Does optimizing pagination on sites move the needle that much. I've noticed that product pages and home pages rank well for my store but it would seem as if the category pages should be doing better than they are. I'm wondering if this could be due to the fact that categories in my shop could have up to ten pages of products and each page withing the category has similar meta descriptions and page titles becase I haven't seen a way to modify it in Shopify when the page is paginated. Is it worth taking the time to optimize the pagination with the rel=prev and rel=next the way I have read and heard on the internet? Is that technique possible on the Shopify platform?
I don't believe it should be your first priority to add in rel=prev and rel=next, Google is generally familiar with pagination, and although it helps on certain sites, it's not super critical.
If you want category pages to do better I'd focus on them a bit more.
If you're serious about optimizing the 1st page of each category, I'd look into adding unique content to that page rather than just a list of products. Make it a destination page, not just a navigational page. Home Depot and some other larger brands like West Elm do a good job of this.