Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a process by which positive impact is incrementally made to your sales figures, through improvements that are identified.
With the introduction of online shopping, social commerce and digital advertising, the shopping experience can take many paths before a purchase is made. There are myriad paths a consumer can take on the journey to becoming your customer. It could all start from seeing an ad on Google that directs a visitor to your site, before leaving without purchasing, then coming back later after being retargeted, before reading some reviews online, then finally buying from you a week later. So many processes!
With this in mind, it’s important than you do everything ethically possible to predict customer behaviour and guide them on the right path. This is where CRO comes in. CRO is all about removing friction, encouraging actions, creating a superb customer experience and ultimately, moving your website visitors to a point where they will buy from you – and keep coming back.
What Are The Benefits of CRO?
1. More Sales
CRO helps you lord how your customers interact with your website and the routes they follow toward conversion. It also helps you get more of your traffic to exactly where you want them on your site. It makes it easier for a purchase to be made.
2. Makes Better Use of Current Traffic
One great benefit it presents is that it works with existing traffic which is already flowing into your store. CRO isn’t about driving more traffic from external sources, it ensures the visitors already coming to your store are maximized. It does everything to turn them into buying customers. Once you have optimized your site, a page or a flow, you really start to capitalize on the traffic your Shopify store already receives through organic and paid marketing efforts.
3. Improved Profit Margin
As little as a modest improvement in conversion rate can lead to a sizable increase in profit. This is because you’re simply improving on an organic process that results in more sales, without any cost implications such as advertising.
4. Keeps You Customer-Focused
CRO understands your customers, what they want, and how to sell it to them. It can help in both of these areas and keep you focused on your customer base.
5. Can Positively Impact SEO
Your visitors browsing, and ultimately making a purchase before leaving to just entering then quickly leaving your site to Google is the best. It shows your store is delivering exactly what visitors are looking for, which is algorithmically positive and can lead to Google serving your site in the SERPs (search engine results pages) more often, and higher up, for relevant queries.
6. A better website
The ultimate result of a better website can be brought to life by CRO based on better decision-making. It’s better for you, as it drives more revenue, and also for your customers, as they get to enjoy a superb user experience that makes it easy for them to buy from you repeatedly.
What Is A Good E-commerce Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate represents the ratio of people who make the complete switch- that is from visiting to purchasing.
The objective of CRO is to increase your rate of conversion from the traffic you already have. If this can be increased to 2% or even 3%, you’ve effectively doubled or tripled your customer numbers without bringing in new traffic to your website.
How To Work Out Your Conversion Rate
It’s easy to work out your conversion rate – simply divide the total number of conversions, by the total number of visitors. For example:
100 conversions 2,000 website visitors
100 ÷ 2,000 = 0.05% conversion rate
You can measure its growth and what impact it will have on your business when it changes. When you are aware of and track your website’s conversion rate. You can set clear forecasts and goals and utilize CRO amends to increase sales, basket value, repeat business, and profits.
What Conversion Metrics Should You Consider?
Although there are lots of ways to evaluate what success looks like on your site, the best way still remains being specific about what metrics you track and how you measure them. Here are some examples of conversion metrics to evaluate on your ecommerce store.
This refers to submissions of your onsite enquiry form, a live chat dialogue, an email, phone call, registration to an event, or download of content.
Sales Numbers (Revenue)
Track number of products, value of baskets, source, channel, campaign and new vs returning customers.
This helps you know who saw your content, and how many clicked through. It helps you see how your CTAs, copy and designs are performing. This works well in conjunction with A/B testing.
Cost Per Acquisition
This lets you understand how much a new customer costs you. Ideally, you would want your CPA to be lower than the revenue spent by that new customer so you remain profitable!
As mentioned earlier, simply divide the total number of conversions, by your total number of visitors.
How To Improve Conversion Rates
When the best approach to conversion rate is followed, optimisation allows for continuous evolution towards your goals. Our Growth, Optimisation and CRO specialists have developed a robust process that incorporates the following steps for incremental success:
1. ‘What do you want to achieve?’
This is the first question we ask all our clients – it helps us to know what their business goals are all about and how we can help them.
Our optimization experts will use a number of techniques and tools at their disposal, to create a comprehensive audit, which gathers data and identifies areas of friction on the website which are suppressing sales.
Based on the knowledge that we expect to have the greatest impact on the bottom line, the recommendations from the audit are prioritized in a roadmap of activity.
We launch our roadmap and implement the changes to the site, measuring against hypotheses and monitoring the impact the amendments have on conversions.
By constantly analyzing and reviewing the changes we make, we’re able to understand the impact they’re having and tweak or amend in order to maximize the value from them.
CRO is not a one-off exercise – every brand’s audience, and ecommerce itself, are constantly evolving, and there are always ways to enhance performance by reviewing and tweaking an online store.
Common CRO Amends and Tools
A/B or split testing is a process in which versions of a variable (such as onpage elements like imagery, a CTA, a headline or copy) are shown to two different segments of your site visitors at the same time to determine which has the most impact. The data from these experiments enables better decisions to be made about changes to your website by demonstrating the best way to solve onsite issues or optimize a particular element for better results.
Google Analytics is a free tool which allows for gathering invaluable information about visitors to your site and their behavior. You get to create funnels that give insights, such as, how far along the conversion path customers get and where the main drop-off points are. It helps you review and improve those parts of the journey.
Site Speed Improvements
Slow website speed leaving a vestige on e-commerce results is a known fact. It impedes the customer’s journey so you get to lose sales. We have tips that help in understanding website speed and how you can take steps to optimize your Shopify site for speed.
CRO work can help avoid lost sales from slow loading pages or broken customer journeys.
Through this, you get better insight on who your customers are. By speaking directly to them, you can design your site and content around this, and make decisions based on demographics, values, lifestyle and behavior to help increase your conversion rate.
User Research, Surveys and Feedback
Surveying your visitors helps you provide insight into what is working, and where there is opportunity for improvement. There might be a difficult part of the user journey that you haven’t considered or perhaps your visitors have a question about your service or product that your website doesn’t answer?
Surveys are important tools users gather feedback from real visitors and learn about businesses and product are viewed externally. Use tools like heat maps and user behavior stats to inform your decisions to make site improvements.
CRO vs UX
Conversion rate optimization and user experience work hand-in-hand, as they both would help a website work more effectively in its goals.
The major difference is that user experience gives details how a person feels when they use the website. It gives a deeper view of what users need and value. It also talks about their abilities and limitations when using your site.
CRO, as earlier discussed, has its mind set on activities that would increase the percentage of people on the site who would eventually become customers.
CRO can tell what is happening on your site, while UX gives reasons why it is happening. CRO may confirm that page variant A performs better than page variant B, but UX lets you see why it is better.
The benefits of CRO are clear – performance can be improved and more sales can be generated from the traffic that you’re already getting through iterative changes to be effected to your store. So what now? If you’re interested in learning more about how our Optimization and Growth Specialists can help you improve your store, generate more sales and create brand evangelists, simply get in touch and they’ll be happy to have a chat.