Your Shopify store sales and customer base have been steadily increasing….. but suddenly it stagnates. You try out every technique you find online but nothing works. Sound familiar? One of the most frustrating parts of running an eCommerce business is a lack of feedback from customers. It’s hard to know exactly what you’re doing right or wrong and when you’ve run out of ideas to try, it can feel like you’ve hit a dead end. If your store is not hitting your goals despite your good efforts, it might be time to consider a Shopify store audit. In this guide I’ll walk you through the ins and outs of a Shopify audit. When you finish reading, you will be confident about what a store audit is and how to use the results to improve your store and achieve your goals!
An audit is an evaluation process that a 3rd party goes through to inspect and identify any issues. A Shopify store audit specifically conducts a deep dive into your site and identifies any problems and suggests improvements. Depending on the focus, the audit can revolve around your backend processes, user experience, marketing, SEO or something else. However the best audits are done with a holistic view in mind while thinking of your top goals.
ECommerce is a hyper-competitive world and you need to explore every possible way to get ahead and stand out. You have tried many solutions on your own however they have not given you the results you need. Time is money and you need actionable solutions specific to you to reach your goals fast. That’s where a store audit comes in. In order to stand out, you need an audit tailored to your specific industry, business type, values, culture and goals. A Shopify store audit by an experienced professional can provide a fresh new perspective from your store and bring you new ideas to push you to the next level.
A Shopify store audit is a deep dive of your entire store that encompasses your industry’s trends and competitors. Store audits normally consist of an evaluation process, exploration into the front and backend, a writeup and a meeting to go over the audit results.
It’s important to have a clear goal in mind before reaching out to professionals about an audit for your store. Is your main problem retention, a high bounce rate or low conversion? Are you struggling with how to expand your offerings in a sustainable way? Or are you not getting traffic to your site and you don’t know why? Without a goal, an audit will only be a general guide rather than a tailored document for future decision making.
Many agencies and individuals offer comprehensive Shopify store audit services. We at Plentiful Commerce offer Shopify store audits to small and medium sized businesses using our process above. We’re a small studio that is committed to every client that we work with and treat their success as our own. You can find a deep dive of our Shopify store audit process in our services and pricing guide
Another resource is the Shopify Experts platform. It contains a directory with hundreds of approved agencies all over the world.
No matter who you choose to go with, be prepared to provide data about your store. Some important reports to provide are your customer profiles, sales, and analytics. It speeds up the discovery process to determine if you are a mutual fit and if your goals are reasonable.
Someone who works mainly with DTC brands might not have the context and overall experience necessary to serve you if you are a B2B or wholesale company, and vice versa. It’s important to know that your auditor is knowledgeable about your industry. They will naturally learn more about you and your business model through the evaluation process, but having some context and background information can help everyone start off on the right foot.
Someone who has been immersed in the ecommerce world will have more insights and know of cutting-edge technology and strategies that other companies have used. One of the most valuable parts of an audit is that the auditor can take their experience serving other clients and apply it to your business in ways that you haven’t thought of.
The company should ideally lay out their site audit process on their website so you can see if it is in line with your expectations. It should show that they have thought ahead and have experience auditing and provide good advice. You might find through their process that you are actually looking for another type of audit service or wanting to focus on a more specific part of your business, such as SEO.
A Shopify audit document is a rich guide to base your future business decisions. You might have received a long list of improvements but remember it is not set in stone. Although the auditor learned a great deal about your business and industry, they are not running your business and don’t work on it day in and day out. So for every point that they suggest, see if it would actually work for your business. Don’t be afraid to ask the professional for their thought process for suggestions you think might not necessarily apply to you. But also be open to new perspectives that you didn’t think of and could be innovative for your business.
Once you’ve decided on the suggestions that work for you, the next step is to implement suggestions. Depending on the complexity of the suggestions, you might be able to complete them in-house. However, if there are suggestions that you cannot implement or you want to completely outsource the work, ask the auditor to do it for you. It is a good idea to have the person or organization who performed the audit to also implement the changes. They understand the context of your business, don’t need a debrief of the audit document and what you want done and can finish the changes faster.
Once the changes are implemented, make sure to track the specific goal or goals you had for the audit. Do an evaluation in the 30, 60 and 90 day mark to see if there are large improvements. If one suggestion achieved your goal more than the others, that would be a good indication to hone in on that part of your business and take more time to improve it even more.
Site audits can be a powerful tool to get to the next level in your business. Having custom-tailored advice with your goals in mind is an invaluable resource that will save your time, money and effort in the long run. Hopefully with these tips you come away understanding the process of a site audit, how to find the right person to conduct it and how to maximize that information to improve your business.