank you.

Don’t Be Scared Of Upsells 

Now this area in the checkout zone can be tricky for some.

For upsells, we’ve been through hell and back figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t

We recommend A/B testing everything to see what SKUs perform the best — and what deals hit the most.

For us, we’ve found that our upsell winners tend to be discounted complementary products and Obvi merch.

But the BIGGEST reason for the success of these upsells is our community — they love our products, our brand, and are more than happy to show off their loyalty with some Obvi merchandise.

So A/B test which products work the best for your brand, and discount them to create even more incentive to complete the order. 

The result:

  • Educating on more of your products 

  • Saving them money

Let’s use Burn again as our example 

Add Burn to cart

Now what they see in checkout is Obvi’s Detox supplement

This is another product we have that they may have not known about, so you’re educating them on other products your brand has to offer

Slap a discount on it 

(+ that money-back guarantee can come into play)

And now if money is the reason they were abandoning ship, they’re now more willing to shell out a little bit more, with confidence.  

Reward Them

So let’s say they checked out, how do you get them to come back? 

As CAC surges, loyalty and rewards programs are some of the best incentives for retention. 

It works for both sides — they buy because they can build up points, and they come back to build up points. 

What we did was create a rewards program where you earn points at different steps of the customer journey – from making an account, to placing an order, joining our FB community, downloading our app, and more. 

This way it’s not just targeted at returning users, but for everyone. 

There are numerous tools to do this so just see what works best for you

But this solution may be limited to people on Shopify+ 

Before, what they used to do is let you customize your checkout process

Now they’ve moved towards checkout extensibility where only approved apps are allowed to utilize loyalty programs, upsells, shipping, etc 

So if you’re on the fence of upgrading to Shopify+, you have enough benefits and options to optimize checkout laid out for you. 

Depending on your brand and products, figure out what rewards structure works best for you, and find a way to apply it to different steps of the customer journey. 

Make it easy & incentivize the program, so they'll want to gather more points and work up the ladder. 

Tool Of The Week

So we can all agree that optimizing each part of the business is the goal

From checkout, to cash flow, to sales, to data analysis and more. 

But no matter how big or small your team is

Everyone’s goal is to deliver products your customers love. 

And the last thing you want to do is spend hours every week untangling data headaches.

This is especially true every time there’s a new iOS update. The data issues start rolling out, the stress comes in… 

And your hair starts going gray. 

So naturally, as iOS 14.5 was rolling out, we needed a solution…desperately.

At first, we tried to do this ourselves… 

We went the Shopify CAPI route, then hired a tracking expert, and even tested all sorts of different tools

But all options came up short - and we were still stuck.

Thankfully, our community came in clutch,

(i.e YOU)

We had turned to all the members of our community for help - and a bunch of them recommended Elevar

With numerous recommendations and more 5-star reviews than we can count,

We figured, “We’ve tried it all, so we may as well give this a shot.”

Once we put Elevar's server-side tracking and session enrichment into action

our marketing platforms began showing 20-30% more attributed purchases, with 99% accuracy.

Now our hair doesn’t fall out…as much

Because of Elevar, we have a strong confidence in our data across platforms and aren’t leaving money on the table.

Upcoming Events

This summer, we’re doing something huge!

We’re going to be speaking at SubSummit from June 17 - 19th — from doing a live Chew On This podcast, hosting our own dinner event and talking all things retail with Obvi

There will be value coming out of your ears by the time you’re done.

Grab your tickets here for our COT event and check out ALL our upcoming events

We can’t wait to see you there.

Thanks For Reading Along

We hope this newsletter gives you a bit more insight into problem areas in your customer journey.

Cart abandonment, checkout design, shipping, social proof, rewards, and everything we discussed are just a few of the various aspects of checkout optimization. 

This is just what we do within each and what’s worked for us. 

We always say anyone can learn from anyone

So if you have some tips and tricks of your own, tweet us – Ron’s Twitter & Ash’s Twitter

We’d love to hear what strategies you’ve applied, what tools you use, and how you’re approaching CRO.

Until next time,

Ron & Ash