Quick-Wins for Your E‑Commerce Store Through COVID‑19

  • Strategy
  • March 23, 2020
  • by Eve Rouse
  • 6 minute read

Things are a bit chaotic everywhere right now — and magic wands are proving hard to find. However, we want to help where we can. So we’ve put together some quick-win suggestions to help your Shopify store’s conversion and AOV during the COVID-19 crunch.

Checkout Upsells

Upselling, as part of your checkout flow, is an easy way to increase AOV (Average Order Value). If it feels too hard-sell for your brand, then know there are subtle ways to achieve it, such as promoting small, additional purchases that complement what’s already in the customer’s basket.

Make it as easy as possible, with a one-click addition. Position the product so that adding it to the order is almost a no-brainer. Note: this is especially effective if you highlight that an addition to basket might also mean free shipping!

Charitable Donation

Many brands add an ability to donate to charity within their checkout function. Often, it helps show customers when a brand’s socially conscious. Some brands allow customers to add a charity donation and receive free shipping on the back of it.

COVID-19: adding a charity that’s specifically helping relief efforts for COVID-19 gives your customer even more reason to shop with you now, than your competitors. Especially if you’ll give them free shipping in exchange for a donation—they gain from doing good (even better!).


Content, by way of a blog, is always a winner. But first things first: how are your product descriptions looking? Make sure they lead with the benefit, not the feature, and keep them snappy.

And how else could you be using content to help people understand your product more? Mini-tutorials, step-by-steps, and video talk-throughs can be effective.

Got limited capacity? There are other, quicker ways to add content to your site if this is the case. Adding UGC, reviews and pictures is relatively easy and can be done through apps.

COVID-19: what’s crucial in all your content right now is to be clear and to be sensitive. But there’s also opportunity to get creative. Aim for content that entertains and adds value—and think outside-the-box. Brands like Aarmy are doing IG live work outs for those working remotely, whilst Chipotle are holding virtual lunch parties to get people together online, “Chipotle Together”. Let’s lift spirits where we can!

Shipping & Returns

Other areas that could lend you a helping hand include Shipping and Returns. Could you get some Shipping promotions live to encourage conversion? Those with a minimum spend threshold should also help to up AOV.

COVID-19: be sure to have clear, regularly updated information on how your shipping and returns may be impacted. If possible, offer no-contact delivery options, if you aren’t already (and if you are, make sure your customers know about this!). Consider visiting your returns’ policy and extending the window to give your customers a little more time.

Gift Cards

There’s a tonne of benefits to having gift cards in your offering, both to your brand (through visibility and loyalty) and to your customers (through convenience and choice).

COVID-19: a huge part of the population is social distancing right now, and could be for a while. It’s likely gift-givers will be turning to what they can give digitally: enter, gift cards!

On-site Messaging

When shopping online, you don’t get the friendly faces, the big smiles, or the welcoming chit-chat that you do with bricks. On-site messaging, however, provides a great way to add the same sorts of personal touches, through real-time communication.

COVID-19: being right there for your customers (whether that be from your brand HQ, or your home set-up) is key amidst all this uncertainty. With this pandemic, things are changing rapidly. On-site messaging gives the option of a speedy response and the reassurance that comes with knowing it’s available.

On-site Search

Another thing we can look to is on-site search. The tech’s there to optimize your customers’ searches and boost the rate at which they convert.

One benefit it brings is smart search analysis, letting you uncover the very products your customers give up on trying to find. Use this data to highlight such products on your homepage, and regain lost sales.

Speaking of lost sales, don’t let typos, or even vague searches get in the way. Use on-site search to widen your catalog with contextually relevant synonyms and alternative spellings to products. E.g. ‘eye jel’ returning eye gel (what your customers are actually after) as opposed to zilch.

Driving conversion whilst helping your customers get to where they want to be is a win-win.

Abandoned-Cart Emails

On average, 78% of carts are abandoned and there are so many reasons why. Turning on your abandoned-cart emails can help tackle this, and really drive conversion.

Many brands fear abandoned-cart emails because they seem too ‘salesy’ or they’re reluctant to give away a discount. But that’s not their sole purpose. Instead, why not try letting your customer know you’re saving their cart, and using the email to remind them of your shipping rates or times, highlight some product reviews, or let them know they can email you any questions.

COVID-19: if you have abandoned-cart emails already, it's maybe worth updating the copy. Be sure to let customers know of any updates to shipping times, what you’re doing to keep them safe, and if you’ve implemented things like an extended returns' policy.


Offering your product in a way that works is as much a science as it is an art: from researching what’ll work for who, to perfectly packaging-up bundles.

How about trying new bundles? Use your reporting to see which products are frequently bought together. This can help you create bundles or gift sets to sell more stock.

Think about loyalty too. A great way to increase secondary purchases is by offering free samples with each purchase, so customers can try before they buy.

COVID-19: if there’s ever a time to bundle your products, it’s now! There's a great opportunity amidst COVID-19, to talk about your product in a different way. If you’re a beauty brand, for example, how about creating a tutorial on an at-home facial (and creating an offer including all the products used)? If you sell cheese, why not recommend cheeses with matching wines for an at-home cheese and wine night? Get creative: there are stacks of ways you can be flexible with your offering to help potential customers find what they need or what they’re missing out on.

Page Load Speed

They say “time is money”, and your page load speed’s no exception. Be sure to put your site through speed tests like Pingdom and Google’s pagespeed insights. These pull out quick-wins for improvement, like optimizing image sizes or adding lazy loading (and lots more!).

Custom 404 Page

Putting your site through a broken link checker should squash those nasty 404s to a minimum. But in the event that a customer does get your 404 page, why not have one in place that could work to your advantage?

A standard error message isn’t a great look. Liven it up with something a little different, whether that’s through thoughtful animation, a quirky scroll effect, or some sharp, simple copy.

COVID-19: negative news is rippling across our screens every day. Use your 404 page to inject a little humour and give someone out there a smile—even if it be for a few seconds!


Eve Rouse

Eve joined us in 2019 and has been distilling our team's technical knowledge into digestable content ever since. Aside from writing, Eve's also interested in comms, R&B music, EQ and human behavior.

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