Find and fix your revenue leaks
Shopify Growth Specialist
You and your Shopify store are probably making a lot less money than you should be.
If you haven't gone searching for and fixing your revenue leaks, you could be losing out on boatloads of profits. To make things worse, that means you are also throwing away some of the time and money you invest in getting traffic to your site.
A Revenue leak is what happens when you lose money that would otherwise be yours because of problems that are fixable and preventable.
Picture a pipeline of money that flows through your Shopify store and out to your bank account. Now picture dollars flowing out of a hole in that pipe, spilling out into a deep, dark hole in the ground. You watch your hard-earned profits, simply falling away into the abyss.
The bad news is that you will never see that particular lost money again. The good news is that once you realize the leak exists, patching it is not that hard. You can start getting more money flowing all the way to the end of the pipe, and straight into your bucket.
Leaks can spring up in different places
Revenue leaks can spring up in all different areas of your conversion funnel.
- Not understanding your customer's motivations or language leads to ad copy that doesn't work.
- A design element or app doesn't work well on a major browser or mobile platform, trashing your conversion rate.
- You don't have a good post-purchase email marketing plan, so your lifetime customer value is low.
- Passive language neuters your calls-to-action, so they don't convert well.
- You share great content through social media, but you aren't using the same platforms as the majority of your buyers.
Any one of these leaks could significantly hurt your bottom line, but combined all together, they can put a huge strain on your business and ability to be profitable.
My dad has done plumbing work for decades. Pretty frequently, he has someone call him with the same problem. Their water bill is higher than it should be, and they don't know why. The water is leaving the pipe somewhere, but the homeowner isn't using it. The exact locations aren't always obvious, so how do you find the leak?
Sometimes it's easy to find. Water will trail down and make a puddle, or it can be heard spraying against the inside of a wall. If the leak is outdoors and underground, it may take a lot of digging and guessing until you find the right spot.
The good news is that a Shopify store can find their revenue leaks without guessing and hoping. There are some obvious places to look, and some less obvious. But if you know what you are doing and you have the right tools, you can find and fix the leak.
Tools for the job
My 3 favorite tools for finding revenue leaks in an online store are all free or low cost. They may take a little time to learn and implement, but it's well worth it to know that your revenue isn't falling out into the abyss.
Google Analytics let's you get deep into your site and understand where your traffic comes from, what they do, and how they move through your site. Some GA items that can produce quick wins when looking for leaks:
- Where your purchasing traffic comes from
- OS/browser/device specific conversion rates
- Pages with high bounce or exit rates (Find out where people abandon carts)
- What search terms people use when trying to find something on your site
- Look for long page load times (Which mercilessly kill conversion rates)
Customer Surveys give you an easy way to find out direct from your customers what they want, how they think about it, and the words they use when searching for products like yours. If you had a real psychic on staff, you still couldn't do better at reading your customers minds than you can with a survey.
What you are really looking for here is to find out how your target market thinks and talks about your products and their relationship to those products. You want to make sure that you are using the same language and that your marketing matches their needs.
Heatmaps can show you visually how people interact with your site. I personally use and love Hotjar, as it offers several tools to help with leak finding and CRO.
- Scroll depth maps
- Click Maps
- Cursor maps
- Live user recordings
- Pop-up user feedback and surveys
You can find out more about using heatmaps right here.
With these tools, you can find revenue leaks and move on to the next phase.
Once you have found a leak, you need to fix it. You don't want a superficial, band aid fix. Dig down to the root cause and actually address the issue.
If you have long page load times that are killing your conversions, find out why.
- Are your image file sizes huge? - Optimize them
- Have you installed an app or plugin that is taking forever to load? - Eliminate or replace it
Or let's say you know from Google Analytics that a specific call to action isn't working, you already have half the problem solved. Now, what is wrong with it?
- Is it placed somewhere that most visitors don't see it?- Move it
- Is it too passive to inspire action? - Make it action-focused
- Does it focus on solving a customer problem? - Make sure it matters to the customer
Maybe the contact information page in your checkout process has a huge number of dropouts. Using Hotjar, you can see that when they get to the "phone number" field, many people exit immediately.
- Do you really need their phone number? If not, remove the field.
- If you DO need their phone number, tell them why, and reassure them you'll never sell it or use it for marketing calls.
Each problem will require a unique solution, but it will be well worth it. Starting the moment you fix that leak, you keep that much more money in your pipeline.
Some fixes won't really need to be monitored and measured. If your page load times are long, or something is broken… just fix it. It's good to see changes, but that is not something you need to test.
If you are changing an element of your design or copywriting, you should measure the effect and make sure that the changes do what you want them to do. Measure the metric you want to change before and after you alter anything. If you don't get the result you want, test another possible solution.
Obviously, the end goal we want is more money in the bank, but that is not always the metric to measure. Small wins lead to bigger wins.
If fewer people bounce from your landing pages, that is a good thing. If your product page loads faster, that is a good thing.
There is always the possibility that fixing one thing just be the first step toward that uncovers another problem. That's a good thing, too. Each problem you fix is another one not hurting your bottom line.
If you want to learn more, this piece is one of many about data-driven growth for Shopify stores.