CRO is not SEO.
CRO is not copying your competitors.
CRO is not based on gut feelings.
CRO is data. Analysed.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion Rate Optimisation represents the practice of increasing sales and leads from a website, without increasing the number of visitors (traffic). By optimising your conversion rate, you can get more clients to take action (buy from you) without spending money to increase the traffic to your website. In plain English that means: sales increase by taking advantage of your existing traffic. Also, by increasing your conversion rate you can cut your cost per acquisition, which means less money spent on PPC.
Conversion Rate Optimisation is well documented. It has been found that both small and big changes made to content or design can have a considerable effect on the number of people buying a product from a website. Examples come from companies who managed to increase their conversion rate by 90% and 21% respectively by changing one word in their copy, or the buy button colour (from green to red). Switch Video replaced “your” to “my” in their copy – Start my 30 day free trial.
Such examples make it obvious why conversion rate optimisation is so valuable and why it’s crucial for anyone who wants to increase sales. Such examples also make it obvious that conversion rate optimisation is purely based on data gathered from website traffic and made sales. Therefore, testing is a key factor when it comes to conversion rate optimisation. Tests can determine exactly whether a change leads to an increase or decrease in conversion rates. Without testing you are being left relying on gut instinct, or even worse on what competition does and that has never worked for anyone in the long term. The tests that can be run are virtually endless – different headlines can be tested, different calls to action, different colours.
In order to better understand conversion optimisation, it’s also important to think about the psychology behind web users. The psychology behind web users is often looked upon as unnecessary or too complicated. The truth is that it’s neither. By considering visitor psychology you’ll end up having happier visitors who are more likely to perform the actions you want them to.
Tips for Better Conversion Rates
#1: Create a Sense of Urgency and Scarcity
The sense of urgency and scarcity refers back to consumer behaviour, which takes us to the effects of supply and demand. Studies have been undertaken and the results suggest that products in scarce supply are more desirable than products in abundant supply. The concept of scarcity is closely related to the concept of urgency which suggests that if a product has a scarce supply/limited availability (special deal)/limited free next day delivery, then customers will be inclined to make the purchase immediately. Important reminder: don’t overdo do it, or it might backfire.
Some ways in which you could add a sense of urgency and scarcity to your website are:
- Stock Indicator – Keeping customers informed about stock levels can be seen both as a marketing technique, as well as a customer service one. On one hand, low stock levels can encourage customers to make a purchase immediately, or otherwise they might miss out on the product, on the other hand it can seen as a method of building trust through transparency, which is all about customer care. Therefore, by adding a (low) Stock Indicator to product pages can impact conversion rates.
- Free Shipping – Nowadays customers are always keeping an eye out for free stuff and free shipping is just as good. By offering free shipping for a limited time period or for a limited range of products will also encourage customers to purchase from you quicker. Before plunging into the world of free shipping, don’t forget to check your margins and see if free shipping wouldn’t eat into your profit too much.
- Limited Period Special Deals – Deals are just as loved as free stuff. Make sure to highlight the time remaining until the deal ends, the money saved and how many people before them have purchased the same item. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) explains more about the thought process behind limited period special deals and why they work so well. Booking.com is a good example of how the special deals technique works.
#2: Consider Visitor’s Experience
I cannot stress enough the importance of visitor’s experience. Let’s put it this way – imagine you go into a shop to buy milkshake straws. Once getting there, you spend 15 minutes going through the aisles hoping to find what you need. While doing that, you stumble upon in store promoters trying to sell you stuff you don’t need which almost makes you forget what you were after initially. When you get to the checkout you realise the shop doesn’t take card payments and you have no cash on you. You leave the shop frustrated and with no milkshake straws. Fair to say that’s a quite poor shopping experience, right?
The above scenario can easily be applied to online shops as well. Let’s have a look at some ways that can improve visitor’s experience on your website:
- Easy to Understand Landing Pages – Make sure the product page is easy to understand and doesn’t draw the customer’s eyes away from the call to action (buy button/add to basket).
- Price clearly displayed – Ensure the price is displayed correctly on the product page. The VAT inclusion/exclusion should also be visible.
- Delivery Costs – Delivery costs can easily make the difference between winning or losing a customer. Make sure delivery costs and time are visible and fair.
- Payment Methods – The more, the merrier. Having more payment methods means you can accommodate everybody’s payment needs.
#3: Offer as Much Product/Service Info as Possible
Many eCommerce websites still struggle with poor content, although content is one of the most important factors when it comes to the eCommerce industry. Here I’ve explained more about the role and importance of high quality content. Try to:
- Be Descriptive – Have unique and relevant product information. People want to know what they are buying. ExpressWriters or FatJoe provide good writing services.
- Use Imagery – Good quality, crisp images are always a bonus. Try to present products from different angles by also offering an indication of size. People want to know what they are buying.
Conversion Rate Optimisation can be a long winded process, but it can not only bring in more sales but also cut cost per acquisition for new incoming traffic. There are countless ways of optimising conversion rates, but it’s important to keep in mind that the best results are based on analysing website data.