Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a growing phenomenon amongst digital marketers and businesses. More businesses are allocating a budget to invest in a conversion rate optimisation agency because they realise now that it works.
However, sometimes there may be some skepticism amongst senior management and key decision makers when trying to outline a conversion rate optimisation strategy. Most people are after hiring out and giving budget to SEO agencies or PPC agencies.
We understand that, and we are here to help you get the best out of your proposal with some quick fire ideas to take to the table for your next meeting.
Before we get to the detail, we want to clarify this – if you are running the program, or intend to do the program alone, then you need to make sure you have enough data points to make meaningful hypotheses, understand results and act upon them.
If you are hiring a conversion rate optimisation agency, then they should be well adept in doing this for you. Just remember, a conversion rate optimisation specialist should be transparent with you and your goals should always align.
Most of our clients have a long partnership with us as we believe conversion rate optimisation is more of a long run game, like the famous Japanese method of Kaizen – continuous improvement.
A key benefit of conversion rate optimisation is that it is not biased on where conversions are improved. Therefore, if you are focusing on SEO or PPC, a solid ecommerce conversion rate optimisation strategy will work across all channels.
When looking for hypotheses to test on the website, there may be times where you hit a block and cannot think of any testing opportunities. No worries, we have been there before! Here are some ideas that you can take to the table to convince your team you need to start CRO’ing the heck out of your website.
CRO Strategy: Image Carousel vs Static Image
We have seen it across many websites, and quite possibly, there could be a chance it is on yours. Do you have a hero banner on the homepage with multiple images that change every 2 or 3 seconds? Or changes when you click on the chevrons? What message is being displayed when a user lands on the page?
The most common mistake is that there are elements within this carousel banner that are important but are not visible on load. For example, while there may be a sitewide 10% offer banner as the first image seen, the website also has another banner promoting a limited time product range.
The idea is to think about the customer experience and their journey. When a user lands on a page, do they wait for the banners to load? Do they use the chevrons to navigate through the banner? Or are they looking to go to their dedicated category and proceed with their journey.
The best way to do this at first is to look at average time on page in Google Analytics. As you would be wanting Landing Page data, you would have to go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages and the page you are after is usually the one with the trailing slash as this is your homepage.
Remember, as you want landing page information, you would need to add a secondary dimension called Previous Page Path and look for the (entrance) as this would indicate this was a landing page session.
You can get information such as entrances, bounce rates, page value and the average time on page. If your average time on page is lower than the site average, then chances are your messages on the banners are being missed if they are in a carousel format.
Consider looking at what is the most important message you want to portray and run an experiment to see which works. You can test out offer messages, or product messages. The beauty of conversion rate optimisation testing is that you can run multiple variations at the same time, so you have a greater opportunity of finding out what works best for your customers.
When running the test, look at specific metrics for that page. For example, you would want to see if the Ecommerce Conversion Rate for that landing page has increased, and whether the page value has increased. You can also see if it results to more clicks to your destination pages – and see if that page has had a positive impact.
CRO Strategy: Delivery Information
We have become accustomed to seeing websites offering free delivery. At times, users would even leave their basket completely and go for another website that offers free delivery. Charging for delivery or having a high price qualifier for free delivery is detrimental to conversion rates.
An Econsultancy article found that 55% of users abandoned their basket because of delivery costs.
While we understand that free delivery tends to eat up on your margins, here are some strategies you could look at testing through a conversion rate optimization experiment.
- Compare conversions with and without a free delivery offer.
- Reduce or increase the minimum order value required for free delivery to see if margin is improved.
- Increase prices to compensate on margin and see if this has a positive or negative effect.
Also, there are solutions whereby you may offer free standard delivery, but if a customer wants it quicker then they will pay extra.
While many businesses are starting to offer free delivery, not all shout about it the same way. Some only let the customer know about the delivery fees at the cart or checkout stage – which at times can come as a surprise. If you offer free delivery, consider where you are placing the message.
For example, do you have this displayed only on the cart or checkout page? If so, consider having a message either at product level or on a benefit / USP bar to promote this.
When reporting on the success of the experiment, look at the overall uplift in sales and click-through’s where the message was highlighted.
CRO Strategy: Prominence of Search
A search bar on your website should be designed to enhance the user experience and allow the user to input a query and get a result related to that. An American Express blog wrote that the search function can provide key insights such as what users are inputting, how users convert, and what results appear.
As conversion rate optimisation specialists, when we are analysing data across our clients, we leave no stone unturned. Therefore, when analysing search behaviour, we notice that when visitors use the search function, they have a higher propensity to convert compared to those who do not use it.
If your search bar is difficult to find, hidden behind the magnifying glass, or surrounded by clutter, then you are at risk of making your users not utilise the function.
A good test you could propose is to make the search bar more prominent and consider a sticky search bar that follows the user as they scroll down a page.
CRO Strategy: Increasing checkout options
Giving customers the ability to choose which checkout method they want to go for is a positive conversion booster as it lets the user decide rather than use what’s made available by the company.
More customers are on mobile, meaning they already have features such as Google and Apple Pay, PayPal and Amazon installed and set up on their devices.
By having these options, a user can checkout much quicker than normal, which will add convenience and improve conversions.
CRO Strategy: Guest Checkout Ability
If you are selling direct to consumer, or business to consumer, then you should seriously consider this. We have seen several B2C websites that requires a user to register before they make a purchase. While you may think of this to be great for lead generation and building your database, this can have a negative effect on user experience.
According to a BigCommerce blog, anonymous checkout is important for first time customers. Forcing users to sign up before they complete a purchase can decrease conversion rates.
If you do this, consider looking at alternative options such as allowing a user to create an account later down the journey. If your cookies alert your site that the customer is a new user, then defaulting to a guest checkout rather than forcing them to sign in or register is the ideal way to go.
Reporting on Conversion Rate Optimisation Experiments
With each experiment, there is no one size fits all design. Everything is different according to your business, so when creating the experiments, consider what works best for you.
When you finish with an experiment, it does not mean that you have found the winner and should move on. You could still look at further enhancing the experiments by either changing imagery, wording, or colours.
When you report on conversion rate optimisation experiments, remember the key metrics you are looking for and understand whether your experiment is for a micro conversion or macro conversion. If you are unsure on what these terms are, read our blog on testing micro conversions.
The most important thing to understand is how you can calculate the long term benefit of each change. If you have segmented your audiences in Google Analytics, you can set out a 12 month model based on the difference in conversion rate between control and variation and set out an expected increase.
However, if an experiment failed, do not be disheartened. Go back to the drawing board and test it again. Your conversion rate optimisation agency should be prepared for stuff like this to happen, so you should not panic.
As previously mentioned, conversion rate optimisation focuses on continuous improvement, so if one variation did not work, look at the possible reasons and try again with a different variation.
Now that we have given you some quick fire ideas that will boost your conversions, use them to full effect! If you are working independently and manage all activities in-house, be sure to go through this and read our other marketing blog topics that should help you in your quest for domination.
If you would like to find out more about what we do and want to speak anything related to conversion rate optimisation, PPC & SEO, feel free to contact the team here at Williams Commerce, we’ll be happy to help.